Maddie Sirmon leads Wa-Hi with win in javelin

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TACOMA — Sitting in third place, Maddie Sirmon had one throw left to try and win the javelin toss at the Class 4A state track and field championships Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School.

Sirmon’s launch was “textbook,” Wa-Hi coach Eric Hisaw said.

“Everything worked out like you draw it up in a textbook,” Hisaw said. “You knew when it took off it was a big throw. We had every single kid in the program watching and a bunch of families and ... it just went nuts.”

And that was before the spear landed.

Sirmon’s throw went 144 feet and 7 inches, not only winning her the state championship, but placing her in Athletic.net’s top-10 best throws this season nationally.

“It’s special when you get in a spot where you know you have to do whatever it takes with your last throw,” Hisaw said. “For a kid to do that ... with her family all there, what a great, great accomplishment for her.”

Sirmon’s throw highlighted the day for the Blue Devils, who also had their 4x100 relay team take third — setting a school record in the progress — and Peter Sirmon place fifth in the pole vault.

Wa-Hi’s 4x100 race was the definition of gutsy, as two out of four runners hit the deck during the race.

Robert Miller, Stuart Gillin, Darnell Handcox and Ethan Gardner ran the race in 42.32 seconds to finish third.

“We really had to lengthen some guys out,” Hisaw said, “take a little bit of a risk.”

That risk paid off in a school record and in a road rash for Gillin, who dove to hand off the baton to Handcox after running his leg.

Gardner also took a spill, tumbling to the deck after leaning across the line to end the race.

“It’s just really cool to see Walla Walla up there on the stand because in that 4x1, it is so hard to place because there is so much speed in that event,” Hisaw said. “It’s a really fast time and I’m just super, super excited for them.”

Peter Sirmon, Maddie Sirmon’s brother, finished fifth with a 14-00 foot leap in the pole vault. His jump tied for second best on the day, but he was awarded fifth on a tiebreaker.

Peter Sirmon nearly cleared 14-03, the next increment up and the highest anyone cleared on the day, on his first try, but his elbows knicked the bar. Had he cleared it, he would have won the event.

“He had some great jumps, it just wasn’t meant to be unfortunately,” Hisaw said of Peter Sirmon. “... We’re proud of him nonetheless.”

Sirmon, a senior like his sister, is planning on walking on at the University of Idaho in the fall. His best jump of the season was 14-06.

“He’s got a chance to be a very good collegiate vaulter,” Hisaw said. “I really think he can go 16½, 17 feet in college. He’s got the build for it and he’s got the strength for it — his best years are ahead of him.”

Hannah Burns was the only other Blue Devil to make the finals Friday or Saturday. She placed 13th in the shot put with a throw of 35-02.75.

“Hannah didn’t have the day she wanted, but ... I’m proud of her getting here,” Hisaw said. “She really hunkered down in the last four or five weeks to try to get to state. To get in the top 16 in state is such an accomplishment for her. She’s very, very happy about that.”

Ashley Cornia missed the cut to finals in the 300 hurdles and the girls 4x100 team fell shy of the finals as well.

Cornia ran her event in 46.54 for 10th in the prelims, and the 4x100 team of Hannah Moeller. Dominique Cox, Maggie Callan and Allyson Gibbar finished in 50.54 for 14th.

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