Wa-Hi runners impress at Davis Invite

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YAKIMA — Darnell Handcox, Erika Leinweber, Katrina Tonhdavong and Madelyn Sirmon led Walla Walla High School in action here Saturday at the Davis Invitational track and field meet.

The Davis Invite is the oldest invite still running in the state and drew 27 teams across all classifications.

Handcox triple jumped his way to victory with a mark of 43 feet to win the event.

“It was nice to see Darnell up in the 43s,” Wa-Hi coach Eric Hisaw said. “He redeemed himself from his long jump (7th at 19-08.5).”

Leinweber, a freshman, outdistanced the field in the 3200 meters. Leinweber turned the course in 11 minutes, 54.83 seconds.

“Erika is as tough as nails,” Hisaw said. “She did a super, super job and got the meet started off on a positive note for us.”

Katarina Tonhdavong followed up her third place finish in the shot put (38-01) with a first place (132-00) heave in the discus.

“Katarina had a sensational day,” Hisaw said. “She threw her lifetime best in the discus and had her best shot put. She is getting herself rolling.”

Sirmon, the defending 4A javelin champion, turned loose a 141-foot, 7-inch throw to win the Davis Invite javelin title.

“Sirmon’s throw put her into the state lead,” Hisaw added. “She was within two feet of her lifetime best.”

On the boys side, Ethan Gardner and Stuart Gillin finished third and fourth in both the 100 — with Gardner turning in a mark of 11.13 and Gillin finishing in 11.24 seconds — and the 200, as Gardner finished in 22.37 seconds and Gillin in 22.47 seconds. Hanford’s Ben Kelly won both events, with a 10.79 in the 100 and a mark of 21.59 in the 200.

“Gardner and Gillin ran real well,” Hisaw said of his sprinters. “They ran against the top kids in the 100 and 200.”

Freshman Jack Jacobson finished fourth in the long jump with a 5-foot, 8-inch leap.

On the girls side, Blue Devil Courtney Cox finished second to Kamiakin’s Emily Moon in the 800. Moon ran 2:25.22 and Cox finished in 2:27.76. Jenny Wall took fourth place in the 1600 with a 5:41.36 effort.

Madison Doepker finished third to Tonhdavong in the discus and third to Sirmon in the javelin. Sirmon threw the discus 117-08 and her javelin throw went 125-10.

Kate Hogan took second in the high jump with a 4-10 effort and Miranda Doyle finished second in the triple jump to Ferris High School’s Shelby Kantner. Kantner jumped 36-01.75 and Doyle leapt 34-05.25 for second.

“Miranda had a great series of jumps,” Hisaw commented. “Her 34-05.25 was her lifetime best.

“It was a sunny, gorgeous day,” Hisaw added about the Invite. “I’m pleased with the kids’ efforts after coming back from spring break and having only two days of practice. It’s crunch time in our season and we’re looking forward to it. They will represent themselves well.”

Wa-Hi travels to Pasco for the Pasco Invite Saturday.

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