KENNEWICK — The Walla Walla High School throwers — both boys and girls — shined at the second Mid-Columbia Conference track and field pod at Southridge High School on Thursday.
The Blue Devil girls, with first-place finishes in the shot put, javelin and discus, beat Pasco, 128-21, and Hanford, 93-57, but fell to Southridge, 88.5-61.5. The boys team beat Pasco, 104-36, and Southridge, 79-66, while falling to Hanford, 90-55.
On the girls side, Madelyn Sirmon finished first in the javelin with a throw of 134 feet. Madison Doepker finished second with a toss of 122-11. Doepker finished first in the javelin, as her throw of 37-09 beat teammate Katarina Tonhdavong by just more than a foot. Tonhdavong got revenge in the discus, however, as she finished first with a mark of 123-03. Doepker took second with a toss of 119-05.
“We are really fortunate right now with the talented group of girls we have in the throwers,” Wa-Hi coach Eric Hisaw said. “They’re very special. They’re talented. They’re competitive and they hate losing to each other, let alone anyone else. They’re great competitors.”
The Wa-Hi distance runners also found success on Thursday, as Hannah Hampson took first in the 3200 with a time of 12:15.96. Erika Leinweber finished second in the 1600 with a time of 5:27.64 and teammate Courtney Cox also took second in the 800 with a mark of 2:22.03.
“They’re veterans and they’re talented,” Hisaw said of his distance crew. “They’ve been so rock-steady and they’re starting to get so fast at the right time of the year. They were just tremendous yesterday.”
Wa-Hi’s Collen Gibbons picked up a pair of second-place finishes in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. She finished the 100 in 17.06 and the 300 in 49.30, respectively.
“She is really starting to get in a rhythm,” Hisaw said of Gibbons. “She’s starting to find a rhythm and get some confidence. She had a tremendous day in all of her events.”
The Wa-Hi 4x100 relay team of Lilly Richmond, Hannah Moeller, Gibbons and Kendall Davis took second with a time of 52 seconds.
Richmond, Gibbons, Lea Davidson and Kassidy Willard teamed up in the 4x200 relay for a second-place finish with a time of 1:54.74.
Wa-Hi’s Miranda Gibbons took second in the triple jump with a mark of 34-05. Kate Hogan nabbed second in the high jump with a 4-08 effort.
Rob Thonney led the Blue Devil boys, as he picked up one of Wa-Hi’s two first-place finishes in the 300 hurdles. He finished the 300 hurdles in 41.47, after taking second in the 110 hurdles with a mark of 16.51.
“He’s a senior, but he’s starting to find his way,” Hisaw said. “His first five hurdles of the 110 were as good as he’s run in his life. He’s starting to be confident and run clean and strong.”
Wa-Hi’s Andrew Harvey finished fifth in the 300 hurdles by less than a tenth of a second. Hisaw said performances such as Harvey’s helped Wa-Hi clinch victories over Pasco and Southridge.
“We win the meet by like 13 points, but what they did, that’s a six (or) seven point swing,” Hisaw said. “Those kids had a great meet. They all ran lifetime bests and they were tremendous yesterday.”
Freshman Alex Iben, in the 3,200, picked up the other first-place finish on the day for Wa-Hi. His mark of 10:29.90 bested the field by nearly three seconds. Teammate Andrew Feistner took fourth in the event with a time of 10:36.72. Iben also added to his impressive day with a second-place finish in the 1,600 with a time of 4:36.37.
“What a treat,” Hisaw said of Iben’s 3,200. “He’s been hurt, so he’s only run in the last two meets. He’s talented, he’s patient and he repsondes to the race like a veteran. I thought he was the performer of the meet for us. We probably don’t win on the guys side without his performance.”
Darnell Handcox finished second in the long jump and third in the triple jump, respectively. Teammate Mitchel Jacobson also finished second in the high jump.
“Neither mark was outstanding for Darnell, but he also ran the 200 for the first time this year,” Hisaw said. “He rises up to the challenge every time we need him too.”
Wa-Hi’s Thomas Ashley tossed the discus 129 feet, 10 inches for second place. He also nabbed fourth in the shot put with a mark of 44-02. Andrew Granchuckoff finished fourth in the javelin with a throw of 150-05.
“Our throwers are really starting to come around,” Hisaw said. “They’re filling in the void and filling in quickly and becoming a group to be reckoned with.”
With nearly 80-degree temperatures at the meet, Hisaw said battling the sun was nearly as challenging as the MCC competition.
“We’re used to 60, 70 (degrees) and suddenly its 83, 84,” Hisaw said. “It’s a big deal. It’s a real battle of mental perseverance and they did a great job of taking care of that.
The Blue Devils host the third and final MCC pod at Martin Field on Thursday.