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Columbia Basin athletes compete at state track meet

by Rebecca Pettingill
Staff Writer | May 29, 2022 2:07 PM

CHENEY - The 1B, 2B and 1A track and field state meet was held at Eastern Washington University in Cheney over the weekend. Several area schools competed and brought home awards for their efforts.

There were six state championship medals and six runner-up medals given to athletes from the Columbia Basin.

One state champion was Quincy senior Jalen Spence. Spence placed first in the 1A Boys 300-meter hurdles.

Spence said at the beginning of the season he didn’t think that being a state champion was within grasp but that as the season progressed and he looked at the charts, he realized it might be. Realizing that, he said it pushed him to work even harder.

“It's what we work for all season, so it feels great,” said Spence.

He noted that he finished second in the preliminaries just behind Daniel Watts from Freeman, but in the finals, Spence beat Watts by four-hundredths of a second.

His first-place finish was also a personal record for him by six-tenths of a second, Spence said.

Spence’s official time of 40.24 is within five seconds of the records set at the national level, WIAA state meet level and 1A meet levels of 35.02, 36.57 and 37.63, respectively.

While not every athlete that participated in the state championship walked away with a medal, the opportunity to participate at a high caliber event brought experience to a lot of athletes, especially those who might have the opportunity to return next year.

“I felt like it went really well,” said Wahluke head track coach Joel Dugan. “You know, obviously it'd be nice to be on the podium, but what we did was we took 11 kids and only two of them are seniors. So what we really built this year is experience.”

Wahluke junior Brayan Calvario placed 9th in the 1A Boys High Jump finals. He had entered the competition as the No. 2 seed and Dugan had hoped he would notch first place and bring home the program’s first state title. While that did not happen, Calvario said he is excited to return to the state competition next year and do even better.

“I’ll be a state champ next year,” said Clavario.

Going into the season, Calvario had only jumped five feet the previous year so his only goal was to do better than that. He did more than just jump higher than five feet but also notched a ticket to the state meet that he did not think was possible when he started the season.

In team scores Odessa was the head of the pack, taking 4th in the girls 1B category. The Quincy boys team placed 6th overall in the boys 1A category. In the girls 2B category was Lind-Ritzville taking 8th. The Quincy girls took 33rd place in the girls 1A classification.

It is important to note that the team scores are given based on the score the team received from earning points based on how the team’s athletes placed. Only athletes who qualified for state competed in the competition. As a result, the Quincy girls team was made up of only one athlete.

1B results:

• Odessa sophomore Hayden Schuh placed 1st and 2nd in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.

• Odessa freshman Kathryn Burnette placed 2nd in the shot put finals.

• Odessa freshman Lily Starkel placed 2nd and 6th in the high jump and long jump finals, respectively.

• Odessa freshman Reegan Carstensen placed 4th in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles.

• Almira/Coulee Hartline junior Kaylee Wodtka placed 5th in the long jump finals. She took 9th, 10th and 12th in the preliminaries of the 400 meters, 100 meters and 200 meters respectively but did not move on to finals.

• The Odessa 4x200 relay team placed 5th in the finals. The team was composed of freshman Reegan Carstensen, freshman Lily Starkel, sophomore Hayden Schuh and junior Ashlyn Neilsen.

• The Odessa 4x100 relay team placed 6th in the finals. The team was composed of freshman Reegan Carstensen, freshman Lily Starkel, 8th grader Alexis Eden and junior Ashlyn Neilsen.

• Odessa junior Ashlyn Neilsen placed 8th in the high jump finals and 12th in the triple jump finals.

• Soap Lake senior C.J. Ochoa was listed to compete in the long jump but did not make it to the event. It is unknown why he was unable to attend the meet.

2B results:

• Lind-Ritzville junior Myra Miller placed 1st in the discus finals

• Lind-Ritzville senior Sydney Kinch placed 1st in the pole vault finals and 5th in the long jump finals.

• The Lind-Ritzville 4x100 relay team took 16th in the preliminaries and did not move on to the finals. The team was composed of freshman Savannah Carruth, junior Myra Miller, freshman Claire Wellsandt and senior Sydney Kinch.

1A results:

• Royal senior Angel Cardona placed 1st in both the boys javelin throw ambulatory and the boys shot put ambulatory.

• Quincy senior Jalen Spence placed 1st and 2nd in the 300-meter hurdles and 110-meter hurdles finals respectively. He also placed 16th in the 100-meter preliminary but did not move on to the finals.

• Quincy senior Reid Thomsen placed 2nd and 15th respectively in the discus and shot put finals.

• Quincy junior Joceline Schaapman placed 4th in the 300-meter hurdle finals and 10th in the triple jump finals. She also took 16th in the 100-meter hurdle preliminary and did not move on to the finals.

• Quincy senior Aidan Heikes placed 5th and 7th in the triple jump and pole vault finals respectively.

• The Quincy 4x400 relay placed 7th in the finals. The team was composed of sophomore Jayden Richards, senior Aidan Heikes, senior Ecduy Gordillo and senior Jalen Spence.

• Royal junior Samantha Fitzhugh placed 9th and 14th in the finals of the pole vault and long jump respectively.

• Wahluke junior Brayan Calvario placed 9th in the high jump finals.

• Royal junior Ivy Delay took 13th in both the 100-meter and 200-meter preliminaries and did not move on to the finals.

• The Wahluke 4x100 relay team took 14th in the preliminary and did not move on to the finals. The team was composed of junior Olga Bravo, junior Belicia Saldana, sophomore Yulissa Gallaga and senior Vanessa Valdespino.

• Royal sophomore Jessi Phillips placed 15th in the javelin finals.

• Wahluke sophomore Angel Vazquez-Jimenez placed 15th in the 3200-meter finals.

• Royal freshman Briana Guerrero took 16th in the 200-meter preliminary and did not move on to the finals.

• The Wahluke 4x200 relay team took 16th in the preliminary and did not move on to the finals. The team was composed of junior Olga Bravo, senior Abigail Nieves, sophomore Yulissa Gallaga and senior Vanessa Valdespino.

Rebecca Pettingill may be reached at rpettingill@columbiabasinherald.com.

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REBECCA PETTINGILL/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Lind-Ritzville senior Sydney Kinch placed 5th in the long jump finals.

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REBECCA PETTINGILL/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

The Odessa 4x100 relay team placed 6th in the finals.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to provide additional information from the meet.

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