Surging from obscurity, Ryan Phillips’ ascent up the 2A discus charts has been unfathomably fast.
“Ryan has kind of come out of nowhere and has become a very dynamic thrower for us,” Franklin Pierce coach Zach Emerson said. “He’s an individual who has had just a fantastic senior year. He’s been someone who hasn’t had the great marks, but has just evolved.”
Phillips began throwing last year as a junior. In his first meet, his best toss was only 98 feet, 9 inches.
He improved greatly by the end of the season, but his personal record of 120-11 failed to qualify for the state meet.
This year, Phillips ramped up his PR to 143-3 at the SPSL 2A subdistrict meet for a first-place finish.
He continued his meteoric rise Friday, winning at the 2A West Central Districts with a throw of 141-4 to clinch a berth to the state meet in Pasco.
“It’s really cool to see my improvements,” Phillips said. “Coach Marie (Laban) is a really good coach and she always knows what to fix with you, and the same with coach (Jerry) Russell. It’s really good. They are really great coaches and it allows me to improve a lot.”
While Phillips’ development has taken off, Fife high jumper Lateah Holmes has hit a speed bump. There are several reasons.
“This year it has been stressful because she’s been doing everything from trying to figure out where she’s going to college to trying to get over 5-6 again and just all of this pressure of trying to perform,” Fife coach Brian Meyer said. “Trying to hit a number that everyone tells you you should hit.
“To add on to that, it’s been the worse weather I could ever remember. It’s been tough to find the perfect day to have the perfect mark. Hopefully next weekend we’ll get a good day. We’ll see something special.”
A frontrunner to win state in the high jump, Holmes’ personal record is 5-6, which came last year.
This year, the senior’s top mark of 5-4 is still good enough to tie for second best in state for Class 2A.
The fact that its been a year since she set her personal record does loom over her, but Holmes said she can deal with it.
“Sometimes it is, but it’s just motivation to get higher,” Holmes said. “I know I’ve been there so I know I can get to 5-6.”
Holmes won’t have to wait long for another opportunity to break her personal best, as she will be competing in the second day of the West Central District meet today at Sumner High School.
A new top mark in the 2A 100 meters was set by Olympic’s Zachary Smith with a time of 10.88. ... One of the nation’s top distance runners, Marcus Dickson from White River, advanced to the state meet with a time of 4:18.51 in the 1,600 meters.