While his competitors likely went into the 300-meter hurdles preliminary with the mindset of just surviving, Daniel Zmuda had a slightly different approach.
The Steilacoom junior was looking to make a little history Friday at Mount Tahoma Stadium for Star Track 30.
With a day to recover, Zmuda set his sights on the Class 2A meet record of 37.79 seconds, set by John Casselman of Pullman in 2003.
“I was shooting for that record,” he said. “I knew I had a day’s rest and would be good for tomorrow. I really thought I could get it.”
However with a head wind blowing up to 15 mph during the race, it wasn’t meant to be.
“If it wasn’t for that wind,” Zmuda said, shaking his head.
It’s not an unrealistic possibility. Zmuda’s ran a personal-best 37.87 in the prelims of the West Central District meet a week ago.
“I’m really close,” he said. “I feel like it’s there.”
But today, the win comes first. Zmuda placed second last season as a sophomore. He wants the 300-hurdles title.
Still, if the wind is calm and with solid competitors like Washington’s Victor Gamboa, who ran a 38.68 for the third-fastest 2A time in the state this year, to push him, Zmuda could have the win and the record.
“Oh man, if I get no wind, that could be a great race,” he said.
The wind wasn’t a friend to White River’s Marcus Dickson. But the defending champion in the 800 meters came through with a business-like effort in the preliminaries, posting the fastest time with 1:54.24 – nearly two seconds better than W.F. West’s Dallas Snider (1:56.22).
“I went out a little faster, but the wind was tough,” Dickson said.
While Dickson has a good chance to win the 800 and 1,600 today, the 2A javelin featured the most unlikely of winners Friday.
Mark Schireman of Archbishop Murphy wasn’t the favorite. Heck, his top throw this season was the 11th best.
“I didn’t even know if I’d make the finals,” he said.
But on his final throw of the day, Schireman uncorked the best throw of his life – 179 feet, 2 inches – to take the title in an upset.
“That beat my PR by 15 feet,” he said smiling.
Schireman knew his last throw was his best.
“I knew it was good, but I didn’t know it was that good,” he said.
He couldn’t hear the first judge call out his distance, but when he heard the second judge repeat the distance, he knew he’d done something special.
Not bad for a kid that didn’t even qualify for state last year.
“It’s my first time here,” he said. “This is pretty cool.”
AROUND THE TRACK
Bellingham set a 2A state-meet record in the girls 4x100 relay with a time of 48.29 seconds. ... Squalicum teammates Kirsten Webber and Tori Franzen placed first and second in the pole vault. Both went 11-9. ... Bellingham sophomore Alyssa Porter came within one-hundredth of a second of tying the state meet record in the 100. Porter won her heat in 11.96 seconds. ... Tumwater’s Andrew Brown, the boys 400 defending champion, is the top qualifier with a time of 49.33 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com