Marcus Chambers wouldn’t quite admit that Friday’s preliminary races in the 200 and 400 meter dashes were easy. But the junior from Foss sure made it look that way.
Chambers looked at ease as he cruised to heat wins in each event, posting the top times.
“Hard work pays off,” he said moments after the 200. “My plan was to win my races and try to come in with the fastest times. I didn’t want to give my all because there is no point giving it your all and then running slower in the finals. I know I will be stronger for (today).”
In the 400, Chambers had enough of a lead in his heat to look around to see who was near him in the final 15 meters. He ran a solid time of 49.00 seconds, almost a second faster than anyone in his race. Glacier Peak’s Andrew Prentice posted a 49.06 in the second heat to finish with the second-fastest time. Marquin Russell of Lakes, the defending champion, posted the third-fastest time at 49.81.
It was a solid outing despite having to run into a 15 mph wind on the backstretch.
“The wind was killer, especially in the 400,” he said. “That was all bad. I didn’t know what to do. I just had to keep fighting through it.”
Chambers is unbeaten in the 400 this season and has posted the fastest time in the state – 47.74 – at last week’s West Central District meet. Prentice’s 49.06 in the preliminaries is the next-fastest time by someone other than Chambers.
“I just have to go out and do my thing,” he said. “If you start thinking about other people, it gets in your head and you won’t run your race. I just need to go out and run my race and I will be fine.”
As a sophomore last season, Chambers finished second in the 400, getting edged at the tape by Russell. That loss has been a motivating factor for Chambers.
“Last year, I wasn’t focused and I wasn’t ready and that’s why I lost,” he said. “Last year, that eats at me. I think about it every day.”
The 200 should be one of the most competitive races today. Chambers eased up at the finish line and still posted a 21.49 in the second qualifying heat, finishing ahead of Nathan Hale’s Markeith Harris, who crossed at 22.23. But there will be plenty of competition. O’Dea speedster Tatum Taylor won the first qualifying heat in 21.49, edging defending 3A 200 champion Quadelle Satterwhite of Lincoln, who posted a 21.63.
“We all know each other,” Chambers said of the four runners. “We are all going to be running next to each other in the finals. It should be a great race.”
The 100 meters also figures to be a great race. The trio of Taylor (10.39), Harris (10.67) and Satterwhite (10.61) had the three fastest times in qualifying.
Lakes’ Izaic Yorks is known for being the best 1,600 meter runner in the state. But he figures to also be in the mix for a title in the 800 meters. Yorks won his heat and posted the second-fastest time in qualifying – 1:56.40.
Yorks will have the 800 and 1,600 to deal with today, along with the 4x400 relay.
On the girls’ side, Alanna Coker of Juanita got a piece of the state long jump record that has stood for 27 years. The senior’s leap of 19 feet, 5 inches tied the longtime 3A meet mark held by Angie Tasker of Washington.
Coker also posted the fastest time in the 200 at 25.11. It sets up a showdown with Kamiakin’s scintillating sophomore Ellie Heiden, who ran a 25.42 in qualifying and is the only girl in the state to post a sub-25-second 200 this season. Heiden figures to be the favorite in the 400. She ran an easy 57.39 to post the fastest time in qualifying.
AROUND THE TRACK
Sophomore Calea Carr of Everett took the discus title with a toss of 126 feet, 10 inches, edging out Bonney Lake’s Adara Winder, who had a mark of 126-7. ... Cecelia Jackson of Holy Names took home the 100-meter hurdles title in 14.64. Jackson and Nicole Harris will vie for the 300-hurdles title today. ... Hanford’s Joseph Collett made a hard lean at the finish line to edge Lacey’s Rashon Smith in the final of the 110 hurdles. Collett and Smith will get a rematch in the 300 hurdles as they posted finished 1-2 in qualifying times. ... Bradley Stevens of Mount Si went over the 200 foot mark – 205-10 – to capture the 3A javelin firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8483 blog.thenewstribune.com/preps @RyanDivish