State 3A track: Yorks, Chambers earn double titles, eye future
One athlete’s brilliant high school career came to an end on Saturday, while another’s is starting to burn white hot.
On a sunny Star Track Saturday, Lakes’ Izaic Yorks smashed the Class 3A record in the 1,600 meters, taking home a title everyone expected him to win, but he also captured the 800-meter title to add to his collection of first-place medals.
“No regrets, I got better each year and I got to where I wanted to be at the end,” said Yorks, who will run for the University of Portland next season.
Meanwhile, Marcus Chambers of Foss established himself as one of the top sprinters in the state, taking home titles in both the 200 and 400. The ultra-talented junior is already looking forward to next season when he will set his sights on the longtime meet records in those events held by Ellensburg’s Ja’Warren Hooker.
“I’m not going to make any guarantees, but those times records are reachable,” Chambers said.
Yorks’ goal of posting a sub 4-minute time in the 1,600 took a bit of a hit when winds kicked up in the afternoon, plus he needed to recover from running a winning 800 earlier in the day. Yorks’ time of 1:50.56 in the 800 broke the 3A meet record of 1:50.96 set by John Cote of Lindbergh in 1997.
The 1,600 was far from a blowout win. Shadle Park’s Nathan Weitz ran right with Yorks most of the race. It wasn’t until the last 75 yards that Yorks pulled away. He crossed the finish line at 4:04.77, easily beating the record of 4:09.28 set by Dave Smith of Tumwater in 1988. Weitz finished at 4:05.60.
“Mentally it was pretty tough,” Yorks said. “The wind made it tough. I knew Nathan was right behind me, and I’m sure he knew I was hurting from the 800. But at the same time, I wanted it so badly.”
While his high school season is over, Yorks has other aspirations.
“I still have some things I want to achieve and I have the postseason to do that,” he said.
On June 9, he will travel to New York City’s Icahn Stadium to compete in the Dream Mile race against the top high school runners in the country.
He has logged the fastest time in the 1,600 in the country this season at 4:04.00 and he wants to keep it that way, while also breaking the 4-minute barrier.
“The conditions are going to be perfect,” Yorks said. “I have so much to prove. I feel like going under four is one of them. I don’t think I’m going to feel comfortable unless I’m tops in the nation.”
After getting caught and passed in the final 20 meters of the 400 at state last season, Chambers decided to rededicate himself to track. That meant training on weekends, two-a-day workouts and staying after practice to train when everyone else was gone. That commitment was evident in Saturday’s results.
“It was all worth it,” he said. “I’m dedicated to this sport.”
There would be no catching him. Chambers exploded into the lead in the first 200 meters and was relentless down the stretch pulling away and posting a 47.63 – the fastest 400 time in the state this season.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since last year,” he said. “It was all about the 400. This is my race.”
But for good measure, Chambers took home the 200 title, edging defending state champion Quadelle Satterwhite of Lincoln and O’Dea’s Tatum Taylor with a time of 21.41.
“It was tough race,” Chambers said. “We went after each other. That’s what made it a good race. Nobody knew who was going to win.”
While Yorks and Chambers were expected to be champions, there’s always a few surprises and unexpected winners at Star Track. Just ask Luke Plummer of Peninsula.
The senior wasn’t expecting to win the 3A triple jump title after a disappointing showing at the West Central District meet.
“It was crazy,” he said. “I don’t know how I even got here jumping 41 feet last week.”
Plummer recorded the winning distance of 46 feet, 10 inches on his final jump.
“I PR’d by a foot,” he said. “I could feel it was a good jump and everyone is making noise about it. I couldn’t believe it. I jumped up and almost fell. It still doesn’t feel very real. I wasn’t expecting this.”
On the girls side, Bonney Lake’s Adara Winder was expected to climb to the top of the podium.
The standout senior won her third straight state shot put title with a throw of 45-91/4 inches.
“It never gets old,” she said. “If you saw me over there, I was crying.”
Winder is headed to the University of Idaho and has Olympic Dreams in 2016.
“I have to put that pressure on,” she said. “My marks are higher than everyone else. So I have to compete against the book and against myself. It’s all mental. I love it. I’ve had it since I was freshman year.”
Kamiakin’s Ellie Heiden helped the Braves take home the team 3A team title with 85 points. The scintillating sophomore won the 200 and 400, while anchoring the winning 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
“I crossed the finish line and was like, ‘Holy cow, this is crazy, I can’t believe this actually happened to me,’ ” Heiden said after winning the 200, her fourth gold of the day.
AROUND THE TRACK
Bellevue won the boys team title with 65 points, while Lakes finished second with 45. The Wolverines were led by victories in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Juanita’s Alanna Coker was a double winner, taking home the 100 meters and setting a 3A meet record in the triple jump with a leap of 40-13/4, breaking the record of 39-41/2 set by Kolleen Gaires of Edmonds-Woodway in 1991.
Highline’s Jennifer DeBellis tied the meet record of 12-6 she set a year ago in winning the girls pole vault.