Brandt-Sims leads pack of blazing prep sprinters around state

todd.milles@thenewstribune.comApril 25, 2014 

The record accumulation of spring rainfall — more of a daily pour than drip — has given track and field runners far from ideal conditions in which to perform.

And that makes what is happening around the state in the boys 100 meters all the more astounding.

Nobody is surprised that Wenatchee’s Isaiah Brandt-Sims, the Stanford signee for football and track, has posted the state’s leading time this season at 10.65 seconds. That mark is nowhere near his personal best of 10.48, set last year.

But three others — Olympic’s Zachary Smith (10.67), Ephrata’s Jonathan Green (10.68) and Hanford’s Ben Kelly (10.69) — have sub-10.7 times this spring.

Throw in the fact that six other sprinters have posted times quicker than 10.9 seconds, and it has been a noticeably fast event in Washington this season.

“We’ve got kids around the state who have put in their time with Junior Olympics,” said Ephrata’s Dan Martin, voted the state’s top track and field coach in 2012. “The fact they are getting that kind of training and also that kind of exposure in those meets in the summertime … the mental part of racing, you just feel comfortable with.”

Of course, it all starts with Brandt-Sims, the three-time defending Class 4A state 100 and 200 champion.

He has set the all-time Washington records as a freshman (10.72), sophomore (10.64) and junior (10.48) in the 100. Needless to say, he has given other sprinters something for which to shoot.

In fact, Green — a Washington State University signee — is now one of Brandt-Sims’ teammates in club track with the Sewell Institute of Speed, out of Bothell. The founder of that organization is Colin Sewell, a Wenatchee High School graduate.

“They’ve become good friends, and the last two years they have specifically trained together,” Martin said. “Johnny would drive to Wenatchee, and Isaiah’s mom drove them over to Seattle.”

Smith is the West Sound’s fastest sprinter. He ran a personal-best 10.66 at the Junior Olympics last summer in North Carolina.

And at the Pasco Invitational on Saturday, Smith edged out Green and Kelly in the 100 finals. That is where all three seniors posted their best times of the season.

LINCOLN’S RORIE OUT OF NORTHWEST SHOOTOUT

Lincoln’s Ahmaad Rorie was originally on the Washington squad for this weekend’s Northwest Shootout, an annual border basketball war between the best seniors from Washington and Oregon.

But Rorie, a 6-foot-1 point guard, had to bow out of the all-star game Saturday. He is instead now slated to meet new University of California men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin in Tacoma this weekend, said Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton.

Rorie has been a Cal commit since his sophomore season.

COCKE’ STEPS DOWN AS BOYS COACH AT STADIUM

Just months after leading the Stadium High boys basketball team to its first Narrows League title since 1991, coach Doug Cocke’ has decided to resign after two seasons.

Cocke’, The News Tribune’s All-Area boys coach of the year for 2013-14, said he stepped down Tuesday for family reasons.

WIBCA WILL PUT 4 COACHES IN HALL OF FAME

Renton’s Rick Comer, Rainier Beach’s Mike Bethea and Bainbridge’s Dean Scherer are the three head basketball coaches selected into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 class.

Also inducted will be Al Gleich, a longtime assistant at North Mason, Olympic and North Kitsap.

The Hall of Fame banquet will be July 23 at the Allenmore Events Center in Tacoma. Cost is $30.

MURRAY TO COACH TIDES’ GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM

Megan Murray, a former NWAACC North coach of the year at Olympic College (2004-06), has been hired as the girls basketball coach at Gig Harbor High School.

Murray replaces Bob Bobak, who was let go in February after 17 seasons.

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@thenewstribune.com

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