After a team dinner last Wednesday night at the Spaghetti Factory, Gig Harbor High School senior Leahi Manthei and a few of her teammates were in a car that was rear-ended driving on the Tacoma waterfront.
Manthei was taken by ambulance to the hospital for evaluation. She was immediately placed in a neck brace for whiplash.
Gig Harbor track coach Kevin Eager wasn’t even sure the senior was going to be cleared for the state championships until 11 a.m. Thursday.
“It was hard to run, and yet I sucked it up and said, ‘You are going to win a state title,’ “ Manthei said.
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And she delivered on her promise to herself.
Manthei took first in the 300-meter hurdles at 43.59 seconds and second in the 100 hurdles at 14.90 at the Class 3A state track meet over the weekend at Mount Tahoma High School.
The Gig Harbor girls track team took second place overall with 60 points, finishing behind Garfield, the heavy favorite, which finished with 72 points.
The Gig Harbor boys took third place with 46 points, behind first-place Mt. Spokane (81) and second-place Shadle Park (52).
Gig Harbor sophomore Hannah Carroll won the state title in the 400-meter with a time of 55.52 seconds, finishing well ahead of the second-place runner, Redmond’s Tessa Fujisaki, who clocked in at 57.85.
Gig Harbor’s 4x100 relay team of Manthei, Carroll, Ashley Aldridge and Tatum Griffin took second with a time of 49.43 seconds.
Junior Hadassah Ward won another state title, her second overall, in the shotput, throwing 44-4½ for the title. She also took third in the discus, with a distance of 124-09.
“I am bursting with pride,” Eager said after the meet. “When I think about, in these (hot) conditions, these kids had to come out and go again, and again and again. It was on fumes and heart.”
On the boys side, Gig Harbor didn’t win any individual titles, but had a number of strong performances across the board. Sophomore Jurrian Hering took fifth in the 100 at 10.90 seconds. He also took second in the 110 hurdles at 14.65 seconds.
The Gig Harbor 4x100 relay team of Ryan King, Hering, Marc Fletcher and Harrison Horwath took second at 42.54.
Gig Harbor senior Zack Davis took fourth in the 400 at 49.51.
In the 1,600, three Gig Harbor athletes were in the finals. Sophomore Bradley Peloquin was the highest finisher for the Tides, taking fourth with a time of 4:19.32. Senior Jack Shields took seventh at 4:21.45 and junior Nolan Carroll came in 11th, clocking in at 4:27.73.
For Peninsula, senior Ryder Johnson took sixth in the javelin throw, with a distance of 167-04.
Sophomore Madison Grande took 14th in the pole vault with a distance of 10 feet.