Olympia boys track and field coach Jesse Stevick didn’t calculate out the 4A Narrows League championships based on athletes’ seeding marks and times entering the weekend’s meet, but expected Gig Harbor and South Kitsap to be pre-meet favorites.
Instead, the Bears supplemented their one individual champion — Fox Comstock claimed the 300 hurdles in 40.85 seconds — with what Stevick said was his athletes taking advantage of opportunities to get much-needed points from the 6-7-8 spots and ultimately captured their first Narrows League team title in 16 years Saturday at Shelton High School.
“It was truly a team effort,” Stevick said. “It was incredible momentum.”
Olympia bested runner-up South Kitsap, 124-117, and Gig Harbor took third with 109 points. Yelm, led by James Rodeman (pole vault, 110 hurdles) was fourth (95), followed by Bellarmine (80), Timberline (79) and Stadium (52). On the girls side, Bellarmine led the way with 230 points, followed by Gig Harbor (148.5) and Olympia (110.5) to round out the top three.
Those Olympia athletes racking up points in the 6-7-8 spots and some other unexpected scorers were: David Woodward (seventh, shot put), Ryan Underland (eighth, discus), Julian Grant (sixth, 300 hurdles), Quinn Comstock (fifth, 300 hurdles), Alex Brown (fifth, pole vault), Noah Murry (sixth, 3,200) and Kyle Rapacz (eighth, 3,200). That was in addition to Derek Buehler’s runner-up finish in the pole vault and a 3-4 placing in the 800 by James McClintock and Isaiah Fujii-Bresnihan.
Then came the final event of the day — the 4x400 relay and a first-place time of 3:22.97, which is a season best and ranks third overall in Class 4A. Stevick told his team he was certain the title would come down to Saturday’s final event, especially with a slim four-point lead after Thursday.
“And it absolutely did,” he said.
In 3A, Central Kitsap edge Lincoln, 127-125, in the boys team race. Shelton was third (100) with 24 points in the 300 hurdles, followed by Capital (95), led Ryan Chase’s two first-place finishes (long jump, triple jump), 110 hurdles (second) and javelin (third). For girls, Central Kitsap won the team title with 160 points. Capital placed third (110), led by three individual champions: Lauren Pierson (3,200), Bailey Young (shot put) and Carolina Watts (pole vault).