It wasn’t difficult to spot all the state-bound athletes at the Class 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict track and field championships Friday at Sunset Chev Stadium.
They were the ones with huge smiles caked over their faces crossing the finish line.
It was one of those days when the track played fast, especially one aided by a slight home-stretch tailwind, and the weather was warm. Those were two factors greatly welcomed by the field.
“This season has been a horror show because of the conditions. You don’t have to be a track athlete to know that. You could be a gardener, because it has sucked,” Gig Harbor coach Kevin Eager said.
“Today, you saw a cascading effect of kids getting untracked — ones who have been frustrated over feeling bottled up all year.”
This has been one of the better years across the state for sprints — and Lakes sophomore Dorien Simon added his name to the better-take-me-seriously list.
Simon busted out a personal-best time of 10.60 seconds to win the 3A WCD boys 100-meter dash.
His time put him No. 2 in the state behind East Valley of Spokane’s Rodrick Fisher, who went 10.46 last week in a sub-district meet.
It was also a WCD record. Sequim’s Kincaid Nichols held the previous mark at 10.85, set in 2008.
“That felt great. I wanted that PR,” Simon said. “I ran a 10.98 early on in the season, and kept running right there at 11.0 flat. I really think it was in my start. … Once I figured it out, I got better traction.”
What is setting up to be one of the more intriguing races at next weekend’s state meet also revolves around burst.
Behind Simon, the Lancers also nabbed the district title and record in the 4x100 relay, running a blistering 42.29.
Yet, Gig Harbor is no slouch. The Tides were in the following heat, and ran 42.33. Lakes now ranks No. 2 in state in all classifications; Gig Harbor is No. 3.
Of course, speed doesn’t have to just show up in sprint races with Lincoln’s James Mwaura around.
The reigning Class 3A state cross country champion also set a WCD record, this time in the 1,600.
Mwaura went 4:17.04 to hold off the Tides’ hard-charging Bradley Peloquin (4:19.33), the state’s top 3,000 runner, down the stretch.
White River’s Marcus Dickson held the old record at 4:18.51, set back in 2012.
“I am looking pretty comfortable,” Mwaura said. “That 4:17 was off 75 miles per week in training. With a taper, I think I can go 4:10 at state.”
One more WCD record was set Friday. Gig Harbor’s Hannah Carroll ran 55.66 to win the girls’ 400.
That time elevated Carroll to No. 2 in the state — and tops in 3A.
Sumner’s Jordan Thompson had the previous record at 56.81, set last spring.