So ends the 2016-17 high school season.
But not without a bang. The South Sound saw local champions crowned in baseball, soccer, track and field, tennis, golf and two locals reached state softball title games.
In case you missed any of it (or can’t find any of it because we have so many stories and videos on our high schools page), here’s everything that happened in the past week.
Never miss a local story.
Puyallup first had to get past Skyview, a team that beat Michael Spellacy on a walk-off when he was a sophomore at Battle Ground. Now a senior, Spellacy got the save on Friday, and then he turned and pitched Puyallup to a 3-2 4A championship victory against Kentlake on Saturday.
And here was the story/video from the semifinal games that Todd Milles and Luke Garza covered.
Pete Jansen has coached some elite Gig Harbor baseball teams in his 28 years there. But 20 years after winning his first state title, he got his second on Saturday at Safeco Field with a 5-1 win against Southridge. It came after a 5-0 win over Edmonds-Woodway in the semifinals on Friday.
4A BOYS SOCCER
Todd Beamer didn’t make the playoffs last year. It had never won a state title, and neither had any other sports team in the 17-year history of the school. But the Titans completed their dream season by stunning Pasco in the 4A championship game, 2-1.
Sumner’s Jade Lancaster has lost one match in her two years of high school tennis. That one was to Rogers’ Maddie Egan earlier this year. They faced each other again in the semifinals of the 4A state singles tournament and Lancaster lost the first set 6-0. She came back and won the next two sets, then won her second consecutive state title. By Todd Milles.
Bellarmine Prep’s Joe Highsmith rallied on the final day of the tournament to take home the state championship. He also helped lead the Lions to their third consecutive boys team title. By Todd Milles.
But they’re still not as cool as the girls team, which won its WIAA record eighth consecutive state team title, with freshman Julia Bordeaux leading the charge with a third-place finish.
Here was the story from the first day, when Olympia’s Riley Killip led.
Puyallup went on a roll to end the season, first winning the 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict title, then reaching the 4A state title game, giving nationally ranked and undefeated Woodinville all it could handle in a 3-0 loss. By Steve Christilaw.
And here was his story from the first day of the tournament, with Puyallup reaching the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
Yelm reached the state title game and had gone 28 games without a loss. But the Tornados couldn’t come some early-game adversity, falling 9-5 to Redmond. Bonney Lake finished in fourth after losing to Redmond, 7-1, in the semifinals. By Lauren Smith.
And here was Bart Potter’s story from the first two rounds of the tournament.
3A BOYS SOCCER
Gig Harbor reached the state semifinals after finishing third in its league play. Then it ran into Snohomish – but still made it interesting. By Jon Manley.
STATE TRACK AND FIELD
There were a lot of South Sound state champions.
First, the team title. Tahoma’s girls with their blend of speed (Aliya "Nami" Wilson, Olivia Ribera), power (Ginny Mehl) and leaping ability (Alisha "Miya" Wilson) got points from everywhere to win the 4A girls championship with a whopping 91 points. Bellarmine Prep tied for second in the 4A boys title hunt – the school’s first state trophy ever.
▪ Todd Milles had an overview, writing our Sports section centerpiece to recap the day.
▪ Here was my story from Day 2, when Nami ran a blazing 11.49-second 100 meter for Tahoma (breaking a 1992 record) and then helped Tahoma’s 4x100 run a 46.07-second 4x100 relay to best their own state record and beat a 2014 meet record previously held by Federal Way.
▪ And here was my story from Day 1, leading with Curtis’ Lexi Ellis – the nationally ranked triple jumper who, finally, won her first 4A state triple jump title and broke a record in the process. And here’s my video interview with her and teammate Saudia Heard, who took second in the event.
But there were plenty of other individual feats:
4A boys, high jump: Kentridge’s Tyler Cronk didn’t hit 7-foot-2, which was his tied-for-third-best mark in the country, an he just missed at 6-11. But his 6-9 was enough for his first state title. The junior didn’t even get out of the district meet last year.
4A boys, triple jump: Rogers’ Omarei Gregory had to sit out all of last year because of WIAA transfer rules, coming from Cascade Christian. But in his first and final try at state, he won the state triple jump title at 47 feet. By Chase Hutchinson.
4A boys, shot put: South Kitsap’s Nolan Van Amen was brought to tears as he held on to win his second shot put title after last winning as a sophomore. But Skyview’s Connor Jensen got Van Amen back by thwarting his bid to become the first in state history to win four consecutive state discus titles. Our Jordan Whitford had that story.
4A boys, 4x100 relay: Thrilling finish between Curtis’ Izaiah Fields and Sumner’s Stanford-bound football player Connor Wedington. But Fields had more kick at the finish and the Vikings’ relay team finished in a state-best time of 41.97 seconds for the title. By Todd Milles.
Fields also bested his school-record time in the 100-meter finals (10.55) and Bellarmine Prep freshman Kelee Ringo set the state freshman record (10.58) but they took second and third behind Hanford’s Joseph Gauthier (10.46). By Terrence Holmes.
4A boys, 200 meters: Decatur’s Kemuel Santana became the first male in school history to in a sprint championship. The last person from the school to win a sprint title was Olympic-hopeful Princess Joy Griffey in 2005 before she went to run at WSU. Santana ran in 21.35 seconds to edge Hanford’s Joseph Gauthier (who had earlier won the 100 title), Curtis’ Izaiah Fields and Bellarmine’s Kelee Ringo.
4A boys, 4x400 relay: Mt. Rainier’s JJ Young gave up baseball for track and field after switching from 1B Seattle Lutheran to 4A Mt. Rainier. And he helped the Rams win the 4x400 title alongside Brian Pearson, Tevin Johnson and Bryant Welch and finishing in 3:21.62.
4A girls, triple jump: Curtis junior Lexi Ellis broke a 23-year-old meet record previously set by River Ridge’s LaShonda Christopher – and it wasn’t even Ellis’ best jump. Teammate Saudia Heard was second, Tahoma’s Miya Wilson was third, Federal Way’s Josephine Akinlosotu was fourth, Emerald Ridge’s Audrey Fernandez was fifth and Kentridge’s Kiarra Scott was sixth. The South Sound has jumpers.
4A girls, javelin: Sumner’s Rhaven Dean placed sixth as a freshman, second as a sophomore and third last year. She finally got her state title, edging Tahoma’s Ginny Mehl.
4A girls, long jump: Rogers’ Jelani Heath entered with the 11th-best mark in the nation at 19 feet, 11 inches. And before she heads to the University of North Carolina, she won her second consecutive state long jump title. By Terrence Holmes.
4A girls, 100 hurdles: Emerald Ridge’s Karlee Stueckle won her first state title, running in a personal-best time of 14.24 seconds.
4A girls, 100 meter: Tahoma’s Aliya "Nami" Wilson finished in 11.55 seconds for the 4A state title in her sophomore year, edging Union’s Maryland-bound Dai’lyn Merriweather (11.72). The previous meet record was 11.61 seconds by Lake Washington’s Danielle Marshall in 1992. Wilson ran 11.49 in the prelims (wind-aided). She also finished third in the 200 finals, behind three-time state champion Dai’lyn Merriweather of Union and Jai’lyn Merriweather. By Terrence Holmes.
4A girls, 4x100 relay: This was the last time we’d get to see the fastest foursome in state history run together: Tierra "Umi" Wilson, Olivia Ribera, Alisha "Miya" Wilson and Aliya "Nami" Wilson. Tierra and Ribera are seniors, though twins Miya and Nami are sophomores. They not only won the race, but set the state record. They set the meet record in the 4x200, too, but so did Union with its Maryland-bound twins Dai’lyn and Jai’lyn Merriweather.
It was part of a crazy weekend for fast sprint times, partially helped by a tailwind on the final stretch and partially because it was so sunny and nice out. Here’s a story on that by Terrence Holmes. And a video.
4A girls 300 hurdles: Emerald Ridge’s Karlee Stueckle won that one, too, with her soccer background to thank. Here’s my story and video.
4A girls, shot put: Finally – Tahoma’s Ginny Mehl got that elusive second state title. But what a resume – first in shot put, second in javelin and second in discus after four years on Tahoma’s volleyball team and four years on their basketball team. She said she hopes she set a bar for Tahoma athletes. Here’s my video.
3A boys, 110 hurdles: Bonney Lake’s Cody Miller won the title. He had some motivation after taking third last year.
3A boys, 4x100 relay: Lakes had the top time in the state for much of the season. They came out on Saturday and edged Gig Harbor for the state title, led by sophomore anchor Dorien Simon. By Todd Milles.
3A boys, 3,200 meters: Lincoln’s James Mwaura became the second person in school history to win a 3,200 title, coming 17 years after Brandon Fuller won. And he had a lot of motivation after being passed on Thursday for the 1,600 title. By Chase Hutchinson.
3A girls, 300 hurdles: Gig Harbor’s Leahi Manthei, a Seattle University soccer signee, won the title – even after getting in a car wreck just two days prior. By Todd Milles.
3A girls, discus: Bonney Lake’s Dreakeanna Adair won her third state title – one in wrestling and two now in discus. I wrote about how she was immediately met by fellow Sumner School District athlete Rhaven Dean, who won the 4A javelin title right next to her.
3A girls, shot put: Gig Harbor’s Hadassah Ward repeated as a state champion, only this time in a different classification with the Tides moving down from 4A to 3A. She threw 44-4½ for the title.
3A girls, 400 meters: Gig Harbor’s girls team finished second behind Garfield, but was in the running thanks to Hannah Carroll’s running in the 400, winning the title in 55.52 seconds.
2A long jump: Black Hills’ Kyler Nygren got the title before he heads to Western Washington University, hitting 22 feet, 7¼ inches.
2A boys, 110 hurdles: A year after losing the 110 hurdles title, River Ridge’s Josh Braverman finished in 14.07 seconds to win the state title. By Lauren Smith.
2A boys, 300 hurdles: River Ridge’s Braverman also won the long hurdles title, finishing in 38.48 seconds to edge West Valley of Spokane’s Caleb Simpson. By Lauren Smith.
2A boys, 4x100 relay: Braverman added one more title for River Ridge, alongside Drayden Alexander, Alex Coleman and Tyler Robinson to finish in 42.92 seconds for the relay title. By Lauren Smith.
2A boys, discus: Fife junior MJ Ale, a highly recruited football player, won the title with a throw of 167-3 to edge Ridgefield freshman Trey Knight (162-2).
2A girls, pole vault: Fife junior Madison Licari became the second athlete from the South Sound to ever win a 2A state pole vault title (Black Hills’ Heidi Dorling won in 2007). Licari hit 11 feet, 9 inches for the title.
2A girls, 4x100 relay: Fife’s Mica Shaviri, Courtney Morton, Elizabeth James and Emily Rohrer had the top prelim time and then held on for the title the next day, finishing in 48.98 seconds to edge Olympic’s 49.18-second relay.
And in case you missed any of the coverage leading up to the state championships …
▪ Puyallup’s Michael Spellacy was selected as our All-Area player of the year.
▪ Yelm’s Ally Choate was selected as our All-Area player of the year. By Todd Milles
ALL-AREA BOYS SOCCER
▪ Charles Wright’s Nick Iregui was selected as our All-Area player of the year.
STATE TRACK AND FIELD PREVIEW
STATE TENNIS PREVIEW
SPRING CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677