Alexis Ellis made Saudia James-Heard jump.
Following Thursday’s second flight preliminary in the girls 4A triple jump at the 4A/3A/2A state track and field championships at Mount Tahoma High School, James-Heard led the field at 39 feet, 61/4 inches. She elected to pass her first two attempts in the finals — she has been nursing a hip injury since April — but then Ellis, her Curtis teammate, posted a 39-93/4.
James-Heard now had something to beat.
She sprinted down the runway and launched a mark of 39-113/4 to win her first 4A state title.
Never miss a local story.
“I was just thinking I want to pop a good one off,” James-Heard said.
It wasn’t her best — she jumped a state freshman-record 40-31/4 at the Pasco Invitational in April — but it was enough.
Ellis, who beat James-Heard’s state freshman record at the Lake Washington Invitational May 2 with a 42-41/4, took second.
Even with the one-two finish, James-Heard and Ellis expressed some disappointment over not hitting 40 feet.
“It just wasn’t our day,” the two said in unison.
It kind of was, but the girls have bigger expectations — and use their friendly rivalry to get results.
“You always know that her next jump could be really good, so I need to pull it out now,” Ellis said.
The girls have three more years to push the limits. Ellis will try to even the score with James-Heard next season, and both will continue to chase former Curtis jumper Andrea Guebelle’s state record of 42-101/4 set in 2009.
“We have three more years,” Ellis said.
Added James-Heard: “It will come.”
AROUND THE TRACK
Bellarmine Prep junior Jack Yearian won his first state title in the 4A boys’ 1,600 meters. Yearian, who was seeded 12th in the field of 16, posted a time of 4 minutes, 12.14 seconds to beat Cole Christman of Wenatchee by 1.43 seconds. Yearian took third in the event last year as a sophomore with a personal best and school record of 4:08.50. He is seeded 10th in the 4A boys 3,200, which he will run at the state level for the first time in Saturday’s final. ...
It was a narrow miss for Gig Harbor’s Brenna Peloquin in the 4A girls’ 1,600 final. With 50 meters to go, Peloquin pulled in front of Richland’s Lindsey Bradley, only to have Issaquah’s Sami Corman outkick her at the finish line. Peloquin finished second at a personal best 4:55.39 — 0.12 seconds behind Corman. “I knew I had a faster time in me,” Peloquin said. “But that’s what happens. (Corman) is a good kicker.” Peloquin is the defending champion in the 4A girls’ 3,200, and is seeded seventh in Saturday’s final. ...
Rebecca Thareek, a freshman from Auburn, took third in the 3A girls’ high jump at 5-4 — which tied her personal best and the school record. ... Sumner’s Alexandria Espinda took third in the 3A girls’ javelin at 129-1. ...
Federal Way’s Mariyah Vongsaveng — who is the two-time defending champion in the 4A girls’ 100 hurdles — qualified for Friday’s final despite battling a season-long injury to her left quadriceps. “It still hurts a little, but I’ll manage,” she said. Emerald Ridge’s Karlee Stueckle also qualified. ...
Wilson’s Trevon Powe, who had four first-place finishes at last weekend’s 3A West Central District meet, and Sumner’s Josh Riley qualified for Friday’s 3A 110 hurdles final. Tanner Conner of Kentridge will be the No. 1 seed in the 4A race.