The Puyallup All City track and field invite last week had a bit of postseason feel to it as Puyallup, Emerald Ridge and Rogers high schools got together for their annual three-school meet at Sparks Stadium.
The Emerald Ridge boys came out with the victory with a score of 85 points, while Puyallup topped both schools in the girls standings. Even though Rogers didn’t win the meet, the Rams, like their city rivals, still showed up strong.
Rogers’ Shaiyenne Monroe had an incredible day on the track, coming away with wins in two individual events as well as winning with the girls 4x100- and 4x200-meter relay teams. It was her race in the 200 that defined the junior’s day.
“Today was a good day for me — I run a lot faster when it’s hot,” Monroe said.
Having already won three races heading into the 200, it was between Monroe, teammate Tyliah Fort and the district’s third-ranked sprinter in the event, Puyallup’s Grace Bley.
Right from block, Bley was in the lead, with Monroe right on her tail. With about 50 meters to go, Monroe started jetting past Bley until she won by a single step, clocking a finish of 26.17 seconds to Bley’s 26.19.
“It was my last race, so I was like, ‘Okay, let me just give all I got —what’s the worst that can happen?’” Monroe said.
“(I feel) hurt ... it’s my fourth race of the day,” Bley said. “I gave it all I had and just ran out and ran my race.”
Monroe had a knack for close at Sparks on Thursday. In the girls 100, Monroe (12.44) was able to just defeat friend and teammate Fort (12.45), just one-tenth of a second less than her victory margin in the 200.
After the 100, laughter overtook both Monroe and Fort as it was just another day in their life on the track.
“We’re like the same speed … it felt good (racing Monroe),” Fort said.
“When I think about it, it’s two best friends running the same speed,” Monroe said. “If one of us beats each other, that’s just motivation.”
All Emerald Ridge’s Matthew Wells wanted to do was represent the green and black in the 110 hurdles. It’s his senior year and last chance to grab bragging rights over his Puyallup School District rivals.
“I came in knowing it was going to be a good day,” Wells said. “Great tail wind and I just felt great that it’s my last (all city) meet.”
Wells wasn’t at his best in the 110 hurdles, but it was enough for the senior to capture first place with a time of 15.01 seconds, edging his personal best of 14.94.
“I look forward going up against Puyallup and Rogers,” Wells said. “I (usually) run my best times against these guys.”
Wells’ teammate, Jared Budzinski, received a pleasant surprise in the 800-meter. Heading into the race as the district’s No. 6 sprinter in the event, Budzinski was nearly eclipsed by Rogers’ Ben Crowell.
At the final corner, Crowell picked up the lead and looked like he was about to finally defeat his rival in the 800. But with 10 meters left, Budzinski (1:59.56) was able to just pull ahead and win the race by a hair.
Despite losing to Budzinski, Crowell (1:59.61) was shocked but happy with running a time under two minutes.
“I was just giving it my all, and then I saw a shadow creeping up,” Crowell said. “I’m just trying to finish strong … this is the best I’ve been pushed.”
“That last 100 meters it was ‘Crap, crap, crap, crap ...’ right to the finish,” Budzinski said. “I honestly think he had me until last 10 to 20 meters, where I knew I had this.”
The field events got underway early with Rogers’ Jordan Bishop cruised to a win in the javelin with a throw of 152 feet, 9 inches. But for this junior, the Puyallup All City meet was about beating himself — and he didn’t.
“I’m disappointed with my throws because I know I can do better,” Bishop said. “I come out here competing with myself, and I don’t feel like I was at my best … I’m happy for the win.”
Bishop’s winning throw was down from his personal best of 163 feet, 1 inch.