Gig Harbor High School’s Samuel Peacock knew big things were coming this year.
The 6-foot-6, 265-pound junior came into Thursday as the top ranked 3A shot put thrower and left a state champion, throwing 58 feet, 11 inches to win the 3A title at Mount Tahoma High School.
“It feels really good,” Peacock said. “It was a long time coming. I just want to thank my coaches and everything for getting here, it was awesome.”
Peacock said he was motivated to get on top this year, after finishing fifth last year in his first taste of state action.
“Just doing the same thing over and over again until it becomes near perfect,” Peacock said. “Just keep on trying to get better.”
Peacock said going toe-to-toe with the state’s elite brought out the best in him. His mark of 58-11 was a personal record, breaking his previous mark of 57-0.25.
“There were lots of PRs,” Peacock said. “The weather was good, the energy was good and it was great.”
Peacock’s title got the Tides boys team off to a promising start in Gig Harbor’s 3A state title defense.
“It feels super good,” Peacock said. “We’re trying to start the fire going a little bit and hopefully everyone can ride off of that energy and keep it going.”
Peacock wasn’t the only Tide to win a title on day one. Gig Harbor’s Bradley Peloquin won the 1,600-meter 3A title, clocking in at 4:12.69. It was a dominant win for the Portland-bound senior, who put distance between himself and the rest of the pack early in the race.
“I knew that I had dropped them in the race,” Peloquin said. “I knew I felt good. I also knew if I got too excited, I had a big lead and just kept telling myself, ‘Stay calm, stay calm.’”
Peloquin was disappointed not to win the state cross country title in his senior year, regretting his decision to stay with the pack in the title race. This time around in track season, he didn’t make that mistake.
“Losing at state in cross country was kind of the best thing that ever happened to me,” Peloquin said. “It taught me to be calm under pressure and just to run my own race. I was so focused on the pack in cross country and that didn’t work out well.”
Elsewhere in local action, Olympia’s Beatrice Asomaning won the Class 4A state discus title.
She uncorked a throw of 146-7 inches on her third attempt to claim her first state championship in her final season.
“It was pretty special to me,” said Asomaning, who will continue her throwing career at the University of Washington next season. “It was nice to just compete and have fun. That was my last high school discus throw. I’m very happy with how I did.”
She heard the surrounding crowd at Mount Tahoma roar on her third attempt, signaling it had enough distance to be a leading throw.
“I think everything was just there, and set up,” Asomaning said. “The angle was nice, the release was nice, and the spin. All of my footwork was pretty good. That one I knew.
“And, I also heard everyone cheer, too. I can’t really tell how far it goes when I’m out there, but when everyone cheered, I was like, ‘OK, so that was a good one.’ “
Asomaning’s winning throw would have been the best mark in Washington this season — if she didn’t already own that honor. She threw a personal-best 150-3 at the South Sound Classic on April 20, which was nearly 12 feet ahead of other discus throwers in the state entering this weekend.
Her best mark was nearly an 18-foot improvement over the throw of 132-4 that earned her a fourth-place finish at the state meet as a junior, and nearly 35 feet further than her season-best 115-5 as a sophomore.
“It’s just natural growth, I think,” Asomaning said. “If you look at every year, I kind of improved a good 20 feet every year. And, also just (had) better coaching every year and better technique.”
TAHOMA’S SHOUMAN STUNS COMPETITION FOR 4A JAVELIN TITLE
After taking fourth in the Class 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament in javelin recently, Tahoma High School junior Gabriel Shouman was a longshot coming into the state meet. But he had one big believer.
“My dad told me at the very beginning of the year, he knew I was going to win state no matter what, so that was the time to just see what I could do,” Shouman said.
All he did? Throw 199 feet, 2 inches to capture the 4A title on Thursday evening at Mount Tahoma High School. It was a far cry from his previous best mark this season of 180-7.
“It was a lot of preparation,” Shouman said. “A lot of practice, technique working with my coach, who also taught me how to compete and grow with every throw.”
Shouman hopes to build on the state win for next season.
“Being only a junior, it means a lot,” he said. “Knowing I have one more year, it gives me a lot of motivation to train harder in the offseason and focus. I had a lot of buddies on the team supporting. I want to get stronger, try to train year-round for javelin, perfect my art and see where that takes me.”
LINCOLN’S JAVON GRAY OVERCOMES SETBACKS TO WIN TITLE FOR ABES
After winning the Class 3A state boys triple jump title on Thursday at Mount Tahoma High with a distance of 47 feet, 0.25 inches, Lincoln High School senior Javon Gray sat in tears.
“I’m trying to make my people proud,” Gray said. “I was just thinking about all the setbacks I’ve had that got me here. I just had to take a moment of prayer and just let God lead me to where I need to be.”
One of those setbacks was getting cut from the basketball team in the winter. Now, Gray is a state champion.
“All my failures, it’s all just paying off right now,” Gray said. “This is God’s plan right here.”
Gray said he tried to just block out all the noise, all the stress and pressure of his life, and just focus on his form.
“I had good legs with me, I was focused,” Gray said. “Just focusing on my phases, staying tall and staying high. And just going all out, releasing all the stress and drama.”
Gray was also the first Tacoma Public School student to win an individual state track and field title this year.