Tahoma High School senior Bryana Rogers didn’t get to compete in the triple jump at state last year, after scratching at the league championship meet. That didn’t sit well with the Washington State University signee.
“I had a lot of motivation to really do well this season,” Rogers said. “I kind of just used that disappointment from last year.”
Now, Rogers is a state champion, winning the Class 4A triple jump title on Friday at Mount Tahoma High School, jumping 37 feet, 8.75 inches. It’s Rogers’ first state title in the event.
“I’ve been anticipating it all season,” Rogers said. “Just really trying to put out the best effort I can. I have a lot of energy for the triple jump. I just wanted to really hold my phases and get a really good distance.”
On her best jump, Rogers said she knew it was going to be a good one.
“I felt a lot of energy, especially as I was running up before the jump,” Rogers said.
Rogers’ points will come in handy for a Tahoma team that is looking for its third-straight state title on Saturday. Rogers said the championship culture within the team pushed her to win the triple jump title this year.
“It’s really nice, especially when you always have someone pushing you,” Rogers said. “(Teammate Alisha Wilson) is always pushing me to be the best jumper I can and it’s always nice to have that competitive edge, even at practice.”
TITLE FOR GIG HARBOR’S JENNINGS
Gig Harbor High School sophomore Jake Jennings originally turned out for the track team this spring just to stay for football, and maybe increase his speed a bit.
Tides’ football coach George Fairhart, also the school’s javelin coach, saw some javelin potential in his defensive end.
So Jennings gave it a shot. And while he had a proclivity for the event, he probably didn’t think he’d standing atop the podium in his first season throwing javelin — but there was on Friday afternoon, after winning the 3A javelin title, throwing 186-04.
“I didn’t even think I’d make it to state,” Jennings said. “But I did, and I’m here now.”
Jennings said he tried to keep things simple.
“Just relaxing, not thinking about it and just throwing it,” he said. “Just not over-thinking it and just giving it all I’ve got.”
Where does the sophomore go from here?
“Just keep trying to get PRs, keep trying to get better,” Jennings said. “That’s what next, just keep growing. Mentally, just trying to focus on getting everything down right, all of my technique and everything like that.”
Making Jennings win even more impressive? After a fire on Tuesday burned the equipment in Gig Harbor High School’s track shed — including Jennings’ javelin — his dad purchased a used javelin on OfferUp. Jennings won the event with the used javelin.
DAVYDENKO WINS 4A TRIPLE JUMP
Sumner High School junior David Davydenko wasn’t surprised when the stadium announced mispronounced his last name as he stood atop the podium after winning the Class 4A triple jump title with a mark of 46-8.75.
Few people are able to use the correct Ukranian pronunciation the second or third time, much less the first time.
“I get it all the time,” Davydenko said, laughing.
Davydenko moved to the United States from Ukraine just in time for his freshman year at Sumner High School. At that point, he didn’t even know much English. But he said the track team welcomed him with open arms.
“They’ve been great,” he said. “Everyone has been friendly. My freshman year, I was really anxious. I didn’t know how it was all going to go. I didn’t know much English. When track started, everybody was so friendly and the team was so nice and I was just excited to do it.”
His state-winning mark came on his first jump. After that, he struggled with his timing on the subsequent jumps, but the first jump ending up being enough to win it.
“My first jump, my head was clear, I didn’t think much,” Davydenko said. “I did it well. Then, I got too much into my head and was thinking so much, I just couldn’t do the jump. I just need to keep my head clear, not think too much. When I think too much, I just can’t jump. My first jump, I just did it really easy to get the mark and it ended up being the best mark.”
DAVIS TAKES 4A 110-METER HURDLES TITLE
After taking second as a sophomore in the 110-meter hurdles, South Kitsap’s Deyondre Davis was itching for this year’s state tournament to roll around.
“I was ready to go as soon as last year’s race ended,” Davis said.
Davis, also a wrestler for the Wolves, had shoulder surgery before his sophomore track season after an injury he suffered during wrestling season. It took him a little longer than he hoped to find his footing during track season.
“Staying healthy before the season, I think that’s what really got me through,” Davis said. “I was able to pick up at a top speed, right where I was last year. It helped a lot.”
Davis clocked in at 14.37 to take this year’s title.
“It feels so good to represent, make my mom proud,” he said.
HERRING WINS 2A GIRLS LONG JUMP
Even after winning the Class 2A state girls long jump title on Friday with a mark of 18-8.75, Steilacoom’s Nadia Herring wasn’t totally pleased with her performance.
“Nothing went well,” she said. “I still won, but it wasn’t my day.”
The junior said she has high standards for herself.
“I feel like next year will be way better,” she said. “I was just not feeling it today.”
Still, Herring will go home with a state title to her name.
HERING GOES BACK-TO-BACK
For the second consecutive season, Gig Harbor High School senior Jurrian Hering won the Class 3A 110-meter hurdles, clocking in at 14.39 seconds.
But nothing came easy this year for the Idaho track signee, who wasn’t even sure he’d be able to compete in state this spring. He suffered a torn labrum in his hip early in the season and the past couple weeks, has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. But he decided to give it a go for state.
“I’ve faced a lot this year,” Hering said. “It feels amazing just to win when my season could’ve been over.”
Hering said the multitude of injuries has weighed on him this spring.
“It’s hard,” Hering said. “It’s really hard knowing that I can’t really practice a whole lot. I’m excited for the summer and be able to hit it hard next year at Idaho.”
Hering said he didn’t see much of the competition on either side of him during the race, as he was keenly focused on his own performance.
“I was so focused on doing my things right,” Hering said. “That’s what I have to do to be successful, focus on my technique and doing my job right. It worked out.”
BRADY ALSO GOES BACK-TO-BACK
For the second straight year, Tahoma’s Alaina Brady won the Class 4A 100-meter hurdles. This year, she had to fight back from a poor start to the race.
“I try not to focus on (the start) too much and just focus on corrections and don’t let it hinder the rest of my performance,” Brady said. “Don’t let it get too much in my mind, because then the rest of the race will just go poorly.”
Brady said she just focused on her technique, in order to claw back into contention.
“I was focusing on my form, running in between each hurdle, snapping my trail leg down and putting it all together,” she said.
Tahoma is in great shape to repeat for the third consecutive year as Class 4A champions tomorrow, thanks in part to Brady’s performance.