High School Sports

Yelm’s first-year high jumper Carlson sets a PR, finishes second in state


Abigail Carlson made her first trip to the Class 3A state track and field championships in Tacoma this weekend, and she will return to Yelm High School with a medal.

Carlson, a sophomore, posted a career-best mark of 5 feet, 5 inches in the girls high jump to place second Friday afternoon at Mount Tahoma. In her first season competing in the event, she finished runner-up to Mount Spokane’s Katie Rhodes by an inch.

“It’s pretty cool,” Carlson said. “I’m kind of speechless about the whole thing, but it’s been pretty fun.”

Carlson said her coach initially had her focusing on the 300-meter hurdles, but then had her try the high jump last summer.

“I really enjoyed it,” she said. “It was really fun. I love it so much. He had me doing 300 hurdles, and I was like, ‘Yeah, they’re fun. I can do them.’ But, then he introduced me to high jump and I was like, ‘And, I really love this.’ ”

Carlson’s first official mark back in March was 4-10. She’s improved by seven inches since. Friday, she missed her opening jump at 5-0, but cleared each of the next three heights, including her personal-best 5-5, within two attempts.

“I felt a little nervous when we first got here, just because of the amount of people, and then I just kind of relaxed and it felt like a normal track meet,” she said. “My first jump obviously got to me. It was a little nerve-wracking, but then, once I did that, I did pretty good. iIt all kind of cleared off and I was like, ‘All right, I’m good.’ ”

Carlson ranks second in the girls high jump on Yelm’s all-time record list, according to Athletic.net, trailing only Patsy (Walker) Pointer, who jumped 5-10 in 1976. Walker was inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame last year.


Tumwater junior Ty Gilliland finished third in the 2A boys discus with a personal-best throw of 165-10. Thursday, he recorded another third-place finish in the shot put at 52-1 1/2.

“This year went pretty good for me,” said Gilliland, who now has five podium finishes in his career, including three in the discus.

Gilliland said he’s most looking forward to throwing in his upcoming hammer meet Sunday.

“That’s my favorite (event), and it’s probably my best one by far,” Gilliland said.

Gilliland, who has spoken with 13 Division I schools, including some from the Pac-12 about continuing his throwing career in college, is ranked second in the state in the 16-pound hammer (158-2) and fourth nationally. He is also ranked second in the state in the 12-pound hammer (197-3) and eighth nationally.

Ridgefield junior Trey Knight leads the state, and nation, in both events. Knight also set a meet record in the 2A boys discus (187-6) on Friday, and won the shot put (63-4) on Thursday. But, Gilliland said he enjoys competing in district and state events against Clark County’s star thrower.

“I actually enjoy going against him,” Gilliland said. “It gives me a lot more competition, pushes me, and it just keeps you humble, too. I wouldn’t feel good if I was in 3A winning everything by 20 feet. It keeps me humble, and I like it a lot.

“And, when all of the DI (schools) are looking at him, I get looks, too, because I’m right there with him.”


Capital’s Colby Wilson was the runner-up in the 3A boys pole vault, recording a personal-best mark of 15-6. He finished just behind Kamiakin’s Brayden Freitag (15-9).

Wilson cleared each of his first three heights — and four of five, including his final clearance at 15-6 — on his first attempt.

River Ridge’s Matthew Jenkins tied for second in the 2A boys pole vault at 13 feet, clearing on his second attempt, while Tumwater’s Austin St. Louis finished fourth, also clearing 13 feet, but on his final attempt.

Black Hills’ Sir Carter finished third in the 2A boys 110 hurdles at 15.06 seconds.

Tumwater junior Trent Kibler improved on a fifth-place finish in the 2A boys high jump last season as a sophomore, matching a personal-best jump of 6-4 to finish third as a junior. He cleared the height on his first attempt.

W.F. West senior Colby White tied for fourth in the event (6-4, cleared on second attempt). White won a high jump title a season ago with a personal-best mark of 6-7.

Yelm’s Chayton Miller took fourth in the 3A boys javelin at 167-4.

Shelton’s McKenzie Salazar-Fox took fourth in the 3A girls shot put (41-3 1/2), while Timberline’s Abigail Pedro (40-8) finished eighth.

Black Hills’ Maisy Williams earned another podium spot with a fifth-place finish in the 2A girls long jump (17 feet). She tied for second in the high jump (5-2) on Thursday. Tumwater’s Alyssa Duncan placed eighth in the 2A girls long jump (16-8 1/4).

Olympia’s Camryn Wilson placed sixth in the 4A girls javelin with a throw of 130-3.

Timberline’s Jessica Neal tied for sixth in the 3A girls high jump at 5 feet.

Olympia’s Drew Thompson finished seventh in the 4A boys triple jump at 43-4 3/4.


Mary M. Knight senior Kaylee Sowlee, a Washington State signee, continues to add medals to her already-decorated high school track and field career.

Friday afternoon at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Sowlee won her fourth consecutive Class 1B state title in the high jump, posting a meet-record mark of 5 feet, 8 inches.

Her personal-best mark of 5-10, which she has jumped twice in her career, once each as a junior and senior, has led all girls high jumpers in Washington the past two seasons.

Sowlee is well on her way to completing her third consecutive triple crown in the jumping events, having already defended her two titles in the long jump (16-11 3/4) on Thursday. She will attempt to three-peat in the triple jump Saturday.

She will also run the 100 meters, in which she is the defending 1B champion, Saturday afternoon, and try to sweep her four events for the second consecutive season.

Sowlee has 10 total individual state titles entering the final day of her high school career. She holds 1B meet records in the high jump and long jump (17-10 1/4 in 2017).

She signed with WSU in November.

Elsewhere in Cheney, Pope John Paul II junior Tim Sellars took third in the 1B boys discus at 133-6, and Mary M. Knight sophomore Isaiah Compton took fourth at 128-6.

Rainier sophomore Alia Garner placed third in the 2B girls pole vault at 9-6.

Mary M. Knight senior Austin Fries took fourth in the 1B boys triple jump at 40-10 1/4.

Elma senior Ben Bridge finished fifth in the 1A boys discus at 142-2. Eagles sophomore Sarah Bridge (38-1 3/4) took fifth in the 1A girls shot put, while junior Jalyn Sackrider (36-7) placed eighth.

Rainier freshman Isabella Holmes took fifth in the 2B girls discus at 105-1.

Northwest Christian of Lacey senior Tyler Fox took sixth in the 2B boys high jump at 5-10.

Pope John Paull II sophomore Isabella Pettis finished eighth in the 1B girls high jump at 4-6.

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.