Curtis track and field coach Sarah Hannula didn’t recognize the girl running by herself in the lead. The speedster was one of almost 180 athletes that came out for Curtis High School’s track and field team this year.
The girl was senior Morgan Weaver — a Washington State University soccer signee who scored 36 goals for Curtis’ girls soccer team this past fall and decided, for the first time, she’d give track and field a try.
“We did our time trials and I just saw this girl way out in front, beating some of our fastest girls,” said Hannula, now in her fifth year of coaching. “I was like ‘OK, this is awesome. Let’s try her in the 400.’ ”
Weaver, Abby Garlock, Alexis Ellis and Saudia Heard combined to set a meet record Saturday in the 4x400 relay at the 29th annual Viking Relays at Curtis High School, finishing in 4 minutes, 2.49 seconds.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The Curtis girls team took first overall for the second consecutive year with 107 points to Hazen, which finished second with 83.
Ellis — a sophomore who last year had the third-best triple-jump mark in the nation at 42 feet, 5 3/4 inches — hit 39-5 1/2 on Saturday. That’s the best mark of anybody in the state so far this season, according to website Athletic.net.
Lincoln reclaimed the boys team title, beating host Curtis 110-90. Lincoln won in 2014, but Curtis won it last year.
The meet’s relay format means everything is team driven — even field events. The top three marks from each event were combined to form a team score.
Tony Archie, Alvin Johnson and Darien Williams — all seniors who played on Lincoln’s football team — said they spent this week talking about how they would break the meet’s triple-jump record after finishing short last year.
They did — combining to jump 123 feet, 7 inches for first place. That beat the 2011 record of 121-5 set by Liberty of Issaquah.
“Track is such an individual sport, so to be able to come out here and do this together — it’s pretty fun,” Johnson said.
“It brings us back to football season,” Archie said.
Lincoln’s Walker Flynn helped set the meet’s sprint medley relay record in 2014. He was a sophomore on the 400-meter leg (which comes after two legs of 100 meters and a leg of 200).
Flynn ran the 200-meter leg this time when he and teammates Patrick Rogers, Xzavier Weston and Daniel Calderon-Hernandez finished in 1:37.03, breaking the former record of 1:37.96.
Flynn said his mom put him in track and field in the fifth grade because he needed an outlet for all his energy. He didn’t make the state championships last year after suffering a hamstring injury, but this year Flynn plans to do far more than make the state finals at Mount Tahoma Stadium this year like he did as a sophomore.
“I want to lead the nation in my times,” Flynn said. “That is a realistic goal. Yeah, that’s a realistic goal.”
“That’s Walker,” Lincoln coach Duane Lee said. “That’s what he wants and what he expects.”
Lincoln’s James Mwaura won the mile, finishing in 4:24.52, and Terrell Bromer cleared 6 feet for the top mark in the high jump.
And Lincoln won the pole vault relay — something Lee said the Abes have never done.
“This is one of the deepest boys teams we’ve had in 30 years,” Lee said.
Curtis’ girls also set the meet record in the 4x100 relay, with Ellis, Jenna Bouyer, Taylor Currin and Brooke Weber finishing in 49.18 seconds.
Weaver took a seat just off the track after anchoring the 4x400 relay team.
Soccer, she said, never made her this tired.
“Not like this crazy,” Weaver said, still catching her breath.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677