It’s been a while since Albert MacArthur has stepped out of a sand pit the way he did Saturday.
He popped a distance of 22 feet, 2 ¼ inches to win the long jump – by more than a foot – at the 56th annual Shelton Invitational track and field meet.
"I haven’t done that since last summer," the South Kitsap High School senior said. "Getting back to the 22’s is really good. And I’m making more of a base on my triple jump – most of my jumps are 45 (feet) area, maybe really high 44’s.
"I’m pretty proud of myself because I got first in long and triple. I haven’t done that here."
MacArthur did, indeed, sweep the long and triple jumps. He recorded a 45-05 ¾ in the triple jump – more than two feet ahead of Timberline’s Jaylen Taylor, who took second.
"I’ve stressed so much between school and sports, family, friends," MacArthur said. "(I’m) just relaxing and taking it slow – step by step. Just getting to the point where I want to be, that’s what drives me to want to do better."
After Saturday, MacArthur is ranked second in the 4A classification in the long jump (season-best 22-2 ¼) and triple jump (46-2) behind Federal Way’s Mason Sallee. Sallee won the triple jump at the state meet last season.
"I’ve been wanting to beat since the first time I met him," MacArthur said. "You have to be happy, you have to be blessed to have people like that. Those are the people that push you."
Nolan Van Amen also picked up two wins in the shot put (58-05 ¼) and discus (163-07). He is currently ranked No. 1 in 4A in the shot put (58-6) and No. 2 in the discus (165-7).
▪ Gig Harbor won the boys team competition, putting up 93 points – 38 points above South Kitsap, which took second.
“I think going in we weren’t sure who we were because we’re a really young team, but things are starting to come together for everyone," Gig Harbor senior Ryan Gregory said. “… We’re definitely a threat for that league and state title. We’ve just got to keep working hard and plugging away at it."
The Tides had two first-place finishes. The 4x400-meter relay combination of Marcel Alexander, Tucker Gibbons, Zach Davis and Mark Kimball set a new season best of three minutes, 25.67 seconds. That’s the No. 5 mark in 4A.
Freshman Bradley Peloquin also took first in the 3,200 with a personal-best 9:30.97. Gregory took second, after leading into the sixth lap.
"I just didn’t have it and he took over," Gregory said. "Props to him. He killed the race. He ran really well."
Gregory and Peloquin are within two seconds of each other in the 4A rankings. Gregory is No. 12 (9:29.3) and Peloquin is No. 14 (9:30.97).
"It makes training so much easier, and it makes running that much more exciting," Gregory said.
▪ The Rogers girls also took first in the team competition with 60 points. Essence Foster (first in 300 hurdles at 45.9) and Jelani Heath (first in long jump at 18-08) highlighted the top finishers for the Rams.
Heath is the top-ranked long jumper in 4A.
"I feel it progressing," she said.
Both Heath and Foster also ran a leg of Rogers’ 4x100 relay, which took first at a season-best 49.02. That’s the No. 4 mark in 4A.
▪ R.A. Long’s Joey Weiler and Raymond’s Karlee Freeman were named the boys and girls athletes of the meet. Weiler broke his own meet record from last year in the pole vault at 16-0. He’s the top-ranked pole vaulter in 2A and tied for No. 2 in the state of Washington.
Freeman set a new meet record in the discus at 155-07. That leads the state by nearly 20 feet and is the ninth-best throw in the nation according to athletic.net.
▪ South Sound athletes had a total of 21 first-place finishes – 12 in the boys competition, nine in the girls. In addition to those mentioned above, the list also included Capital’s Beau Crabill in the 1,600 (4:27.95); Capital’s 4x100 relay of Tim Fisher, Zach Smith, Jason Turner and Willie Broxton (43.64); Central Kistap’s Cameron Carroll in the 800 (1:54.93); Northwest Christian’s Elizabeth Stottlemyre in javelin (122-08); Olympia’s David Woodward in javelin (175-10); Peninsula’s Audrey Lauer in the 1,600 (5:16.8); Peninsula’s 4x100 relay of Amanda Wikramanayake, Lauer, Emily Opedal and Emma Jones (4:08.26); Puyallup’s Rachel Kastama in the 3,200 (10:51.37); Timberline’s Keshara Romain in the triple jump (37- ¾); Todd Beamer’s Claire Hansen in the 100 hurdles (15.22); Todd Beamer’s Malik Messiah in the 300 hurdles (38.71); Wilson’s Elijah Jones in the 100 (11.12).