Jack Yearian hung close behind Inglemoor’s Nick Laccinole throughout the 3,200-meter run, but when the bell sounded for the final lap, he cut loose.
“Once I broke open that gap, something just wakes up within you, you’re like ‘I got this, I can do this,’ ” the Bellarmine Prep senior said. “Even if you’re in complete lactate, in your mind you’re just so excited it gives you another surge.”
Yearian created a seven-second gap between himself and Laccinole, coasting to win in 9 minutes, 5.63 seconds and complete a distance triple crown (a cross-country, 1,600 and 3,200 title in the same school year) at Star Track XXXIV. He also repeats as champion in both track events, improving on last year’s 1,600 time (4:09.36) and regressing from last year’s 3,200 (8:58.61).
The University of Oregon commit becomes the 14th runner in 4A history to earn the triple crown for Bellarmine Prep, which finished fifth as a team.
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Going into the 3,200 Saturday, Yearian couldn’t avoid thinking about it.
“I remember after winning both last year someone brought it up to me and my coach said don’t get too wrapped up in it,” he said. “But it’s definitely been on my mind.”
Yearian and his teammates often asked each other, “Would you rather win the mile and two-mile in track, or win cross (country)?” Yearian can now confidently answer “both,” something he describes as “surreal.”
Former Mead standout Chris Lewis awarded Yearian the first-place medal during the ceremony. Lewis, like Learian, won the triple crown as a senior, and won two of the three events (cross-country title, 1600) as a junior.
Earlier in the day as the boys’ 4A 1,600 awards were announced, Yearian’s 10-year-old brother Will, accepted the award for him. Yearian was away from the meet, at a friend’s house resting, he said. Though the 1,600 happened Thursday, the ceremony was postponed to today.
“My mom happened to be here today so she just sent (my brother) up,” he said. “It was funny. My mom texted me the picture and was like ‘hopefully this isn’t his only time on the podium.’ ”
Yearian signed his letter of intent earlier this week and will take no time to relax. He plans to continue to train in preparation for the invite-only Brooks PR Invitational on June 18.
For the next three weeks, “I’ll still be training to finish my (high school) career out,” he said.
He plans to head to Oregon before the academic year begins to get acquainted with the team.
STAR TRACK UPGRADES
Live result availability and throwing event measurements received an upgrade for Star Track XXXIV.
Credit it to the Pacific Northwest Track and Field Officials, which was charged with timing and meet management.
PNTFOA implemented live result video boards for running, jumping and throwing events and also laser measuring technology for throws — the same technology and equipment used at the 2016 Pac-12 Track and Field Championships, which took place May 7-8.
All new equipment bought for the Pac-12 Championships was transported down to Mount Tahoma High School for the event.
“We kind of get the trickle down benefits (of the Pac-12s),” Tacoma School District Athletic Director Sam Reed said. “It makes us look good and the kids benefit. … The kids are getting the experience that is more equivalent to that Division I experience and they’re getting that here at their state championship meet, which should be the highlight of their high school career.”
Reed says the official timing updates have been seamless, but the pace by which the results are posted opened more room for error. By next year, the live result boards will extend to high jump and pole vault, according to PNTFOA board member and event timer Andy Newing.
PNTFOA, which began setup Wednesday, operates a tent near the finish line, where it uses TimeTronics cameras and Hy-Tek meet management software for photo finishes, which contribute to live result updates on the WIAA website.
Today’s result technology makes spectators less reliant on the event official for immediate results. The majority of officials had worked with the technology since the indoor season, Newing said.
A new large video board was featured to the left of the original results board at the finish line this year to displayed final results. The board, according to Newing, has the ability to feature a live photo finish, much akin to the Division I level.
THROW IT OUT THERE
The South Sound was littered with great throwers all season. Saturday continued to prove that.
Start with 4A — five of the six titles in combined 4A boys and girls were won by local throwers. Decatur’s Parris Watson won the 4A discus title at 128 feet, 9 inches, on Saturday after Gig Harbor’s Hadassah Ward won the shot put title on Friday. Olympia’s David Woodward won the 4A javelin at 128-9 after South Kitsap’s Nolan Van Amen won the 4A discus and Tahoma’s Deszmon Humphries won 4A shot.
Tahoma’s Ginny Mehl ended her junior year with a third-place medal in discus (125-4), second place in shot put (42-9) and second in javelin (135-9).
Bonney Lake’s Samantha Boudreau won the 3A shot put title with a throw of 41-11. And teammates Dreakeanna Adair won the 3A discus title at 133-9. Sumner’s Rhaven Dean was second in the javelin.
Tumwater’s Devon Shedd-Kirkland won the 2A javelin title at 173-3.
Staff writer TJ Cotterill contributed to this report