As the pole vault was wrapping up, Mt. Spokane track coach Bryan Payne approached his Central Valley counterpart Chuck Bowden to congratulate him for his boys pulling out a close win in their Greater Spokane League meet.
Bowden stopped his friend to congratulate him.
Then they both consulted their cheat sheets to recalculate the score.
Turns out they were both wrong in figuring the score was going to be 73-72 either way. The CVBears won 76-69.
The Central Valley girls had no such trouble, handling the Wildcats 103-47.
The battle for the boys was all about stealing points, which put John Weiser right in the middle of the strategy.
The CV senior was a sure bet to score in the 800 meters with an equal chance to win it against Mt. Spokane’s Hunter Johnson and teammate Josh Nichols. Bowden figured he would throw Weiser into the 1,600 and steal a point and be no worse than third in the 800.
“If coach believes I can get a point, it’s worth it, especially if the meet is going to be this close,” Weiser said.
He came through, passing several Wildcats in the home stretch to finish third in the 1,600, which was won by Johnson on his way to a distance triple.
About 5 minutes after the race, Weiser started thinking about the 800.
“I felt tired but as Coach said, it’s not how bad you feel, it’s how competitive you feel in the race,” he said. “I could definitely feel the mile but coming into the homestretch I thought about that.”
Johnson surged at the end to edge Nichols, both running a season best, with Weiser cruising in third.
That’s just what Bowden expected from Weiser, who he calls a great leader – by example and his positive attitude.
Asked about the lesson that came from sacrificing a potential win to pick up points, Weiser, who wants to study math in college took his time.
“For seniors it’s not all about the moment, it’s also about the future,” he said. “Once the seniors graduate, the freshmen and sophomores emulate them. As seniors it’s important to stay focused on the present and to think ahead. It’s important to stay positive, everybody goes through those rough stretches.”
In addition to Thompson’s triple (2:00.41, 4:35.36, 9:59.77), Mt. Spokane got a strong performance from sprinter Chase Naccarato, who won the 100 (10.8) and 200 (22.77) and was part of the two winning relays (43.82 in the 400 and 3:28.86 in the 1,600). Shane Concepcion pulled out wins in the long jump (21 feet, 5½ inches) and triple jump (43-11) despite being seeded second.
Dylan Seitz won the 110 hurdles (15.65) and 300 hurdles (42.08) for Central Valley and Billy Rowell put the shot 55-2½ to cap things off.