A lot was learned about how things are stacking up in Greater Spokane League track and field Saturday at the 49th annual Mooberry Relays.
The final two weeks of league duals should be nothing short of entertaining.
The Ferris boys knocked off perennial power Mead and the Central Valley girls did the same under gorgeous skies at Rogers’ newly surfaced track.
Behind depth in the throws and jumps, the Saxons boys scored 85 points, edging runner-up Mead by four. The CV girls posted 92 to runner-up Mead’s 69.
Mead’s boys and girls won the combined team title (150). Ferris was second (125.5).
Most individual events combined the marks of two teammates for a relay outcome. Most of the running events were relays.
The Mead girls (5-0 league duals) are at CV (5-0) on Thursday in what should decide the title, while Ferris (5-0), Lewis and Clark (4-0) and North Central (3-1) are at Mead (5-0) in a GSL boys finale May 3 that should decide the league title.
Behind Damon Unland and Drew Sharkey, the Saxons captured the discus, shot put and hammer. Unland was second in all three events.
The combined throw of Unland and Sharkey in the hammer (303 feet, 9 inches) broke the meet record (285-2) they set last year.
“I threw 40 feet farther and he threw 20 feet shorter than last year,” Unland said.
In a specialty event for the throwers, a 400-meter relay, Unland, Sharkey, Carson Fuller and Ty Irving took first in a time of 48.10 seconds. Alex Kimsey, Nick Pochis, Jared Schmick and Travis Thorne combined to win the 3,200 relay (8:03.43).
“Our throwers did an outstanding job,” Ferris coach James Fisher said. “Most of the time most people only see what’s going on on the track. But there are so many other variables.”
Ferris took second in the javelin, but Saxon Carson Fuller took first with a season-best throw of 198-6½, breaking the school record by about 2 feet. His previous best was 191-1.
He bounced back after missing the Pasco Invite because of strep throat.
“I’ve improved every meet,” said Fuller, whose goal is 210. “My coach thinks I have that in me.”
Friends Andrew Gardner of Mead and Nathan Weitz of Shadle Park staged a competitive battle in the Gerry Lindgren Mile. Weitz set the pace for more than three laps when Gardner drew even with 300 meters to go. He pulled away, winning in 4:10.10.
Gardner broke the meet record (4:12.76) set by Weitz last year.
It was a breakthrough race for Gardner, who bought new shoes on Wednesday and wrote 4:12 with a permanent marker on the inner sole. On the opposite side he wrote “8:55” – the time he hopes to run in the 3,200.
“Somebody saw what I wrote on my spikes and asked if I had run that yet,” Gardner said. “I said ‘Nope, but I will run that today.’ ”
Some individual wins of note were: Austin Funk of Post Falls in the hammer (188-3, meet record); Cole Jensen of Shadle Park in the high jump (6-6); Keenan Marianno of Post Falls in the 110 hurdles (14.90); Jay Alexander of University in the pole vault (14-6); Brenna Schon of LC in the long jump (22-5); and Alex McClendon of LC in the triple (44-2).
CV’s title was buoyed by three relay victories and team firsts in the hammer, javelin and long jump.
Allison Jordan, Rachel Backsen, Hailey Hawkins and Michelle Nemeth combined in the 1,600 relay (4:08.61); Ashtyn Turnbow, Kayla Tucker, Emaline Pozzenghera and Alexandria Moore won the sprint medley (4:25.16); and Justine DelMedico, Chantelle Fitting, McKenzi McDonald and Courtney Owen won the 3,200 relay (10:13.99).
CV’s Katie Wardsworth (146-5) and Dakota Kliamovich (132-7) finished one-two in the hammer and Molly Barnhart (124-9½) and Roni Dringle (124-9) finished second and third to take the javelin behind winner Gianna Damiano of Mt. Spokane (128-0).
Wardworth’s throw in the hammer broke the meet record (117-6) she set.
Mead’s Courtney Hutchinson was named the outstanding athlete of the meet. She won the shot put with a toss of 47-5 – eclipsing the personal best she set two weeks ago (45-1) and vaulting her from 10th to fifth in the nation. It also broke the meet record (46-1) set by Quenna Beasley of Pasco in 1980.
“It was really pretty,” she said of her throw. “You’re not supposed to watch it, because you have a good chance of falling out of the ring. I got across the ring and I wasn’t thinking about anything, and I attacked at the end.”
Some individual wins of note were: Pullman freshman Lauren McCluskey in the 100 hurdles (14.90), which tied a meet record; Jessica Chrisp of Riverside in the high jump (5-5); Courtney Bray of Mt. Spokane in the pole vault (12-3); Anna Guo of Pullman in the long jump (17-2¾) and triple jump (36-¾, meet record); Kayla Loop of Asotin in the discus (134-6); and Kayla Leland of Gonzaga Prep in the 100 (12.85).