CHENEY – Colfax High School’s Morgan Willson barely broke a sweat on her way to clinching her second straight 3,200-meter title at the State 2B track and field championships on Friday.
“The wind just blew the sweat away,” Willson said. “The wind was a factor today.”
It wasn’t enough of a factor for Willson, as she completed the race in 11 minutes, 5.21 seconds, nearly a full 3 seconds faster than her state-winning time last year.
With gusts reaching as high as 35 mph, the wind made for a less than ideal start to kick off the event at Roos Field at Eastern Washington University.
The Columbia (Hunters) girls, however, had an excellent start in the 1B meet, with wins by Lindsay Loe in the high jump (5 feet) and Elizabeth Larrew in the long jump (16-81/2), and a second-place effort by Kaitlin Jones in the shot put (33-51/2) – an event won by Cusick’s Andrea Heinen (36-10).
Columbia scored 28 points for a six-point lead on King’s Way Christian.
Action started at 10 a.m. and concluded at about 6:30 p.m. At midday the wind subsided somewhat, but in the early afternoon it kicked up again. Depending on an athletes’ position, it was either a friend or a foe.
High jumpers and pole vaulters saw bars falling from support stands before they could attempt to clear them. With the pole vault being higher off the ground, two officials often had to hold the bar in place on opposing sides with their own poles in an effort to keep the bar on the stand.
Then there was the effect of the wind on the long jump and triple jumpers at the sand pits located on the field’s east side. Orting senior Savannah Burr defied the wind and jumped to a personal best – and State 1A winning effort – with a leap of 17-7.
Fortunately for Burr, the wind subsided on the jump that carried her to first place.
A meet official said the wind was measured at minus 7.1, or 7.1 meters per second against her, on her next-to-last jump. She only jumped 15-2 on that attempt.