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Unfred helps Freeman to fast start at State 1A track

Cody Unfred was so ready for the start of the triple jump competition at the State 1A track and field meet Friday that he practically exploded onto the leaderboard at Eastern Washington University’s Roos Field.

The Freeman senior’s personal-best jump of 44 feet, 2 inches doubled as the state’s leading 1A mark in his signature event until he was eclipsed by 13/4 inches at last Saturday’s regional meet by Ethan Cabbage of Colville.

It was an irritant, and it was just the inspiration Unfred needed.

“I had so much adrenaline flowing when I took my first attempt,” he said. “I just let it all go. I knew it was a good jump right away, but I didn’t know how good.”

He heard his coach cheering as he crawled out of the pit and scrambled back to the take-off board to hear the official read off the distance: 45-51/4.

“That felt so good,” Unfred said. “The three of us in our (Northeast A League), Lyle Powell from Lakeside and Ethan Cabbage from Colville, we’ve battled all year and we’ve pushed each other to go farther. It’s great that we did it again at state.”

Powell finished second with a jump of 44-10. Cabbage was third at 44-91/4.

In the 1B triple jump, Mansfield sophomore Macen McLean shattered the meet record in winning his second state title. McLean had a personal-best jump this season of 43-31/2, but turned in a 43-10 to claim the victory, besting Derek Julasin’s record of 42-10 set in 2007.

Northwest Christian’s Reuben Clark defended his 2B high jump title, clearing 6-5 to improve on his winning jump from last year by an inch. Justin Beararducci of Colfax was second, clearing 6-4.

Nic Venema of Bickleton equaled the 1B pole vault record in capturing his second straight title. Venema cleared 12-9 for the win, with teammate Peter Clinton second (12-6).

Valley Christian’s Richard Nyambura travelled a long road to reach the 1B 1,600-meter finals. Nyambura moved from an orphanage on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, one year ago to live with Steve and Brenda Day while he attended West Valley as an exchange student.

“I had to go back to Kenya, but I was able to obtain another visa and come back for my senior year,” Nyambura said. “I believe I am running better this year, but I did not run my best race in the finals.”

Nyambura won the 1,600 with a time of 4 minutes, 41.34 seconds, with teammate and defending champion Grant Marchant right behind at 4:42.41.