By recent state championship standards, the Mead boys track team is down this year.
That doesn’t mean that the Panthers won’t challenge for a state title – or, at the least, a top-four trophy finish.
Mead graduated talented sprinter Wes Bailey, but the Panthers believe they can still be a contender by scoring points in multiple places.
“Our motto this year is: ‘Believe,’ ” Mead coach John Mires said. “It seems like the same old song and dance every year, but it’s not. We have some experience to go with some new kids. Our sprinters and hurdlers have been really solid and Daniel (Schofield) and Andrew (Gardner) anchor our distances.”
Federal Way is favored to repeat. Mead and Wenatchee, which edged the Panthers by five points at the Pasco Invite, and defending champ Gig Harbor are the teams that appear to have the best chances of placing in the top four.
Mead has won three state titles and placed second four times since 2002. The Panthers were third in 2008 and finished just outside a trophy at fifth in 2005.
“We’re a good dual-meet team this year,” Mires said. “There’s no question we have some kids who have to carry us.”
Space for our Sunday results story about the annual meet only allows for mention of the top results by area athletes.
But many more things occur, so we’ll document some of those things here.
• This was the fifth straight year that the North Central boys earned a team trophy and it was the first time for the NC girls.
In the combined team results, NC took second – the highest combined finish.
• Some of the best finishes for non-winners from the region: Janessa Day of Cheney, second in the 400 (58.59 seconds); Ashlee Pedersen of Mt. Spokane, fourth in the 400 (58.89); Ashlie Standow of University, fourth in the 800 (2:17.15); Krista Story of Coeur d’Alene, fifth in the 800 (2:18.99); Gracie Ledwith of Lewis and Clark, second in the 3,200 (11:24.46); Josie Brown of CdA, fourth in the 3,200 (11:31.11); Deja Svastisalee, Megan Murphy, Megan Dunn and Katie Knight of NC combined to finish third in the 1,600 relay (4:07.79); Story, Punky Duran, Jaycee Rade and Emily Callahan of CdA combined to finish second in the distance medley (12:58.97); Mariah Cunningham of Central Valley took third in the long jump (17-10) and fourth in the high jump (5-2); Sabrina Keys of NC took third in the shot put (40-2); Elisha Allred of East Valley, second in the discus (123-7); Samantha Baker of Mead, third in the javelin (127-0); Austin Upmeyer of University, fourth in the 400 (49.31); Daniel Brunner of U-Hi, fifth in the 800 (1:55.86); Andrew Gardner of Mead, third in the elite mile (4:16.40), Daniel Amann of Deer Park fourth (4:18.67) and Sumner Goodwin of LC fifth (4:19.58); John Dressel of Mt. Spokane, second in the 3,200 (9:18.66); Zion Stuffle of Lewiston, third in the 300 hurdles (38.49); Oliver Reed, Tommy Day, Andrew Vandine and Nik Taylor of NC combined for second in the distance medley (10:36.71); Eddie Gonzalez and Andrew Morgan of U-Hi, second (6-6) and third (6-2), respectively, in the high jump; Blasé Neumann of Mead, third in the pole vault (14-0); Isaiah Troutt of Ferris and Andrew LaVoie of Mead were second (44-5½) and third (43-9½), respectively, in the triple jump; Moreli Failauga of U-Hi, second in the discus (159-2); and Luke Hilmes of Mead, Carlos Riojas of Mt. Spokane and Jesse Monteon of West Valley finished third (174-6), fourth (174-4) and fifth (173-11), respectively, in the javelin.
The Greater Spokane League girls championship could be decided today when league-leading Lewis and Clark (4-0) visits Central Valley (2-1). The meet, which includes the CV (2-1) and LC (2-2) boys teams, begins at 4. The LC girls are seeking their first league title since 2004-05. … Elsewhere in the GSL, Mead’s league-leading boys (4-0) and girls (2-2) are at NC’s boys (2-1) and girls (2-1); the Ferris boys (1-2) and girls (1-2) and Rogers boys (0-4) and girls (0-4) are at the Gonzaga Prep boys (0-2) and girls (0-2); and the Mt. Spokane boys (2-2) and girls (3-1) and University boys (1-1) and girls (0-2) are at the Shadle Park boys (2-1) and girls (2-1). Those meets also begin at 4.