TACOMA – Courtney Bray had an idea she’d find rarified air at the State 3A track meet.
After all, the Mt. Spokane senior had finished second the past two years and sixth as a freshman. This was her time.
Bray made the most of it Saturday, breaking the state-meet record and winning with a vault of 12 feet, 7 inches on the final day of Star Track XXXI at Mt. Tahoma High School.
She took three tries at 13-0¼, attempting to break the overall state-meet record. But by then she had lost some spring from her vault.
Bray had to go to her final attempt to make 12-3.
“I wasn’t pushing hard enough on my pole to get me deep enough into the pit,” said Bray, who plans to vault at Eastern Washington University after doing gymnastics for 11 years.
She was speechless, she said, trying to find the right words to express her joy. She found some, though.
“It’s amazing,” Bray said. “I can’t even put words to it.
“I worked so hard. It feels so good to know I finally did it.”
North Central junior Sabrina Keys’ breakout season continued as she captured a state title in the shot put with a season best put of 42-6¾.
“All of my hard work paid off,” said Keys, who was sixth at regionals last year when she could only muster 28-0. “It’s definitely a big jump from what I threw last year. I did well with the fundamentals and put some oomph behind it.”
Keys’ goals next year are to break the school record and defend her state title.
A spectacular era of long-distance running was capped by a final state title when NC’s Katie Knight dominated the 3,200 field, winning in 10 minutes, 18.22 seconds.
Knight, who is headed to Washington, won by more than 24 seconds. She was emotional afterward.
“It was such an amazing experience,” Knight said of her prep career. “It’s helped me develop into the kind of runner that I want to be hopefully for the rest of my life. I’m sure some day I won’t be running competitively – hopefully later than sooner. When you’re a freshman you don’t ever think about being at your last state meet. It happens really fast.”
Knight wanted to break the 3A record (10:12.33), but her evenly planned splits broke down after a mile.
“It just wasn’t the right day for running on my own,” she said.
Kamiakin easily defended its team title, finishing with 118.5 points. NC finished fifth (36), three points out of a trophy.
Four-event winner Ellie Heiden, a junior, led Kamiakin. She won the 400 in a meet-record 54.15, just missing the overall record set by Becca Noble of Rogers in 2005 by one-hundredth of a second.
Other area medal winners Saturday: Ashlee Pedersen of Mt. Spokane took fourth in the 400 (56.87); Megan Murphy of NC finished fourth in the triple jump (36-6¼) and Amanda Konynenbelt of Shadle Park was fifth (35-7¼); Deja Svastisalee of NC took fourth in the 300 hurdles (45.73); Ashlie Standow of University took fifth in the 800 (2:15.03); Mt. Spokane’s 400 and 1,600 relay teams took third (48.87) and fifth (4:01.44), respectively; and Shadle Park’s 400 relay was fifth (49.07).
Cheney senior Sanne Holland was determined to defend her state title in the 3,200. But her body just wouldn’t respond.
Holland finished third (11:11.18).
“It didn’t go how I planned,” Holland said. “I felt good on my warmup and I felt good before the race and during the first mile. After that I started dropping a little. I don’t have any excuses.”
Cheney took second, finishing with 49 points. Sehome won the title (74).
Other area medal winners Saturday: Janessa Day of Cheney took second in the 400 (56.98) and sixth in the 200 (25.93); East Valley teammates Elisha Allred and Darbi Dobson took third (123-7) and fourth (119-2), respectively, in the discus; Alyssa Harmon of EV finished third in the 800 (2:17.90); Kendall Dunn of Cheney placed fifth in the 300 hurdles (45.68); Angel Nkwonta of Pullman took sixth in the 100 (12.93); Chelsea Phillips of Colville placed seventh in the long jump (16-8) and Anna Guo of Pullman was eighth (16-7¾); Kari Scharnhorst of Clarkston was sixth in the 3,200 (11:34.14); Cheney took second in the 800 relay (1:43.47); Pullman was third in the 1,600 relay (4:03.43); and Colville was sixth in the 400 relay (50.02).
Federal Way captured the team title with 42 points, one ahead of Curtis. Richland (36) took third.
Central Valley was the highest-placing area team at 18th (15.5).
It was a rough meet for Greater Spokane League athletes. Area medal winners Saturday were three CV athletes. Mariah Cunningham tied for fourth in the high jump (5-2); Briegan Bester took sixth in the 800 (2:15.23); and Alexandria Moore placed eighth in the 3,200 (11:09.39).