PASCO – Suspense and heartbreak hovered over the Mead boys track team again Saturday at the 4A regional meet at Edgar Brown Stadium.
Mead sophomore hurdler Bryan Anderson won three times even though he ran in just two events – twice taking the 110-meter hurdles in a race that had to be re-run after a starter’s gun inadvertently went off as the athletes were going over the second hurdles.
In the middle of the drama was the heartbreak that Mead senior hurdler Sam Johnson endured.
Johnson’s blocks slipped in the start of the first 110, constituting a restart. Moments later, Johnson pulled his left hamstring coming out of the blocks.
He managed to finish fourth before those results were wiped away when meet officials determined there would be another re-run after the boys’ final race, the 1,600 relay.
Johnson was determined to rest his hamstring and give the re-run an attempt. So he intentionally false-started to disqualify himself in the 300, because, by rule, scratching would eliminate him from all events.
Anderson (39.59) held off teammate Garrett Norris in the 300.
In the 110 re-run, Anderson beat Gonzaga Prep sophomore Nick Johnson. Sam Johnson finished third in 14.94, three-tenths of a second behind Nick Johnson, but failed to qualify for state, which begins Thursday at Mt. Tahoma in Tacoma.
Johnson felt pain the whole race.
“It was awful, one of the most painful things I’ve felt,” Johnson said.
The points posted by Anderson and Johnson in the 110 redo gave the Panthers 129 points, just ahead of Richland (127.5).
“It’s been a helluva growth year,” Mead coach John Mires said. “Our athletes are true to our values and to us. It makes for a great marriage. We had some bittersweet things. Track sometimes gives to you and takes from you.”
Mead’s Jonah Jordan completed a double in the throws, winning the shot (55 feet, 3¼ inches) with a PR by a quarter-inch.
Mead’s Luke Hilmes won the javelin (185-0).
Central Valley freshman Jakobe Ford won the the high jump, leaping 6 feet, 7 inches – a PR by 2 inches. The winning jump came on his last attempt when he knocked leader Nick Johnson into second.
Frankie Hoerner of G-Prep cruised in the 800 (1:55.45).
Briton Demars of Central Valley won the 1,600 (4:21.41). Demars looked as if he were going to be left in the pack with about 200 meters to go. But he fought back, taking the lead with 40 to go.
“I was fresh today,” Demars said. “This week we rested, and I felt rested. It was a tactical race. I wish my time was faster but I was going for a medal.”
Isaiah Troutt of Ferris won the triple jump (45-¼).
CV cruised to victories in the 800 and 1,600 relays as the Bears captured their first regional title with 140 points, 30 ahead of Mead.
Mariah Cunningham, Kelsey Turnbow, Anna Fomin and Savannah Hoekstra won the 800 (1:43.94). Hoekstra anchored the 1,600 (4:01.53), winning with Fomin, Brielle Crump and Hannah Reiman.
Crump also won the 300 hurdles (47.15).
“It’s really special,” CV coach Geoff Arte said of the school’s first regional title. “I was telling the younger kids that it’s a sad day because we’re going to miss the seniors and their heart, grit and character. We’re going to be good for a long time because of the seniors.”
G-Prep senior Kayla Leland had a challenging double, winning the 400 (57.43) and 800 (2:21.29).
“I had just a little less than an hour’s rest between the races,” Leland said. “I was pretty much ready to go. I’m looking forward to next week.”
Carrie Jacka of Mead won the pole vault, eclipsing her PR by 6 inches with a vault of 12-1. “I wanted to be No. 1 in the state going to state,” Jacka said. “I got on a new pole and knew I could go for it.”
Shelby Kantner of Ferris won the triple jump (36-8¼).