Northwest Christian’s Jack Ammon ran away Saturday with two state championships. And he dedicated the wins to his best friend who was unable to run: Micah Henry.
“He was diagnosed with brain cancer during the basketball season,” Ammon said. “It’s a bummer we couldn’t be out here together running. He’s like a brother to me. I wanted to win both of these for him.”
Ammon came into the State 1A/2B/1B track and field championships at Eastern Washington as the favorite in the 2B 400 meters, a race he doesn’t prefer. But Ammon won going away in 49.41 seconds.
“It’s been a bittersweet season,” Ammon said. “I’ve dealt with a lot of injuries this year. My right foot is super swollen right now because of turf toe.”
With the turf toe aching in a pair of spikes that were falling apart at the seams, Ammon again raced away from the field in the 800 for his second state championship of the day.
“I didn’t necessarily get the times I wanted, but that’s OK,” Ammon said. “Micah has been one of the big motivators for me.”
Henry, 17, was watching from the stands when his best friend won the races in honor of him.
“It feels great to have a teammate running for you,” Henry said. “It’s hard to put into words. It means a lot.”
Kettle Falls’ McKay Knowlton placed in fifth place at state last year as a sophomore in the triple jump. As a junior, he jumped about 3 feet farther and won the state title.
Knowlton got his winning jump of 43-4 3/4 on his first attempt.
“We had a strong head wind so I just had to wait for the right time,” Knowlton said. “It’s pretty awesome.”
In the 400 relay, Lind-Ritzville/Sprague’s team of Jack Anderson, Mason Brausen, Alan Field and Peyton Kiel faced an Okanogan team that set a 2B meet record of 43:44. The Broncos finished second in 44:58.
Quote of the day: An official asked 100 meters champion Connor Locke, of Napavine, whether he was going to sleep with his gold medal. Locke responded: “Oh yeah, multiple selfies.”
Zillah clinched the team title when it took third in the final event, the 1600 relay. Deer Park, fourth in the relay, finished second in the team standings. Medical Lake tied with King’s for third.
The 100-meter dash featured a pair of Cardinals who have been pushing each other all year.
Medical Lake senior Dawson Lack and sophomore Keyhon Ross had two wins apiece this season. But they were lined up on either side of King’s Caleb Perry, who got an amazing start. Both Cardinals made up ground but ran out of race as Lack finished second and Ross third.
“He had a better start. He exploded out of the blocks,” Dawson said of Perry, who won in 11.17. “I was catching him though. He’s a helluva athlete.”
Lack and Ross didn’t have to wait long to get revenge as they joined seniors Nehemiah Fields and Jared Wright to win the 400-meter relay state title for the third consecutive season.
In the final leg, Lack got the baton some 5 meters behind the runner from Port Townsend, but Lack powered pass him to win by about that margin.
“He’s just a beast,” Fields said of Lack. “That feels so good.”
On the three consecutive relay state titles: “That was our goal,” Fields added, “make (the streak) unbeatable.”
The revenge became complete when Ross (22.22) beat Perry (22.23) in a photo finish for the 200-meter title with Lack third.
“That was the closest race I had all year,” Ross said. Perry “is just a great competitor to win against.”
Valley Christian’s Michael Campbell has only been running the 300 hurdles for a year-and-a-half and finished third last year for the Panthers. But Campbell outran the competition, including Odessa-Harrington’s Aaron Gies (third), for the gold in 41:02.
“I wanted that meet record (40.81), but I was a bit off,” Campbell said. “It’s a fun race. It combines speed, endurance and hurdles all in one.”
However, the 300 hurdles came only a few minutes before the 800 final. Campbell, who also finished third in the 110 hurdles, led most of the race but lost it on the last turn to Shoreline Christian’s Tyrell Bonner.
The 300 hurdles race “hurt my endurance on the second lap,” Campbell said. “He had too much of a kick and I didn’t have enough.”
Odessa-Harrington junior John Dewulf won the pole vault after he cleared 12 feet in fewer attempts than his competition. He helped his team to a second-place team finish behind Bickleton.