TACOMA – The Mt. Spokane boys track and field team now has a special place in school history.
The Wildcats are the first boys team to win a state championship. And they did it in splendid, dominating fashion.
Scoring points from all corners of the field and on the track, Mt. Spokane finished with 81 points – well ahead of runner-up and Jakobe Ford-led Shadle Park (52).
Mt. Spokane took third two years in a row before Saturday.
Senior long-distance ace Hayden Dressel was in the middle of things, winning the 1,600 on Thursday and taking second in the 3,200 on Saturday. Also on Thursday, a trio of vaulters – led by state champion Cade Neumann – accounted for 21 points.
Dressel knocked off state leader James Mwaura in the 1,600. In the longest race, Mwaura wasn’t having anything to do with the field.
Mwaura broke away on the second of the eight-lap race. Dressel considered going with him but wanted to have fuel left for a kick on the last lap. Mwaura won in 9 minutes, 11.10 seconds and Dressel finished in 9:26.06.
Late in the race, Mwaura had a 100-meter lead.
Dressel was hardly disappointed. He was all about the school’s first team state title.
“It’s been a goal all season long,” Dressel said of the state title. “The first goal was GSL champs. But in the back of our minds it was state title the whole season. We knew all season we had a good group of guys.”
Dillon Lionello was hoping to double in the throws after taking the shot put title on Friday. Seeded first in the discus, he was disqualified for unsportsmanlike behavior because of something he said following a throw.
Mt. Spokane coach Pat Kostecka was so charged up by the team title, he wasn’t going to need any caffeine to keep him awake on the trip home.
“I go back five years ago and my first year here and we started beating the halls and getting kids out,” Kostecka said. “We bought new uniforms. Our booster club gave us $8,500 to just get it going again from equipment to you know what.”
Kostecka said a foundation was set the first season.
“I remember the first year we were predicted to get out of 10 teams in the GSL and we got third,” he said. “The next year we won the league. Then we got third in state and third in state. I remember last year sitting back and scratching my head thinking ‘I think we can win it’.”
Ford fulfilled the Triple Crown in jumping, adding the triple jump title to go with wins in the long and high jumps.
He may have saved his best for last on his final vault, leaping a career best 49-2¼.
“I got what I came here for,” said Ford, who signed to continue jumping at Texas Tech. “This is what was meant to be. As pressure came today I just felt like I had to jump farther. When I was in the air for my third phase (on the last jump), I felt like I was really up there.”
The top-notch performances just kept coming from GSL athletes.
Noland Wick of North Central captured a title in the 100. He won in 10.61, an improvement by .14. He also took fourth in the 200 (21.95).
He didn’t qualify for state last year because of a hip flexor injury late in the season.
“I had no doubt in my mind I was going to win,” Wick said. “I’ve been training since the end of my junior season. I did summer track and four months of winter track.”
Wick got off to a good, smooth start out of the blocks.
“It’s everything I could hope for, for sure,” Wick said. “I’m completely satisfied.”
Other top area placers Saturday were: Hailey Leeking of NC took second in the shot put (40-5¼; Shawnee Konrad of Mt. Spokane, fourth in the 800 (2:17.44); Tony Pizzillo of Shadle Park took second in the 200 (21.70), third in the 400 (48.86) and fourth in the 100 (10.85); Jacob White of Mt. Spokane was fourth in the triple jump (45-7); Erinn Hill of NC took fourth in the 3,200 (10:52.93); the NC boys 400 relay of Wick, Kieran McHenry, Michael Stacy and Quataveous Mason took third (42.64); and Mt. Spokane’s 1,600 relay of Dressel, White, Jacob Adams and Spencer Barrera took second (3:23.25).