TACOMA – Between clearing various heights at the state 3A track and field meet Friday at Mount Tahoma High, Mt. Spokane high jumper Katie Rhodes repeatedly jogged toward a nearby fence to chat with coaches and supporters.
And when she wasn’t stretching to stay loose in the off-and-on chilly conditions, she was doling out encouraging sentiments to her competitors.
If Rhodes was feeling the pressure to defend her 2018 title, it didn’t show.
The Carroll College-bound senior went on to leap 5 feet, 6 inches, enough to best Yelm’s Abigail Carlson (5-5) in the finals and earn the distinction of two-time state champion.
“I was just excited to get to state again because the competition was really good this year,” said Rhodes, who will play volleyball and run track next year at the NAIA school in Helena.
“Today was kind of nerve-wracking, but it was more of just getting here and being able to enjoy that same experience I had last year.”
Rhodes, who is 6-foot-2, won state a year ago with a mark of 5-5 1/2 inches. She attempted 5-7 on Friday, but couldn’t clear the standard.
“(Being a two-time) state champion is pretty cool,” she said. “But I’ve had some good coaches, from my school and even other schools.”
Joey McDonald placed fifth in the javelin (162-9) Friday for the Mt. Spokane boys.
North Central’s girls are in third place (17 points) heading into the final day of the meet Saturday.
Gonzaga Prep trio finish high
Gonzaga Prep’s Reagan Crain, Kathleen Horn and Emma Van Gemert helped the Bullpup girls rack up points Friday.
Crain placed third in the 4A pole vault (12-0), Horn was fourth in the javelin (133-3) and freshman Van Gemert was fifth in the triple jump (36-4 1/2).
Gonzaga Prep (17 points) is in second place in the team standings heading into the final day Saturday. Tahoma (30 points) is in first.
Ferris senior Chris Homen took third in the boys 110 hurdles (14.82 seconds). Ferris (16 points) is in second place behind Walla Walla (23 points).
CV’s Dederick, Atwood set wheelchair race records
Central Valley’s Hannah Dederick set a WIAA state girls wheelchair record Friday in both the 100 (19.23) and 400 (1:04.3) meter races Friday.
Jackson Atwood also set a state record in boys 400 (54.99) and won the 100 (18.03) for Central Valley.
Dederick and Atwood won 1,600 titles on Thursday.