TACOMA – Mt. Spokane senior Spencer Barrera could point to a half-dozen state medals he’d earned before Saturday, but none was the color he coveted.
The standout sprinter, leaper and University of Idaho recruit held gold after the final two races of his high school career, though.
Barrera kicked through the pouring rain Saturday at the State 3A meet at Mount Tahoma HS, breezing to a victory in boys 400-meter dash.
Barrera, who set a personal record (48.19 seconds), couldn’t stop grinning after winning his first individual state title.
“It’s a bit of a relief,” said Barrera, who finished second in the 400 last year. “It’s way different feeling than second or third or anything like that.
“It was just the adrenaline factor, knowing it’s your last high school 400.”
A couple of hours later, Barrera exhibited his speed and stamina again.
The Wildcats’ 1,600 relay team of Barrera, Ryan Gockley, Kainoa Figueira and Craig Runge was favored to win the race, but their star’s kick was the difference.
Mt. Spokane was in second place, trailing Lakes by about 10 meters, before the baton was in Barrera’s hand on the final lap.
By the time Barrera crossed the finish line, raising both fists in celebration, Mt. Spokane had about a 10-meter lead on Lakes.
“It was my last high school race, so I decided to go for it,” said Barrera, who took third in the triple jump on Friday.
Mt. Spokane placed fifth in the team standings.
Alec Kness paced North Central, placing third in the 800 (1:53.88) and fourth in 1,600 (4:16.67)
North Central’s Janke breaks another 3A record
Two days after setting the State 3A meet record in the 1,600, NC’s Allie Janke etched her name in the record book again.
Janke, one of the nation’s top sophomores, dominated the 3,200 field, recording a time of 10 minutes, 10.83 seconds.
NC teammate Erinn Hill placed second (10:42.73) and her twin sister, Mia Hill, took eighth (11:00.15).
Janke, who lapped a couple of runners, was essentially running her own race amid the torrential downpours.
“I’m kind of a small person and don’t have a lot of circulation or insulation,” Janke said. “But it was also kind of fun to run in the rain. I tried to ignore it and gave the record a shot.”
The Indians finished fourth in the team standings.
“We’re very happy with fourth place,” said NC coach Kelly Harmon, whose team took second last year. “We battled some adversity, but we came out, competed hard and got big points from (Janke). I’m proud of them.”