6 Mid-Columbia track and field athletes stood out at the 2024 Pasco Invite

Now that the Pasco Invitational Track and Field meet has come and gone, it usually means it’s time for athletes to get even more serious, as the postseason is just about three weeks away.

As usual, there were some impressive performances at Edgar Brown Stadium on Saturday.

Rocky Mountain High School from Idaho ran away with the boys team title, scoring 89.5 points. Kamiakin was a distant second with 36 points, while Eastmont and Mead each had 30.

Meanwhile, Walla Walla dominated in the girls team race, scoring 80.5 points. Rocky Mountain was second with 75 points, and Kamiakin finished third with 62.

Here are six Mid-Columbia athletes who really stood out at the meet:

Landry Allen, junior, Hanford

After an impressive performance the week before in Arcadia, Calif., she won the girls pole vault title, clearing 13 feet, 4 inches.

Allen kept passing as other competitors failed to clear the bar. She finally dived in at 11 feet, 6 inches, and cleared it in her first attempt.

At 12 feet, Allen missed her first two attempts before clearing the bar. By then, everyone else was out. Now it was time to see how high she could go.

She cleared her one attempt at 12-9; missed an attempt at 13-4 before going over on her second try; then missed all three attempts at 13-7.

Allen also had a personal best of 5 feet, 3 inches in the girls high jump to finish third in the event.

Gavyn Buchanan, senior, Kamiakin

The standout wide receiver for the Braves entered the meet as the Washington state’s top long jumper.

He didn’t disappoint, as Buchanan hit the event winner on his second-to-last leap in the finals at 22 feet, 11 inches.

Buchanan also placed second in the boys triple jump, hitting a mark of 43 feet, 5 inches in his second attempt in the prelims.

Raymond Holycross, a senior from Goldendale, beat Buchanan by 12 inches for the victory.

Jackson Burns, senior, Kennewick

One of the state’s best hurdlers, Burns won the boys 110 high hurdles final with the school record time of 14.22 seconds.

Then he went out in the 300 hurdles final and finished second with a time of 39.05 seconds.

Only Sutton Flint of Liberty-Issaquah was better, winning in 38.14 seconds.

Aubrey Herrin, junior, Kamiakin

Herrin is known in prep basketball circles for her great leaping ability in rebounding.

In track and field, that leaping ability translates to the high jump and triple jump — both events in which she won on Saturday.

The junior was locked in a battle with Walla Walla’s Jailyn Davenport in the high jump finals, as they both missed on their first attempts to clear 5-4.

They both went over on their second attempt, and then Herrin cleared the bar at 5-5 on her first attempt. Davenport failed in three tries at that height, and Herrin won.

In the triple jump, Herrin (who placed second at state last year in the event) hit 38 feet, 2.75 inches in her second attempt of the day to take the lead and never look back.

Herrin would improve to 39-0 in the finals to win easily.

Finally, she read a leg on the third-place Kamiakin girls 4x100 relay team.

Naly Khamlue-Pratt, sophomore, Richland

She runs fast. Khamlue-Pratt placed second in both the girls 100 (12.14 seconds) and 200 (25.47 seconds), and she ran legs on the Bombers’ high-placing relay teams.

Richland placed second in the girls 4x100 race at 48.65 seconds. This event seems to be dominated statewide by Mid-Columbia Conference teams; Walla Walla, Richland and Kamiakin are three of the state’s best.

Khamlue-Pratt and the Bombers also placed third in the girls 4x400 relay final with a time of 4 minutes, 3.20 seconds.

Ashlyn Nielsen, senior, Walla Walla

Probably the best athlete — boy or girl — of the entire meet.

Nielsen won the 100- and 200-meter finals (the only runner faster than Richland’s Khamlue-Pratt); ran a leg in winning 4x100 relay final; and placed third in the 100 hurdles final.

Nielsen’s 100 time of 11.95 seconds, and her 200 time of 24.58 seconds, are the fastest this year among all Mid-Columbia girls.

Note: I’ll have the first Mid-Columbia Track and Field Honor Roll out this week.

MCC baseball

I think I have a man crush on Richland High teacher Tait Meyer.

As a sports junkie, it makes sense.

I helped him last fall to collect MCC football statistics, and he in turn put everything together.

In the summer, he and his brother Jared do magical things with their drones covering the H1 Unlimited hydroplane circuit. Their video shots are incredible.

That alone would be enough.

But this past week, Tait sent an email to both me and KNDU’s David Graf, stating that he’s trying to fine-tune stats for the coming football season. And what better way to do that than putting together MCC baseball statistics.

Holy cow. To do that, someone has to get the cooperation of each baseball coach in the nine-team MCC.

It’s not easy but he did it.

So here are the leaders in key categories (through games of April 12):

Batting average (minimum 36 at bats): 1, Hayden Galloway, Richland, .522; 2, Trent Woodhouse, Kamiakin, .488; 3, Dane Chavez, Kennewick, .465.

Home runs: 6 tied with 1.

RBIs: 1. Tayson Parish, Hanford, 18; 2. Dierks Chavez, Kennewick, 16; 3. Conner Salsbury, Kennewick, 15.

Runs scored: 1. Rylen Blair, Chiawana, 21; 2. Talan Thai, Kamiakin, 19; 3. Dane Chavez, Kennewick, 18.

Walks: 1. Chris Daniels, Richland, 14; 2. Jason Schuler, Chiawana, 12; 3. Marc Romero, Chiawana, 11; Carter O’Dell, Walla Walla, 11.

Stolen bases: 1. Talan Thai, Kamiakin, 15; 2. Jason Schuler, Chiawana, 13; 3. Rylen Blair, Chiawana, 12.

Pitching wins: 1. Dallas Bennett, Richland, 5; 2. Alec Ammerman, Richland 4; Tyler Garner, Walla Walla, 4; Cameron Owen, Kennewick, 4.

Strikeouts: 1. Trevor Kaiser, Hanford, 34; Dezmond Ralls, Hanford, 34; Jabari Simon, Southridge, 34.

Earned run average (minimum 12 inning pitched): 1. Leyton Lind, Kennewick, 0.00; 2. Dallas Bennett, Richland, 0.50; 3. Trent Woodhouse, Kamiakin, 0.69.

Opponents batting average (minimum 12 innings pitched): 1. Deegan Quesenberry, Kamiakin, .068; 2. Trent Woodhouse, Kamiakin, .100; 3. Leyton Lind, Kennewick, .122.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.