Hinton’s hurdles, other standouts push Silas to strong finish in state 3A track and field

When Savannah Hinton arrived at Mount Tahoma Stadium for the final day of the 3A state track meet, she and the rest of her competitors in the 300 hurdles found out something that rarely if ever happens for a championship final race.

The 3A girls hurdles would be run in two heats, since a glitch during Friday’s prelims had resulted in nine runners advancing instead of the normal eight. Thus, four runners would go in Heat 1 and the remaining five runners in Heat 2.

That made the Silas freshman wait an extra few minutes to get on the track as one of the participants in the second half of the finals. Hinton handled the curve ball with the saavy of a veteran and turned her second chance of the weekend into a state title.

Hinton caught Bainbridge’s Claire Hungerford on the third to last hurdle and never looked back as she ran 45.10 seconds to Hungerford’s 45.40.

“I just go full speed at the end,” Hinton said. “Trying to catch up. I’m a freshman so I was like, I’m out here, and wow. I’ve been training really hard.”

Hinton’s team points, coupled with those earned by Addison Kelly, helped the Rams to one their best girls team finishes ever at the state tournament. Silas finished third overall with 44 points, behind eventual state champion Walla Walla at 72.5 and Mercer island with 60.

In 2A, East Valley of Spokane outscored Cedarcrest, 67-59, to take the team title.

“We have a pretty good team,” Hinton said.

It was Hinton’s second event of the weekend. She finished second to Mercer Island’s Eloise Newman in the 100 hurdles on Friday, running 15.71 to the Islander’s 15.45. Newman fell to sixth in the 300 race.

“I was so scared,” Hinton said. “But I just, I had a lot of hope.”

Unlike the newbie freshman, Kelly has been here before. Earlier in the meet, Kelly had repeated as the 3A triple jump champion. On Saturday, the junior added the long jump title with a leap of 18-5¾ to beat another Islander, Aaliyah Khan, who jumped 17-11¼.

“I didn’t do long jump until this year,” Kelly said. “I just decided to try it.”

The success has come quickly. But Kelly admitted that the event is different from the triple jump.

“With the triple jump, you have to do with your foot under yourself and with the long jump you have to do the hump in front of yourself,” Kelly said.

The instant success in the new event, and the addition of Hinton to the squad, helped the Rams advance within the state.

“The last few years have been good,” Kelly said. “But this year has been a lot better.”

In the 2A meet, East Valley’s Logan Hofstee posted one of the more remarkable performances of the weekend. Despite strong winds that gusted into competitors faces down the front straightaway sometimes as strong as over five miles an hour, shaved nearly 12 seconds off the previous meet record of 10:40.15 in the 3,200 meters that was set by Jessica Frydenlund of Anacortes just a year ago.

Hofstee raced in front from the start, built a 100-meter lead over the rest of the field in the first 800 meters and continued to race the clock as no other competitors were ever close again to post a time of 10:28.66.

Another unexpected winner in 3A, joining Hinton in that category, was Lake Washington junior Alexa Matora in the 800. Matora ran 2:09.50, less than a second off the meet record of 2:08.61 set by Glacier Peak’s Amy-Eloise Neale back in 2013.

“This is my first time winning state,” Matora said. “Coming in, I was ranked the highest so I really wanted to win. The last two years, it just didn’t work out for me. I went for it. It was kind of the commitment on the kick.”