Tri-Cities area relay teams show they’re among WA’s best after MCC track championships

The Mid-Columbia Conference track and field championship at Hanford High School were the first of three postseason meets that culminate in the WIAA 4A/3A state championships to be held May 23-25 at Mt. Tahoma High School.

The second step to state playoffs is this Friday and Saturday at the District 8 meet at Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley.

As you can imagine, there were plenty of highlights involving four different meets — 4A boys, 4A girls, 3A boys and 3A girls.

The most impressive performances came from the relay teams.

Leading the way was the girls 4x100 relay events — both 3A and 4A.

Walla Walla’s foursome of Addison Andrews, Jailyn Davenport, Cami Martin and Ashlyn Nielsen won the 3A event in 47.08 seconds.

In the 4A girls relay, Kamiakin’s squad of Danica Helms, Emaunii Sims, Aubrey Herrin and Adelyn Mitchell won in 47.51 seconds; while Richland’s team of Naly Khamlue-Pratt, Alyssa Marsh, Gracie Moss and Hailey Summers placed second in 47.63.

Here’s the rub: all three relay teams set school records in their runs, and all three — Wa-Hi, Kamiakin and Richland — are ranked 1-3 in the state’s best times for the event.

In the 4A girls 4x200 relay race, Kamiakin’s Louesa Gledhill, Sims, Herrin and Mitchell won in 1:40.61, while Richland’s foursome of Khamlue-Pratt, Marsh, Emory Law, and Moss was second at 1:42.34.

That gave Kamiakin the top time in the entire state, while Richland is fourth. And both 4x200 relay teams set records for their respective schools.

But wait! There’s more!

Let’s go to the 4A boys 4x100 relay race, in which Chiawana’s Justin Webber, Cooper MacPherson, Angel Colon and Tristan Breier finished first in 41.85 seconds; Richland’s Jalen Brightful, Jack Forbes, Brayden Pratt and Levi Stiver placed second in 42.04; and Kamiakin’s Devin Crews, Gavyn Buchanan, Camden Schmidt and JaRae Long placed third at 42.27.

That gives Chiawana the top 4x100 relay time in the state. Richland now is ranked third, while Kamiakin is eighth.

The Chiawana and Richland times are both school records.

It all led to a long-time observer and coach texting me on Monday with this statement: “I’ve been involved with the MCC and/or the Big Nine since 1991 and I’ve never seen sprinting like this before.”

Here’s a list of outstanding performers from the two days of action:

  • Tristan Breier, Chiawana: The junior won the 4A boys 400 meters title and ran a leg on the winning 4x100 relay team. He also placed second in the 100 meters, and was third in the 200 meters.

  • Gavyn Buchanan, Kamiakin: The Braves senior won two events in the 4A boys meet, taking the long jump and triple jump titles. He also placed third in the high jump, and he ran a leg on the third-place 4x100 relay team.

  • Jackson Burns, Kennewick: The Lions senior won the 3A boys 300 hurdles with a time 38.67 seconds, ran a leg on the winning 4x100 relay team, and finished second in the 110 high hurdles in 14.20 seconds. His 110 time is ranked fourth in the state, and his 300 time puts him at No. 10.

  • Ian Cahoon, Walla Walla: He beat Burns by 1-100th of a second in the 3A boys 110 high hurdles, finishing in 14.19 seconds. That’s the third best time in the entire state. He took a close second in the 300 hurdles, losing to Burns, but finishing with 10th best time in the state in 38.76 seconds. The senior also finished second in the 200 meters, and he helped the Blue Devils’ 4x100 relay team place third.

  • Louesa Gledhill, Kamiakin. The junior won both hurdles events in the 4A girls meet, as well as ran on leg on the winning 4x200 relay team. She also ran a leg on the second-place 4x400 relay team.

  • Aubrey Herrin, Kamiakin. The Braves junior ran legs on those two outstanding 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams in the 4A girls meet. She also won the triple jump event, and placed second in the high jump.

  • Diana Kuwa, Southridge. The Suns senior had a good meet among the 3A girls, placing first in the 100 high hurdles with a time of 14.97 seconds (which ranks No. 4 in the state). She placed second in the 100 meters and the triple jump, and ran a leg on the third-place 4x100 relay team.

  • Cami Martin, Walla Walla. The Wa-Hi senior was in on four first-place finishes in the 3A girls meet. She won the long jump and triple jump events, and ran legs on the winning 4x100 and 4x200 relay races.

  • Adelyn Mitchell, Kamiakin. The senior picked up victories in the 4A girls 100 meters, ran legs on those outstanding 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams, and placed second in the 200.

  • Ashley Nielsen, Walla Walla. The Blue Devils senior won three gold medals in the 3A girls meet: the 100 and 200 meters, as well as the the 4x100 relay race. She also placed second in the 100 high hurdles. Her time in the hurdles event of 15.00 seconds ranks 10th best in the entire state.

  • Alex Roberts, Kennewick. The Lions’ speedy running back won the 3A boys’ 100 and 200 meters titles. The junior also helped Kennewick win the 4x100 relay event.

  • Jaysen Rodriguez, Hermiston: The Bulldogs junior ran away with 3A boys distance titles, winning the 800, 1600, and 3200 meter races.

  • Malia Ruud, Chiawana. The Riverhawks junior is not just a standout basketball player. She won both the discus and shot put events in the 4A girls meet.

  • Emaunii Sims, Kamiakin: Her leap of 5 feet, 6 inches, gave her the 4A girls high jump title. It also placed her tied for second in the state with her teammate, Herrin. Sims also finished third in the 100 meters.

  • Ezra Teeples, Kamiakin. A double winner in the 4A boys 1600 and 3200 events.

  • Justin Webber, Chiawana: The Riverhawks senior took in four 4A boys gold medals, winning the 100 meters, both hurdles, and he was part of the winning 4x100 relay team.

WA state soccer

Class 4A top seed Pasco scored a second-half goal and the defense pitched a shutout to eliminate No. 16 Tahoma 1-0 in the WIAA state tournament first round at Edgar Brown Stadium on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs will play either Friday or Saturday in the state quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, No. 5 seed Chiawana plays host to No. 12 Curtis at 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 15, in another 4A first-round state game.

In the 3A state tournament on Tuesday, No. 20 Hermiston saw its season end with a 3-0 lost at No. 13 Garfield in Seattle’s Municipal Stadium.

WA state baseball

Southridge, ranked 18th in the 3A state tournament, jumped out to an 11-0 lead after three innings and never looked back in beating No. 15 Capital of Olympia 12-4 on Tuesday.

The Suns will advance to the first-round of the tournament, playing No. 2 Lake Washington at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.

Also Tuesday, host DeSales routed Moses Lake Christian-Covenant Christian 24-3 in a 1B first-round state game.

The No. 5 seeded Irish advances to play No. 4 Crosspoint Academy in a quarterfinal game at Foss High School in Tacoma at 1 p.m. Saturday.

District softball

What Mick Hokanson and his staff have done this spring has been nothing short of impressive.

Hokanson is the head coach for Hanford, and the Falcons beat Chiawana 7-5 on Tuesday night to win the District 8 4A tournament championship.

Hokanson’s team boasts just two seniors and one junior, but he has four sophomores and seven freshmen on the roster.

Hanford now qualifies for the 4A state tournament, which will be played May 24-25 at Columbia Playfield in Richland.

Junior Ava Marmon led the way for Hanford on Tuesday with five runs batted in, including a grand slam.

The second 4A state berth will go to a Tri-City team. On Saturday at Chiawana High, Richland meets Kamiakin at 4 p.m. in a loser-out game. The winner will then take on Chiawana at 6 p.m. for the state berth.

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