Richland pair wins track titles

May 20, 2012 

It’s taken awhile for Richland’s Joey Payne to hit his stride this season in the javelin.

But now that he has, watch out.

Payne threw a personal best 191 feet, 7 inches Saturday to win the event at the Class 4A/3A Eastern Washington Regional Track and Field Championships at Fran Rish Stadium in Richland.

“It’s just getting back into the swing of things and finally fixing some slight details,” he said. “I just started to build off of that.”

He opened the season throwing in the 160s, before getting to his old best of 172.

He then was consistently in the 180s before launching his big throw Saturday.

“I’m just feeling really, really loose,” he said. “It just popped right out of my hand.”

Payne helped lead the Bombers to sixth place in the team standings.

He was joined on the winner’s stand by teammate Dennis Christensen, who won the shot put with a mark of 57-8.

w The fastest man in Washington: Wenatchee’s Isaiah Brandt-Sims is the fasted 4A runner in the state, winning both showdowns with Mead’s Wes Bailey.

Brandt-Sims won the 100 meters in 10.7 and the 200 in 21.24.

Bailey was second in both at 11.06 and 21.42.

w The Gold Medal goes to: Chiawana’s Sadie Sparks earned a pair of first-place finishes, winning the 100 and 300 meter hurdles. Sparks is the defending state champion in the 100 hurdles and looked in peak form Saturday.

“I’m happy I was able to get first in both of them,” she said. “I’m ready to go out this way as a senior. I’m excited.”

Sparks won the 100s in 15.16 and the 300s in 44.77.

Chiawana’s Sarah Pierce won the triple jump, leaping 36-11.

On the Class 4A boys side, Walla Walla’s Blake Gerling had a big day.

Gerling won the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and anchored the 4x400 relay to second place.

In Class 3A boys, Kamiakin’s Corey McLean won the 100 in 11.1 seconds, while Anthony Armstrong was second in the 1600 in 4:12.23. Sunnyside’s Eric Lee Amaro won the javelin at 167-5, while teammate Miguel Guzman was second at 164-10.

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