Tri-City throwers win state titles

By Craig Craker, Tri-City Herald May 26, 2012 

TACOMA -- Hanford's Cody Quinton and Kennewick's Angelique Whistocken got a little help from their friends Friday.

The pair of track and field stars both cited their best friends as pushing them to perform their best, as both brought home state titles at Star Track XXX at Mt. Tahoma High School.

"I woke up this morning and my friend and I were just talking and just got my head in the game," Quinton said of pal Aaron Cunningham. "There was no doubt in my mind I'm going to be a champion."

Quinton won the Class 3A boys discus with a throw of 160 feet, 2 inches, beating out Auburn Mountainview's William Mack, who threw 155-8.

Whistocken, meanwhile, cited teammate Kim Harrod as having helped push her to a personal-best throw of 132-9 to win the Class 3A girls javelin.

"I just kept telling myself I needed to stay focused," Whistocken said. "And I kept hearing Kim saying, 'Throw it farther. Throw it farther.' "

Whistocken launched her winning throw on the opening throw of the finals, and surpassed Mt. Spokane's Gianna Damiano for the fourth time in head-to-head competition this season.

"Going into the finals I was really nervous because I was in third place," she said. "I kept thinking I had to go farther, but that one did it.

"It's awesome. I can't stop smiling."

Quinton was also all smiles, wearing his signature boat captain's hat and a string of white flowers.

"I didn't feel as comfortable as I wanted," he said, "but it was good enough to take first place.

"I just feel enlivened. My teammates and friends and family were cheering me on, and they were proud of me. I feel great."

Quinton's buddy Cunningham will get a shot at state gold today in the Class 3A boys shot put, while Harrod did not advance to state for the Lions.

Whistocken and Quinton led a strong showing by Mid-Columbians in the field events.

Prosser's Wade French took third in the Class 2A boys high jump, clearing 6-4. Sehome's Riley Fraser won the event at 6-6. French has only been competing in the high jump for one year, and cleared 6-6 earlier this season.

Sunnyside senior Miguel Guzman was third in the Class 3A javelin with a mark of 179-0.

Kamiakin junior Kyra Brannan took fifth in the Class 3A girls long jump, leaping 17-6.5. Juanita's Alanna Coker won at 19-0.5. Brannan will compete in the 4x100 and 4x200 finals today for the Braves.

In the Class 4A boys discus, Richland's Dennis Christensen was sixth at 160-4, while Prosser's Madison Moore tied for seventh in the Class 2A girls pole vault clearing 10-0 and Kennewick's Samantha Lester was sixth in the Class 3A discus with a throw of 116-5.

Notes: Curtis' Dakarai Hightower cleared 6-10 in the Class 4A high jump and made three attempts at 7-0, missing on all three. ... The meet was delayed about 40 minutes because of lightning, with three field events and six heats of the 200 left to complete.

* Craig Craker: 582-1509; ccraker@tricityherald.com

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