TACOMA Walla Wallas Blake Gerling had been dreaming of this moment nearly since elementary school.
The senior came to the state meet to watch his brother run in the hurdles years before, and Saturday Gerling fulfilled his goal of bringing home a state title.
It was a relief knowing that I won, he said. For the rest of my life I get to look back on this; I didnt take second or third, I got first.
Gerling won his title in the Class 4A 300-meter hurdles in 37.99 seconds at Mt. Tahoma High.
Blakes older brother Garrett now runs the hurdles for Washington State, and while Garrett still holds the better time in the 300 hurdles at 39.77, its Blake that got the gold medal.
I always wanted to make state, Blake Gerling said. Its amazing. When I got over the third to last hurdle, I saw them drift away and I knew I had it.
Gerling wasnt the only Mid-Columbian to take home gold in the 300s, as Hanfords Joe Collett finished off a strong season with gold in the Class 3A race.
I knew I only had two races today and had nothing to hold back, Collett said of the 300s and his 400 meters race. Thought Id end my career with a good hurdles race.
Collett set the school record in the event, finishing in 38.0 and easily holding off Timberlines Rashon Smith, who nearly beat him in the 110 hurdles Friday.
I knew he would be close, Collett said. I felt like someone was coming up on me, so I just had to run faster.
Chiawanas Sadie Sparks wasnt quite as lucky as Collett or Gerling. She came up just short in her attempt at a second state title, finishing second in the Class 4A 300 hurdles in 44.88 seconds.
Richlands Elizabeth Quick finally got her state title.
A year after she was disappointed in her second-place finish, the junior cleared 12-3 to take home the Class 4A pole vault title.
My coach said my run has been the best its been, she said. And I wanted it. I was very determined. I was just very relieved.
After clearing 12-3, which is just an inch off her personal best, she went after the meet record at 12-7 but came up short.
This summers goal is 13 feet, she said. I just need to work on being more efficient at the top of my vault.
End of an era
It wasnt how Kamiakins Anthony Armstrong wanted to go out, but he still nearly ran a personal best time.
The senior wrapped up his distance racing career with a fifth-place finish in the Class 3A 1,600 in a time of 4:12.57. It was the race of the day, as four of the top 17 times in the country were involved and it didnt disappoint.
Lakes Izaic Yorks and Shadle Parks Nathan Weitz dueled until the end, when Yorks won in a meet record time of 4:04.77.
But for Armstrong it wasnt the finish he wanted.
I know if I wouldnt have gotten sick it wouldve been a lot different, he said of his battle with allergies. To almost PR and not be 100 percent, Im gonna try and think of that when Im feeling down. Fast times
Records started falling from the opening gun of the day.
The Class 2A 4x200-meter relay had a new record in the first race of the meet, as Sehome finished in 1:41.7. A couple of races later, Lakes Yorks broke a 15-year-old record in the Class 3A boys 800, finishing in 1:50.56. Wenatchees Nick Boersma then broke the Class 4A record in the event in 1:49.87. And not to be out done, Glacier Peaks Amy-Eloise Neale overcame a tight hamstring to set the Class 3A record in 2:10.32 breaking a 30-year-old mark.
In the Class 2A boys 1,600, the top six finishers broke the record. White Rivers Marcus Dickson won in 4:10.79. Other records that were set included: Juanitas Alanna Coker in the Class 3A triple jump (40-1.75), Tumwaters Andrew Brown in the Class 2A 400 (48.35), the Bellingham girls in the Class 2A 4x100 (48.33) and Columbia Rivers Jennifer DeBillis in the Class 3A pole vault (12-6). Buried under all that gold
Blaines Cherish Morrison wrapped up an astounding career, winning four medals in the 100, 200, 400 and the 4x400 relay.
She finishes with 14 medals for her career, including 11 individually and three relays. She also broke her own meet record in 56.09 in the Class 2A 400. Fastest man
The fastest runner in the state of Washington still belongs to ODea junior Tatum Taylor, after he won the Class 3A 100-meter dash in 10.68 seconds.
Wenatchee sophomore Isaiah Brandt-Sims won the Class 4A event in 10.82 seconds, hanging on against a tough effort from Gig Harbors Justin Browne who finished in 10.92. Meads Wes Bailey was third at 11.03.
Brandt-Sims also won the 200 in 21.74, setting him up to become the first in Class 4A or 3A boys history to win the 100 or 200 four years in a row. Fastest woman
Curtis Kennadi Bouyer won the Class 4A 100 and 200 to claim the title of the girls sprint races. Bouyer won the 100 in 12.1 and the 200 in 24.95. And the team titles go to: Curtis (Class 4A) and North Kitsap (Class 2A) won the girls team titles, joining Kamiakin on top.
On the boys side, Gig Harbor (Class 4A), Bellevue (Class 3A) and Ephrata (Class 2A) won titles.