Track and field: Hanford's Collett, Kamiakin's Heiden run off with All-Area MVP honors

June 14, 2012 

It was a banner year for track and field athletes from the Tri-Cities.

From dominating the Class 4A/3A Eastern Washington Regional Track and Field Championships to winning more than their share of gold medals at Star Track XXX, it was a year of winning.

Two of those athletes who won nearly every meet they entered were Hanford’s Joe Collett and Kamiakin’s Ellie Heiden.

For their excellence throughout the season, they are the Herald’s All-Area Track and Field Athletes of the Year.

Heiden became the first Kamiakin female to win four gold medals at the state meet, while Collett won two state titles and qualified in four events.

“It was just a bunch of hard work,” Collett said. “I had a bunch of people pushing me and a bunch of people wanting me to do good. It was great, and everything fell into place like it was supposed to happen.”

Collett won Class 3A state titles in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. He took seventh in the 400-meter run and didn’t get out of the preliminaries in the 4x400 relay. He also won regional titles in the three individual events, as well as the Pasco Invite title in the 110s.

“It really hasn’t set in,” the senior said. “I’m really happy. I’ve been upbeat ever since.”

Led by Collett, Cody Quinton and Aaron Cunningham, the Falcons won the Class 3A regional title. The Kamiakin girls, led by Heiden, won the Class 3A girls state, regional and district titles.

Because of those accomplishments, Hanford’s Darren Crow and Kamiakin’s Cheryl Schauble are the Herald’s Coaches of the Year.

“It is a big deal,” Crow said of the regional title. “Our kids all year, when we asked them to step up, they did exactly what we needed to win. I’m just really proud of the kids. They did exactly what I asked them to do.”

For Kamiakin and Heiden, it was a record-setting year.

Heiden rarely was challenged. The sophomore lost one race she entered this season, taking third in the 200 at the Lake Washington Invitational.

“I think it has set in with everyone who has come up and talked to me and congratulated me,” she said of the whirlwind since state. “I wish I could show my appreciation to them more than just a ‘thank you’ -- how much I appreciate people taking time out of my day to congratulate me.”

They likely will continue to congratulate her for years to come, based on the start to her high school track career. She won titles in the 200, 400, 4x100 and 4x200 this season in Tacoma.

“She’s not daunting,” Schauble said. “She walks on the field and the track, and people are surprised at how she appears. So tiny. Maybe 100 pounds at best, and then just takes command of the field.

“It was fun to watch the kids who hadn’t seen her from the west side, the funny expressions on their face.”

Heiden definitely runs bigger than her size, though, and that is a credit to the hours she pours in during practice.

“I think it has to be contributed to my coaches and my teammates,” she said. “Those practices where you don’t want to run hard or take that shot as hard as you can, those people you are with are the ones who push you and push you.

“When you get pushed in practice, you perform better, and you want to perform better for them.”

Something Heiden and her teammates did throughout the season.

• Craig Craker: 582-1509;



Coach: Darren Crow, Hanford

Athlete: Joe Collett, Hanford

First team

100: Corey McLean, Kamiakin

200: Stuart Gillin, Walla Walla

400: James Thompkins, Waitsburg-Prescott

800: Noel Hathaway, Hanford

1,600: Ben Wolpert, Walla Walla

3,200: Anthony Armstrong, Kamiakin

110 hurdles: Joe Collett, Hanford

300 hurdles: Blake Gerling, Walla Walla

Shot put: Dennis Christensen, Richland

Discus: Cody Quinton, Hanford

Javelin: Matt Hadley, Connell

High jump: Wade French, Prosser

Pole vault: Joshua Gibson, Pasco

Long jump: Jonah Hoe, Walla Walla

Triple jump: Eduardo Salmeron, Sunnyside

Second team

100: Tyler Perrins, Kamiakin

200: Joshua Richards, Southridge

400: Clay Gonzales, Southridge

800: Greggory Heller, Walla Walla

1,600: JP Wolpert, Walla Walla

3,200: Keegan McCormick, Kamiakin

110 hurdles: Kyle Jameson, Walla Walla

300 hurdles: Nick Wales, DeSales

Shot put: Aaron Cunningham, Hanford

Discus: Scott Mayfield, Richland

Javelin: Joey Payne, Richland

High jump: Austin Sparks, Chiawana

Pole vault: Arturo Gonzalez, Kamiakin

Long jump: Chris Haueter, Southridge

Triple jump: Rafa Mendoza, Wahluke

Best of the rest

100: Herman Herrera, Grandview

200: Ben Kelly, Hanford

400: Reyes Cuevas, Sunnyside

800: Joseph Schuldheisz, Kennewick

1,600: Austin Oser, Kamiakin

3,200: Ahmed Ibrahim, Kamiakin

110 hurdles: Dennzell Mickelson, Richland

300 hurdles: Bodie Simpson, Kennewick

Shot put: Tyson Brook, Connell

Discus: Luke Bare, Kamiakin

Javelin: Miguel Guzman, Sunnyside

High jump: Parker Floyd, Southridge

Pole vault: Dan Miller, Hanford

Long jump: Payton Radliff, Richland

Triple jump: Riley Haringa, Prosser



Coach: Cheryl Schauble, Kamiakin

Athlete: Ellie Heiden, Kamiakin

First team

100: Khadidja Toure, Kamiakin

200: Kyra Brannan, Kamiakin

400: Ellie Heiden, Kamiakin

800: Lauren Perry, Richland

1,600: Megan Beauchene, Kamiakin

3,200: Lindsey Bradley, Richland

100 hurdles: Michelle Snider, Southridge

300 hurdles: Sadie Sparks, Chiawana

Shot put: Kimberly Brinkworth, Southridge

Discus: Samantha Lester, Kennewick

Javelin: Angelique Whistocken, Kennewick

High jump: Melissa Merrill, Hanford

Pole vault: Elizabeth Quick, Richland

Long jump: Katelyn Peterson, Wahluke

Triple jump: Sarah Pierce, Chiawana

Second team

100: Marlee Rees, Prosser

200: Alyssa Powell, Richland

400: Amy Pfaff, Hanford

800: Rachel Nelson, Walla Walla

1,600: Michelle Fletcher, Kamiakin

3,200: Stephanie Rexus, Kamiakin

100 hurdles: Charlene Manning, Richland

300 hurdles: Ashley Cornia, Walla Walla

Shot put: Gabby Hinojosa, Southridge

Discus: Sira Toure, Kamiakin

Javelin: Madeline Jacobson, Walla Walla

High jump: Andrea Stapleton, Kamiakin

Pole vault: Danielle Brandon, Kamiakin

Long jump: Allison Wujek, DeSales

Triple jump: Danielle Loving, Chiawana

Best of the rest

100: Kylie Fraga, Southridge

200: Marisa Broersma, Sunnyside

400: Kolby Childers, Prosser

800: Emily Moon, Kamiakin

1,600: Sydney Blaser, Kamiakin

3,200: Sidney Bullock, Richland

100 hurdles: Shelby Covert, Hanford

300 hurdles: Madison Moore, Prosser

Shot put: Jen Wood, Kennewick

Discus: Kendall Watts, Kiona-Benton

Javelin: Kennidi Whitby, Connell

High jump: Rashae Spencer, Connell

Pole vault: Danielle Freund, Southridge

Long jump: Kylie Fraga, Southridge

Triple jump: Madison Powers, Chiawana

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