Richland Highs Lindsey Bradley expected to compete against a strong field Saturday in the 3,200, but she certainly didnt expect to win the event going away.
Bradley ran a personal best time of 11:07.83 to win by 16 seconds over Lewis & Clarks Gracie Ledwith.
I surprised myself, she said. Im really happy with it.
Bradley advanced to state in the 1,600 and 3,200 last season, only to miss the meet in Tacoma because of a stress fracture in her foot. It was something that happened during the district meet and got progressively worse.
It took about eight or nine weeks to heal, she said. I couldnt run, just walk. It was super tough on me. Not a very happy place in my life.
She worked through the injury by biking, doing gym workouts and swimming.
The injury healed in time for her to run cross country and qualify for the state meet last fall. But then disaster struck again as she came down with the flu the day before the meet, all but ending her chances of a title.
I havent had a lucky state meet yet, she said. Hopefully this track season will be a breakthrough for me.
If she keeps running like she did Saturday, it certainly seems so.
WHOLL STOP THE RAIN: For more than a year, Richlands Elizabeth Quick figured she didnt want to go to the University of Washington because she wasnt so sure about the weather on the West Side.
On Wednesday, she finally decided that Seattle might be a pretty good place to live and signed with the Huskies to compete in track and field.
Shes hoping with that decision being put to rest, she can get back to clearing big heights in the pole vault.
While she didnt go as high as she had hoped at the Invite on Saturday, she still cleared her best height of the season at 12-0 to finish second.
I dont have to worry as much at every meet about having to do great to get offers, she said. Now I just want to jump high so when I go into freshman year, Im ready to go.
She also hopes to set the state record before the year is out, and clear 13 feet. She will compete at the Oregon Relays next weekend in Eugene, which is the site of her personal record of 12-4.
HOW MANY JUMPS DOES IT TAKE? Columbia (Burbank)s Harley McBride certainly got her fill of the Pasco Invite.
The senior, who signed with Eastern Oregon earlier this week, made a whopping 21 attempts at the high jump. Despite all of that, she had to settle for second place behind Lakeland (Idaho)s Jordan Ward after a six-jump jumpoff.
Id never been in one, so it was kind of cool, McBride said. You get really tired, though.
The jumpoff starts at an inch higher than the pair had previously completed. If both missed, it went down an inch. If both cleared the height, it went up an inch. Back and forth they went, until one missed and the other made it at the same height.
McBride competed at the Invite the last two seasons, finishing ninth as a junior, so she was more than thrilled with her second-place finish. She also cleared 5-6 for just the second time in her career, and is hoping to reach 5-10 before the season is out.
HOW LOW CAN HE GO?: Wenatchees Isaiah Brandt-Sims ran the third fastest 100-meter race in state history in the preliminaries.
Brandt-Sims ran a time of 10.48 seconds, which puts him behind only Ellensburgs JaWarren Hooker (10.27) and Universitys Anthony Buchanan (10.43) on the all-time list.
Im really happy, he said. Last week I had a couple of days off during spring break and it helped me peak this week. Im hoping I can do even better.
The time is the fastest ever by a junior in the state, giving Brandt-Sims the fastest times in state history as a freshman, sophomore and now junior.
He wasnt done there, though, winning the 200 and anchoring the 4x400 relay to victory as well. His squad took third in the 4x100. For all of it, he won the Male Outstanding Athlete of the Meet.
In the 4x100, he received the baton in fifth place and nearly brought the Panthers all the way back for the title, but just couldnt quite make up the ground.
Me and the guy in Lane 10 kind of hit each other a bit and it slowed me down, he said. I just went as hard as I could.
Which could be said for all of his events.
WELCOME BACK: West Valleys Lindsay Burns was back on a track for the first time in nearly two years.
The speedster tore her ACL playing basketball for the Rams during her junior season, causing her to miss all of last track season.
She returned to play soccer in the fall, but skipped basketball season to avoid a repeat injury. It took her until this point of the season to return to the track because of travel with her club soccer team.
Im really glad to be back, she said. It was hard missing all of last year. Im excited to finish off my senior year (in track).
Burns, who ran in the 4x400 relay, has signed to play soccer at Baylor University in Texas.
QUICK HEALER: Wenatchees Cody OConnell tore his ACL in October. Just six months later, the 6-foot-9, 350-pound behemoth won the boys shot put title.
Using a step and throw motion, the Washington State football signee launched a toss of 58-4.75 to bring home the crown, setting a school record in the process.