SPOKANE The Walla Walla boys sprint relay was confident it could qualify for state if they could only secure those pesky handoffs.
The Blue Devils entered Fridays Class 4A/3A Eastern Washington Regional Track and Field Championships as the top seed and they more than lived up to it.
Walla Walla got the baton around in 42.37 seconds to win the 4x100-meter relay title, earn a state berth and shatter the school record by more than a half second.
Weve had really bad handoffs all year, Stuart Gillin said. The speed has been there, just not the technique.
Robert Miller started the race, passed it off to Gillin, who gave it to Darnell Handcox and then Ethan Gardner took it home.
Its the first time any of the four except Gillin has advanced to state, and Gillin only went as an alternate on a 4x400 relay last year.
Its great to be able to represent our city, Gillin said. And getting your name on the school record boards is pretty great as well.
Gardner, a sophomore, is competing in track for the first time, but he didnt look fazed by the regional meet one bit.
It was definitely worth it, he said about doing track. This is the best team experience I could have.
The top two in each event advance to the state meet next weekend in Tacoma.
Joining the Walla Walla pair with wins, was Hanfords Aaron Cunningham in the discus.
He came in as the top seed and lived up to the billing.
Ive improved a lot since last season, he said. I can probably get 160s or 170. It is just a little more practice on a few little things.
On Friday, Cunningham won the title with a throw of 154-1, which is a foot under his personal best. Sunnysides EricLee Amaro was second in the event at 150-9 to earn the other state berth.
The Falcons are leading the points race with 37.4 points, while North Central of Spokane is second at 34.
Hanford also had a pair of second places, as its 4x100 relay set a school record in 43.15. Anchor Ben Kelly held off a pair of charging athletes to send his squad to state, while Ryan Young qualified in the long jump going 21-3.
Kamiakins Ryan Bergman got through in the pole vault, clearing 13-0, Richlands Payton Radliff in the long jump going 22-2.5 and Pascos Zach Kreider in the discus at 161-10.
Kreider has never been to state in any sport.
Its overwhelming, he said. Ive never had this experience.
Class 4A/3A Eastern Washington Regional Track and Field Championships
Friday-Saturday at Spokane Falls Community College
Top 2 advance to state; *-denotes advance to state by qualifying standard
Team scores: 1. Mead, 50.5; 2. Richland, 27; 3. Walla Walla, 26.5; 4. Ferris, 24; 5. Central Valley, 21.5; 6. Lewis & Clark, 16; 7. Gonzaga Prep, 11; 8. Pasco, 8; 9. Chiawana, 4.5.
3,2001. Andrew Gardner, Mead, 9:07.87; 2 Summer Goodwin, Lewis & Clark, 9:10.64; 3. Michael Williams, Richland, 9:14.82; 4. Sean Newcomb, WW, 9:18.59. 4x100 relay1. Walla Walla, 42.37; 2. Lewis & Clark, 42.7; 4. Richland, 43.5. PV1. Blase' Neumann, Mead, 14-6; 2. Peter Sirmon, WW, 14-0; 5. Nathan McBride, Chiawana, 13-0; 7. Garrett Kenny, WW, 12-6. LJ1. Jack Barnis, Gonzaga Prep, 22-4; 2. Payton Radliff, Richland, 22-2.5; 7. Sky Mitchell, Richland, 20-6.5; 8. Austin Sparks, Chiawana, 20-2.25. Discus1. Damon Unland, Ferris, 176-1; 2. Zach Kreider, Pasco, 161-10; 3. Tyler Jackson, Richland, 155-9; 6. Logan Reardon, WW, 147-9
Team scores: 1. Hanford, 37.4; 2. North Central, 34; 3. Mt. Spokane, 30.5; 4. Shadle Park, 24.5; 5. Kamiakin, 20; 6. University, 16.2; 7. Sunnyside, 13; 8. Kennewick, 8; 9. Southridge, 6.4; 10. Rogers, 4.
3,2001. Tanner Anderson, NC, 9:01.79; 2. John Dressel, Mt. Spokane, 9:06.19; 4. Garrett Kraal, Kamiakin, 9:21.19; 7. Jeevan Philip, Hanford, 9:40.81; 8. Andrew Snyder, Kamiakin, 9;43.27. 4x100-1. North Central, 43.04; 2. Hanford, 43.15; 4. Kamiakin, 43.34; 6. Southridge, 43.98; 7. Sunnyside, 44.88. PV1. Daniel Martin, University, 13-0; 2. Ryan Bergman, Kamiakin, 13-0; 6. Erik Rotness, Southridge, 11-6; and Cody Brooks, Hanford, 11-6; and Jose Mata, Southridge, 11-6; and Galen Forrest, Hanford, 11-6. LJ1. Brandon Gleese, Shadle Park, 21-4.75; 2. Ryan Young, Hanford, 21-3; 3. Jeremiah Sprague, Kennewick, 21-0.25; 6. Eduardo Salmeron, Sunnyside, 19-10; 7. Jordan Reyes, Hanford, 19-7.5; 8. Parker Floyd, Southridge, 19-4. Discus1. Aaron Cunningham, Hanford, 154-1; 2. EricLee Amaro, Sunnyside, 150-9; 4. Dallon Grinder, Hanford, 141-5; 7. Lee Walton, Kennewick, 132-5.