The 56th annual Pasco Invite had quite the local flair Saturday. The event opened with the Southridge boys winning the distance medley relay, and closed with the Hanford girls winning the mile relay as the sun set on Edgar Brown Stadium.
The meet featured 7-foot high jumpers, javelins flying nearly 200 feet, and Connell’s Ashton Riner winning the girls javelin for the second consecutive year.
The Tahoma girls took home the team title with 68 points, beating second-place Rocky Mountain by 29 points. The Hanford girls finished third — the best finish in school history.
Mt. Spokane won the boys team title with 45 points. Hanford and Chiawana tied for sixth with 26 points.
Tahoma’s Aliya Wilson was named the meet’s Outstanding Female Athlete, while thrower Grady Leonard of Coeur d’Alene was the boys winner. Hanford won the combined sportsmanship award.
Hanford’s Joe Gauthier became the first Mid-Columbia runner to win the 100 meters since Marques Avery of Pasco in 2010.
Gauthier held off Rodrick Fisher of East Valley to win the 100 title in 10.61 seconds, breaking Ben Kelly’s school record of 10.69.
“I did not expect to win,” Gauthier said of the 100. “The kid (Fisher) came in with a 10.64. Come race time, I had a good mentality.”
Fisher returned the favor in the 200, beating Gauthier with a time of 21.67. Gauthier ran a 21.82 as the two ran neck and neck most of the race.
“He got a step on me with about 20 meters to go,” Gauthier said. “It’s hard to match a big stride like that. It’s not a bad day. It was a lot of fun. I won’t get this kind of competition again until state.”
Gauthier also ran the anchor leg on the 4x100 relay team that was pushed out to to Lane 10, but finished second in a time of 43.30, about a half-second behind Curtis. Joining Gauthier on the relay team were Mateo Valadez, Beau Franklin and Alex Izquierdo.
“That was a good finish,” Gauthier said. “Good hand-offs all the way around.”
The Southridge boys distance medley relay team didn’t get off to a good start Saturday. Ethan Dorow ran the 1,200 to start the race, then handed off to Wade Yocom, who ran the 400. Antonio Garcilazo handled the 800, and the Suns were up to third place when anchor man James Chan took off to run the final 1,600.
Chan stuck with the main pack for the first three laps or so, then made his move with less than a lap to go.
“The blue guy (Bonney Lake) took off and I decide to stay with him,” Chan said. “I passed him the last 200. It was exhilarating.”
The Suns crossed the finish line in 10:48.01 and gave credit for their success to distance coach Andrew Gonzalez, a former Southridge standout.
“When he first came in, we knew who he was,” Yocom said. “When you see his name on the record board, he has your respect.”
The Hanford girls won the mile relay at the Pasco Invite for the first time. The Falcons, with the speed of Nyenuchi Okemgbo, Amanda Fraga, Rachel Schmidt and Lele Williams, turned in a time of 4:05.62, nearly a second faster than runner-up Selah.
Riner gave a boost to all the small-school throwers when she unleashed a personal best throw of 152 feet, 7 inches on her first throw, that held up to win the javelin.
It’s the first time a Connell athlete has won an event back-to-back at the Pasco Invite.
“Going in, I was nervous,” said Riner, who earlier in the week signed to throw at BYU. “I had adrenaline on that first throw.”
Her previous PR was 145-11, and her dad, Wayne, promised her a steak dinner and a stop at Dutch Bros. if she hit 150 feet. Dad was was true to his word.
“It’s been a great day,” Riner said.
The boys high jump saw Walla Walla’s Mitchell Jacobson, Jakobe’ Ford of Shadle Park and Tyler Cronk of Kentridge clear 6-10.
With the bar at 7 feet, Ford was the only man to clear it. He attempted to break the meet record of 7-2 1/2 set in 1985, putting the bar at 7-2 3/4. Ford failed to clear the height on three attempts, but it did not tarnish his performance.
“People usually are done at 6-4 when I come in,” said Ford, who has signed to compete at Texas Tech. “Guys like them make it fun.”
Jacobson, who equaled his personal best, was fortunate to compete at all after missing four days of school with an illness and losing five pounds.
“It’s hard to get competition in some of the meets to help you peak and do your best,” Jacobson said. “I wish I could see them more often. I wish I could have gotten 7 feet.”
It was the third Pasco Invite high jump title for Ford, who also won as a freshman and sophomore. He was second last year. Ford also won the long jump (23-8) and the triple jump (46-4).
Chiawana’s Germain Barnes picked up a win in the 110 hurdles (14.81), then finished third in the 300 hurdles.
“I was really nervous in the prelims,” Barnes said of the 110 event. “After I saw the 14.4 had time, I was pretty excited. This is like practice for state. So many schools and the competition is great. Now, I’m excited for state.”
Kamiakin’s Mirannda Shulman finished third in the 400 (58.97), while teammate Wyatt Musser was third in the boys discus (167-2) and sixth in the shot put (50-8 1/4). The Braves mile relay team picked up a third-place finish.
Just one-hundredth of a second separated College Place’s Kenneth Rooks and Kennewick Johan Correa in the 800 meters. Rooks finished fourth and Correa fifth in a race that saw Jack Ammon of Northwest Christian turn in a time of 1:56.81.
Rooks also was second in the Elite Mile with a time of 4:19.21, 2 second behind Lewiston’s Austin Byrer, who also won the 3,200 (9:17.69).
In the boys javelin, Moses lake’s Draven Nevarez ripped off a throw of 194-7. The throw was a bit off of his personal best, but good enough on a day where three guys threw more than 186 feet.
Kennewick’s Monica Kaylor cleared a personal best 5-3 in the girls high jump to finish second.
“I wasn’t even doing track at this point last season,” Kaylor said. “I was nervous. I literally was having bad dreams about it. I work up at 6 this morning and had the worst anxiety. It took me until the third try to clear 4-10. After I got 5 feet, I was more relaxed. I knew what I was doing.”
Teams scores (top 10): Mt.Spokane 45, Shadle Park 39, Rocky Mountain 37, Coeur d’Alene 28, Bonney lake 28, Mead 28, Hanford 26, Chiawana 26, Eastmont 25, Curtis 24. 100: Joe Gauthier (Hanford), 10.61; Rodrick Fisher (East Valley), 10.62; Izaiah Fields (Curtis), 10.79; 200: Rodrick Fisher (East Valley), 21.67; Joe Gauthier (Hanford), 21.82; Charles Johnson (Cheney), 22.14; 400: Cameron Ditter (Selah), 52.00; Mitchell Ward (St. George’s), 53.19; Seth Joyner (Curtis), 53.35; 800: Jack Ammon (NW Christian), 1:56.81; Anthony Ghiorso (Rocky Mountain), 1:57.52; Brock O’Neal (Kentridge), 1:57.73; 1,600: Jonas Price (Eisenhower), 4:24.08; Thomas Weakland (Asotin), 4:25.89; George Cretu (Redmond), 4:26.17; 3,200: Austin Byrer (Lewiston), 9:17.69; Tibebu Proctor (Northwest), 9:18.52; Silas Griffith (Ridgefield), 9:23; Elite Mile: Austin Byrer (Lewiston), 4:17.14; Kenneth Rooks (College Place), 4:19.21; Evan Thieme (Rocky Mountain), 4:19.90; 110H: Germain Barnes (Chiawana), 14.81; Cody Miller (Bonney Lake), 14.82; Jalen Ford (Bothell), 15.22; 300H: Cass Elliott (West Seattle), 38.27; Joseph Heitman (Mead), 39.21; Germain Barnes (Chiawana), 39.39; 4x100 relay: Curtis (Marlon Jones, Sabian Bryant, Taj Moffett, Izaiah Fields), 42.61; Hanford (Mateo Valadez, Beau Franklin, Alex Izquierdo, Joe Gauthier), 43.30; Cheney, 43.39; 4x400 relay: Eastmont (Stephen Lawless, Drew Whited, Quintin Porterfield, Jake Ulrich), 3:27; Mt. Spokane, 3:27.53; Kamiakin (Benson Smith, Cameron Gutierrez, Jonah Franco, Braxton Gutierrez), 3:28.76; Distance medley relay: Southridge (Ethan Dorow, Wade Yocom, Antonio Garcilazo, James Chan), 10:48.01; Rocky Mountain, 10:49.61; Bonney Lake, 10:50.50. Shot: Grady Leonard (Coeur d’Alene), 63-0; Dillon Lionello (Mt. Spokane), 61-2 1/2; Caleb Davis (Bonney Lake), 55-6; Discus: Dillon Lionello (Mt. Spokane), 171-8; Grady Leonard (Coeur d’Alene), 169-9; Wyatt Musser (Kamiakin), 167-2; Jav: Draven Nevarez (Moses Lake), 194-7; Josh Farr (Mead), 191-10; Gabriel Green (Arlington), 186-4; HJ: Jakobe’ Ford (Shadle Park) 7-0; Tyler Cronk (Kentridge), 6-10; Mitchell Jacobson (Walla Walla), 6-10; PV: Cade Neumann (Mt. Spokane), 15-0; Braydon Maier (Selah), 14-6; Clay Somes (Ferris), 14-6; Joe Gale (Southridge), 14-6; LJ: Jakobe’ Ford (Shadle Park), 23-8 1/4; Cody Allen (West Valley), 22-10; Taj Moffett (Curtis), 22-8 3/4; TJ: Jakobe’ Ford (Shadle Park), 46-4 3/4; Bobby Say (Tahoma), 45-4 1/2; Spencer Barrera (Mt. Spokane), 44-11 1/4.
Teams scores (top 10): Tahoma 68, Rocky Mountain 39, Hanford 37, Emerald Ridge 35, Lewis and Clark 35, Curtis 31, Cheney 29, Lake Stevens 26, Mt. Spokane 25, Fife 23. 100: Aliya Wilson (Tahoma), 11.91; Lexi Rolan (Medical Lake), 12.20; Olivia Ribera (Tahoma), 12.28; 200: Aliya Wilson (Tahoma), 25.14; Lexi Rolan (Medical Lake), 25.35; Alsatta Bakana (Cheney), 25.46; 400: Abby Garlock (Curtis), 57.77, Alsatta Bakana (Cheney), 58.65; Mirannda Shulman (Kamiakin), 58.97; 800: Taylor Roe (Lake Stevens), 2:14.45; Emma Sjolund (Sumner), 2:18.76; Brooke Hansen (Southridge), 2:21.30; 1,600: Payton Fratusco (Rocky Mountain), 5:06.66; Rebecca Lehman (University), 5:10.73; McKinzi Teeples (Kamiakin), 5:18.16; 3,200: Annika Reiss (Bellingham), 10:56.67; Lizzy Shaw (Riverside), 11:02.60; Macenna Hansen (Northwest), 11:18.33; Elite Mile: Katie Thronson (Lewis&Clark), 5:03.31; Erinn Hill (North Central), 5:05.80; Faith Dilmore (Rocky Mountain), 5:07.08; 100H: Zella Conley (Mead), 14.49; Nyenuchi Okemgbo (Hanford), 14.70; Saudia Heard (Curtis), 14.01; 300H: Karlee Stueckle (Emerald Ridge), 44.0; Jessica Linde (Sunnyside), 45.33; Lele Williams (Hanford), 45.33; 4x100 relay: Eastmont (Vanessa Valdez, Dani Taylor, Emma Simpson, Kalea Bokma), 50.76; White River, 50.86; West Valley (Yakima), 51.34; 4x400 relay: Hanford (Nyenuchi Okemgbo, Amanda Fraga, Rachel Schmidt, Lele Williams), 4:05.62; Selah, 4:06.53; Emerald Ridge, 4:06.70; Distance medley relay: Lake Stevens (Tiffany Roe, Miah Allison, Rory Flinn, Taylor Roe), 12:31.40; Northwest, 12:44.99; Rocky Mountain, 12:48.05; Shot: Jordan Spradlin (Montesano), 43-6 1/2; Ginny Mehl (Tahoma), 42-0; Emily Hernandez (Lake City), 39-9 1/4; Discus: Delaney Warren (Mt. Spokane); 130-10; Jocie Osika (Lake city), 130-10; Elly Johnson (Moses Lake), 126-5; Jav: Ashton Riner (Connell), 152-7; Rylie Pease (Cheney), 138-3; Kendra Bottenberg (WF West), 134-7; HJ: Katie Rhodes (Mt. Spokane), 5-4; Monica Kaylor (Kennewick), 5-3; Madi VonBrethorst (Ferris), 5-3; PV: Chloe Cunliffe (West Seattle), 12-9; Makenna Barton (Woodinville), 11-6; Paige Dallmann (Rocky Mountain), 11-6; LJ: Anna Rodgers (Lewis&Clark), 18-2 1/2; Audrey Fernandez (Emerald Ridge), 18-0 3/4; Alisha Wilson (Tahoma), 17-9; TJ: Lexi Ellis (Curtis), 41-2; Alisha Wilson (Tahoma), 39-4 1/4; Audrey Fernandez (Emerald Ridge), 39-2 1/4.