Lane 6. Bring it on.
Hanford’s Joe Gauthier drew the lane for the the finals in the 4A 100 and 200 meters, but it didn’t seem to affect the senior sprinter.
Gauthier bettered his own school record in winning the 100, and broke the school record in the 200 with his second-place finish Saturday at the 2A/3A/4A state championships at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
“I was feeling really good today,” Gauthier said. “I knew who I was running for.”
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Gauthier, who dedicated his season to his late friend Gavin Slack, who died in January 2016, turned in a time of 10.46 seconds in the 100 and a blistering 21.43 in the 200, breaking Ben Kelly’s 2014 school record of 20.50.
“I didn’t know I was going to run that fast,” Gauthier said of his 100 time, which eclipsed his school record of 10.61. “I’m excited, that is the fastest I have ever run. I ran relaxed. I got in the blocks, wiped my arm (over a memorial tattoo for Slack), and said ‘let’s go.’ I couldn’t stop smiling. I hope he is up there smiling.”
Gauthier put an exclamation point on his sensational senior season with his performance in the 200.
“I had a good start,” he said of the race. “Then I just died. I need more cardio. I’m pretty happy with my season.”
The only other gold medal handed out to a Mid-Columbia athlete went to Prosser freshman Oliver Davis, who flew 6 feet, 5 inches over the high jump bar to win the 2A title.
“I was just hoping to be on the podium,” Davis said. “I wasn’t expecting this. That was a PR by 3 inches.”
Scott Blakney added to the Mustangs’ haul with a fourth-place finish in the discus (154-3), and Skylar Gray was fifth in the 400 with a PR of 50.75.
“I didn’t even think I’d make the prelims and I was on the podium,” Gray said. “I had a blast. I was a cool experience.”
Davis and Bellingham’s Iyan Manju both cleared 6-4, and while Davis cleared 6-5 on his second leap, Manju failed to clear the bar. Davis then went to 6-6 1/4, but missed on all three attempts.
Johan Correa gave the Kennewick Lions something to cheer about. He clocked a 1:54.73 in placing second in the 3A 800 meters, bettering his own school record.
Correa led the race after the first lap, and the 150 yards of the second, but that’s when Shorewood’s Devan Kirk caught up to the lanky sophomore.
Kirk took the lead for good on the last turn and won his second consecutive state title in 1:53.59.
“I’m happy with how I ran,” Correa said. “That was my first time running against (Kirk). I wanted to get 1:53, but I didn’t get that. I was just trying to push as hard as I could, but he kept going.”
Correa also ran a leg on the Lion’s 4x400 relay team that finished sixth in a time of 3:26.09.
The Kamiakin girls hauled in a few medals Saturday, starting with the 4x200 relay team that finished second in a season-best 1:43.21. Garfield won in a blazing 1:40.53.
“It was weird to see them out there,” Kamiakin senior Mirannda Shulman said of Garfield. “They weren’t here the last couple of years.”
Izzy Conover started the relay, then handed off to Britney Donais. Donais gave the baton to Katie Petsch, and Shulman ran the anchor leg.
“It’s my senior year and I wanted to come out here and do the best we could,” said Shulman, the lone senior among the three sophomores.
Shulman also finished third in the 400, posting a PR of 57.93. Kennewick’s Geraldin Correa-Cambino was eighth (1:00.15).
The Braves also got a second-place finish from Allison Stapleton in the long jump (17-9 3/4), which matched her triple jump medal from Friday.
Donais added a seventh place in the 3A 300 hurdles (47.75), freshman Olivia Mancinelli was eighth in the pole vault (10-6), and the 4x100 relay (same team as the 4x200) was eighth (57.99).
For the Kamiakin boys, Ryan Child finish fifth in the 3,200, clocking a 9:30.16 under the searing sun.
“It was really cool,” Child said of the race. “It was so amazing. I was surprised to get here, and then I’m on the podium. I think the heat put me at an advantage, but it still sucked.”
The Hanford girls also had a strong showing Saturday as hurdlers Lele Williams and Nyenuchi Okemgbo went head-to-head in side-by-side lanes in the 4A 300 hurdles.
Williams, in Lane 6, finished second in a time of 44.22, bettering her own school record. Okemgbo, running in Lane 5, was third in 44.26, which was a PR for the sophomore.
“I can’t let her beat me,” Williams said of her teammate. “I was trying to run under 44 and I was almost there. I stuttered on the last three hurdles and one on the corner. We did very well today. I’ve never seen half of these girls before, but they push me to be better.”
Williams and Okemgbo also ran on the 4x400 relay team that finished eighth.
The Falcons also got a fifth-place finish by Kara Shibley in the shot put with a mark of 39-4 3/4. It was her third consecutive year on the podium in the event.
Chiawana’s Germain Barnes, who had a little tough luck Friday, placed second in the 4A 300 hurdles in a personal best time of 37.78, bettering his own school record.
“I wanted to win it — I gave it everything I had,” he said. “I got a PR and I’m happy with that. I stuttered on the last three hurdles, but I was going so fast and I didn’t have the energy to take bigger steps to correct it. I never thought I’d go 37. My coach kept telling me I could. I thought he was talking nonsense.”
Also placing for Chiawana was Dominic Lee in the long jump, going 21-10 to place seventh.
The Richland boys saw Williams Harshaw-McDonald pick up a third-place medal in the 4A pole vault with a height of 14-6, and Jax Lee placed eighth in the javelin with a mark of 179-8. The top three throwers in the event threw over 200 feet.
Southridge’s Brooke Hansen ran to an eighth-place finish in the 3A 800 (2:24.06), and Othello’s Brissia Valenciano was seventh in the 2A 300 hurdles in a time of 48 seconds.
Trail of tears
The Hanford boys 4x100 relay team and the Richland boys 4x400 relay team were disqualified form their events for different infractions.
It was deemed the Falcons surpassed the hand-off lane on the last exchange, while the Bombers were flagged for leaving their lane on a corner.
Hanford would have placed sixth in their event, while Richland ran a sterling 3:22.35 — a PR for the season and a time that would have put them on the top 10 list on the school record board.