It was redemption Saturday for a pair of Mid-Columbia hurdlers at the 51st annual Pasco Invite.
Walla Walla's Blake Gerling and Hanford's Joe Collett were both smiling for different reasons after their races Saturday.
Gerling won the 300-meter hurdles race in 38.75 seconds, more than making up for his Pasco Invite experience in 2011.
The Blue Devils senior tripped on the second hurdle last season and tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the process, ending his track season prematurely.
So, Saturday when he hit the corner for the straightaway and found himself trailing, he decided to do something about it.
"Right on the corner I saw Andrey (Zadneprovkiy) and Collett in front of me," he said. "I wasn't going to let this one slip. I went over the wall, and every muscle was working."
The win also keeps a family tradition of sorts going for Gerling. His older brother, Garrett, won the 110 hurdles in 2010 at the Invite and took second in the 300s.
Blake Gerling took fourth in the 110s, but he was still pleased with his day.
"I was trying to keep up with my older brother," he said. "I wanted a 38.5, but whatever comes is good. It was a good day."
Gerling said he has been struggling in the early season with the mental side and breaking through when he gets tired.
That wasn't a problem on the big stage Saturday.
"I've been having trouble with my steps," he said, "but I didn't get tired at all."
Collett, meanwhile, had a disappointing Pasco Invite a year ago. He was left out of the 110 hurdles finals because of a clerical error and then let it get to him in the 300s, failing to place.
But his senior year has been much different, and that continued Saturday as he cruised to the title in the 110s, finishing with a personal best of 14.39. He also took second in the 300s in 39.06.
"It was definitely the best I've run all season," he said. "I was at 14.5 three meets in a row and finally broke it, so I am happy."
In the 300s, he had some technical issues, but was still able to leg out the second place finish.
"I think I could've done better. I was on my left leg rather than my right in the last 100 meters," Collett said. "But no regrets. I threw it all out on the track."
While Gerling and Collett were the only local boys to win events, there were a few other Mid-Columbians to take top three finishes.
Richland's Dennis Christensen was second in the shot put and sixth in the discus, and Joey Payne took second in the javelin. Connell's Matt Hadley was third in the javelin, and Sunnyside's Eduardo Salmeron took third in the triple jump. Kamiakin's Anthony Armstrong, still trying to overcome a sickness that he has had for 10 days, struggled to a 12th-place finish in the mile.