SPOKANE – Pasco High's Christian Young used to spend his Saturdays flying over jumps and around courses on a BMX bike.
But a nasty accident, which gave him a concussion, whiplash and broke his L3 in his lower back forced him to give up the sport.
Now, he runs track and field for the Bulldogs, and if the Class 4A Eastern Washington Regional meet was any indication, he will be doing so for a long time.
The sophomore won the 200 and 400 meters and qualified for state in the 100 as well at Spokane Falls Community College.
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“I was just trying to do my best to make Pasco proud,” he said. “I knew my coach was pushing me (down the stretch) – I was just trying to make them proud.”
He did just that, as he was the only Pasco High athlete to advance to the state meet.
Richland High, on the other hand, had winners all over the place. The Bombers' girls team captured the regional team title, finishing with 157.66 points, while Central Valley was second at 119.82.
Richland got wins Saturday from Elizabeth Quick in the pole vault, Shanice Lakes in the 400, Lauren Perry in the 800, Alyssa Powell in the 200 and Claire Aurand in the 100.
“I'm pretty happy,” Powell said. “I was hoping to get through in the 400 as well, but I was really tired from all the events.”
Powell did advance in the 4x400 relay, thanks to a strong anchor leg from Lakes, who held off the competition in the final 20 meters.
The top two in each event qualified for next weekend's state meet at Mt. Tahoma High in Tacoma.
Perry heads back to state in her signature event, where she took second last season.
“I wanted to make sure I qualified,” she said. “I was pretty confident. I went out after the first 400 and wanted to give it my all.”
She brought home the title in 2 minutes, 16.59 seconds, a time that she will need to improve on to compete with a loaded state meet field.
“It's gonna be hard to qualify for the finals,” Perry said. “I'm more about running a good time, than worrying about whether I can win.”
Chiawana's Tyler Morris ran a time in Spokane that puts him right in the hunt for a state title. The Liberty Christian senior, who runs track for Chiawana because his tiny Class 1B school doesn't offer it, ripped off a season best 38.97 to capture the 300 hurdles crown.
Not bad considering he only picked up the event halfway through the season.
“I wasn't reaching the fast times in the 400, so I switched,” Morris said. “There's lots of technique, but you just have to be fearless, aggressive and attack the hurdles. It's a similar mindset to football.”
Morris was apart of Liberty Christian's state championship winning football team last fall and hopes to leave Tacoma with a similar experience next week.
“That'd be ideal,” he said. “But no regrets, just got to do my best.”
Regret is certainly not something the Walla Walla girls will be feeling, not after how they finished the meet.
Their 4x200 relay team captured the title to kick the day off, but was then disqualified for handing off too early. They regrouped, though, and blew the field away to win the 4x400, and Ashley Cornia also grabbed the 300 hurdles title.
“It was really upsetting, but it almost made me focus more on my other events,” Cornia said. “It took about 40 minutes of just letting it out and then had to focus on what's next and just go get it.”
Cornia did that, winning the hurdles crown in 46.11. She teamed up with Brittany Gibbar, Dominique Cox and Maggie Callan to win the mile relay as well.
They will be joined by teammate Katarina Tonhdavong at state. The junior thrower had a career-best throw of 131-9 to win the discus title in a bit of a surprise finish.
“I can finally breath,” she said. “I'm just so excited. State will be the cherry on top.”
Tonhdavong had been throwing in the 125 range in practice, but hadn't put it all together until Saturday when she twice went over her personal best.
Class 4A Eastern Washington Regional Championships
Friday-Saturday at Spokane Falls Community College
Top 2 advance to state
Team scores: 1. Mead, 148; 2. Central Valley, 96.5; 3. Ferris, 90.3; 4. Richland, 85; 5. Walla Walla, 70.8; 6. Lewis & Clark, 55; 7. Gonzaga Prep, 45; 8. Pasco, 39; 9. Chiawana, 26.3
100-1. Davian Barlow, Mead, 11.08; 2. Christian Young, Pasco, 11.1; 3. Stuart Gillin, WW, 11.13; 7. Ethan Gardner, WW, 11.3. 200-1. Christian Young, Pasco, 22.2; 2. Coleton Fitzgerald, LC, 22.3; 4. Payton Radliff, Rich, 22.54; 5. Ethan Gardner, WW, 22.87. 400-1. Christian Young, Pasco, 48.67; 2. Coleton Fitzgerald, LC, 48.78; 5. Robert Miller, WW, 51.03. 800-1. Frankie Hoerner, GP, 1:55.21; 2. Daniel Schofield, Mead, 1:55.55; 5. Jonah Sandoval, Rich, 2:00.53; 7. Aidan Emerick, Rich, 2:01.09; 8. Elijah Shelby, Rich, 2:02.77. 1,600-1. Andrew Gardner, Mead, 4:12.02; 2. Ben Wolpert, WW, 4:16.2; 4. Michael Williams, Rich, 4:21.5; 8. Ryan Francis, Rich, 4:27.4. 110H-1. Parker Bowden, CV, 14.99; 2. Sam Johnson, Mead, 15.19; 3. Dennzell Mickelson, Rich, 15.24. 300H-1. Tyler Morris, Chi, 38.97; 2. Grayson Sykes, CV, 39.11; 3. Dennzell Mickelson, Rich, 39.79; 4. Anthony Galat, Rich, 41.15; 8. Rob Thonney, WW, 43.1. 4x400-1. Central Valley, 3:24.08; 2. Mead, 3:24.5; 3. Chiawana, 3:27.85; 5. Walla Walla, 3:30.03; 6. Richland, 3:33.72. HJ-1. Max Sykes, CV, 6-2; 2. Jesse Malone, Rich, 6-0; 3. Austin Sparks, Chi, 6-0; 5. Brian Seekamp, WW, 6-0; 8. Alexander Pickel, WW, 5-10; and Cortez Ruiz, Chi, 5-10. TJ-1. Isaiah Troutt, Ferris, 45-9.5; 2. Jalen Hicks, Ferris, 43-6.5; 6. Ryan Best, Pasco, 42-4.75. Shot put-1. Damon Unland, Ferris, 53-0.75; 2. Logan Reardon, WW, 52-7.5; 3. Tyler Jackson, Rich, 51-3; 8. John Boynton, Rich, 45-5.25. Jav-1. Luke Hilmes, Mead, 185-9; 2. Austin Rehkow, CV, 173-3; 4. Taylor O'Toole, Rich, 172-5; 6. Logan Reardon, WW, 168-6. Wheelchair 100-1. Asuanti Foner, Rich, 23.02. Wheelchair discus-1. Asuanti Foner, Rich, 24-8. Wheelchair javelin-1. Asuanti Foner, Rich, 27-8.
Team scores: 1. Richland, 157.6; 2. Central Valley, 119.8; 3. Walla Walla, 116.5; 4. Lewis & Clark, 75.6; 5. Ferris, 71; 6. Gonzaga Prep, 61.1; 7. Mead, 54.1; 8. Chiawana, 29; 9. Pasco, 7.
100-1. Claire Aurand, Rich, 12.67; 2. Alyssa Powell, Rich, 12.78; 4. Randa Engles, Pas, 13.19; 5. Allyson Gibbar, WW, 13.26. 200-1. Alyssa Powell, Rich, 26.04; 2. Claire Aurand, Rich, 26.39; 5. Brittany Gibbar, WW