TACOMA — With her first state meet threatening to spin out of control, Kamiakin’s Elisa Grandemange overcame it all to win the state title in the discus Friday.
The junior was forced to throw in the rain, which she has struggled in, as well as having to shake off a disappointing finish in the javelin Thursday.
To top it off she found herself in second place after the first set of throws after a competitor threw a personal best.
“In a way, there was more pressure,” she said. “But with my first throw being in the 120s, I wasn’t as nervous I just did what I knew.”
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Grandemange won the title with a throw of 138 feet even at Star Track XXXI at Mt. Tahoma High in Tacoma.
It followed up a miserable day Thursday, where she entered the javelin as the No. 1 seed but failed to advance to the finals.
“The whole year, I haven’t been consistent in the javelin,” she said. “I guess it showed yesterday. After having a good week (at the regional meet), I think I expected to have another big week. Not sure if I was overconfident.”
She was able to shake the disappointment off quickly, though, as her teammate Amanda Miller snagged second place, and then gave her some big words of encouragement.
“She was originally going to go home,” Grandemange said of Miller. “But she stayed and told me, ‘Do this one for me.’ So I did.”
Grandemange was joined on the podium by teammate Sira Toure, who finished third with a throw of 124-7.
Toure scratched on her first two throws, but overcame it to squeak into the finals in ninth place. She then jumped into third on her first throw of the finals.
“For me it was just get it out there — it worked I guess,” Toure said of qualifying on her final throw. “I was really worried about myself. This is my best finish after state, it does feel good.”
Both Toure and Grandemange struggled with the weather, as it poured the rain during the second flight.
“I was making jokes about it,” Grandemange said. “I knew it was going to rain. I thought, ‘Of course, it is going to rain in the second flight.’”
Both Grandemange and Toure changed shoes between their initial throws and the finals and it paid off.
They switched out of their normal slick discus shoes and put on tennis shoes with better traction.
“Every time I put on my shoes I PR,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll put them on and maybe I’ll PR,’ but I didn’t.”
She may not have beaten her best of 146-6, but she did win a state title, which is not a bad consolation prize. Especially considering how her state meet started.
“I’m extremely happy and thankful,” she said. “(I feel) kind of relief, but just more so that it was a good experience.”
With Grandemange’s victory, the Braves are in first place heading into the final day of the state meet.
Kamiakin has 45.5 points, while Holy Names Academy is second with 30.
Kyra Brannan finished fourth in the long jump for Kamiakin, with a disappointing jump of 17-9.75. She came in as the top seed in the event.
Lindsey Schauble took fifth in the 100 hurdles for the other Braves points on the day.
The Braves have a host of high seeds in running events today, and if they perform to expectations, the team should cruise to a second consecutive title.