Southridge’s Bree Lane has only been participating in track and field for two years, but she certainly looked like a natural Saturday.
Competing in her first regional meet in the hurdles, the senior won the 100-meter highs and advanced to state in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays from the Class 3A regional meet at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said. “I went for the hurdles because they look fun. I’m just as surprised as anyone else is.”
Lane played club soccer in the spring her first two years in high school before being encouraged to try track and field because of her blazing speed.
She initially only did the sprints and participated in relays, but added hurdles as a senior as a way to mix it up.
“Just to try something different,” she said. “I had always done sprints, so I might as well add some obstacles in the way.”
They didn’t impede her path Saturday, as she won the event in 15.28 seconds.
She is signed to play soccer at Columbia Basin College while finishing her AA degree, which she has been working on through Running Start. Though she’d also like to possibly compete in track in college. If she grabs gold at the state meet like she did Saturday, she certainly might catch the eye of a college coach.
LONG WAY FROM HOME: Hanford’s Charlotte Kiehne had never participated in competitive sports until her senior season.
The reason why, though, is a bit unique, as the exchange student from Germany didn’t have much opportunity back home.
She ran, but mainly just for fun about twice a week. When she first showed up in Richland she said she was more of a sprinter, but the coaches wanted her to try the middle distances and it paid off with a regional title in the 800 in 2:18.66.
“I wanted to make it in the top three, but didn’t expect a win,” Kiehne said. “It’s awesome. I’m so excited. I didn’t expect this. It is kind of a dream.”
She said her family back home can hardly believe it either and are extremely happy for her.
Hanford’s Amy Pfaff was second in 2:19.47 and Kamiakin’s Emily Moon third in 2:19.9.
HEAR HER ROAR: Kennewick’s Samantha Lester has had the state’s best throw in the discus all season long, and while she didn’t hit that mark Saturday, she did grab her first regional title.
“It’s kind of intimidating and it’s easy to screw up and feel the pressure,” she said. “It feels great. Like I finally did what I know I can do.”
Lester won with a throw of 136-10, while Kamiakin’s Elisa Grandemange — the defending state champion in the event — was second at 136-8. Kamiakin’s Sira Toure was third at 132-0.
PERRY POWER: Richland High’s Lauren Perry may not have been able to train much this spring because of a nagging leg injury, but it didn’t stop her from winning the 1,600 and 3,200 this weekend.
The senior went out with teammate Lindsey Bradley early in both races to try and break up the pack and tire the rest of the competition out.
It worked both times.
“(Friday) night was definitely a confidence booster,” Perry said. “I PR’d by 10 seconds, and I hadn’t run under 11 since one of the first meets of the year. I’m trying to win state in the 3,200, so that was good to get that time down for next week.”
Perry won the 3,200 in 10:48.92 and the 1,600 in 5:00.46.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Richland’s Macey Weitz is used to running back and forth across track and field stadiums at every meet in which she competes.
But not because she is a sprinter.
The senior competes in the pole vault and discus, which are run at the same time, often at opposite ends of the facilities. It was no different Saturday at Edgar Brown.
So, it was very important for Weitz to meet the state standard mark early on in the discus so she could go worry strictly about the pole vault.
“I knew I had to hit 126 to qualify,” she said. “The first throw, I told myself I’ve got to relax and hit it. I hit 131 on my first throw, qualified, almost broke the school record, and then I went and worried about pole vault.
“It was so nice not having to run back and forth.”
She capped her day by taking second in the vault to qualify in two events. She finished third in each as a junior, just missing out on state.
“This is an amazing feeling,” Weitz said. “It’s overwhelming.”
OUT OF NOWHERE: Richland’s Payton Radliff is known mainly as a basketball star for the Bombers team that took second at state last year.
In the track and field world, he is known for his jumping prowess, winning the long jump title Friday.
On Saturday, he gave notice that he is pretty stinking fast too.
Radliff came out of nowhere to win the 200 meters, running a personal best time of 22.1, shaving nearly a half second off his previous best.
“I just went all out in the first curve and tried to maintain it in the straightaway,” he said. “I have no clue (where that came from).”
BAD HAMSTRING? NO PROBLEM: Pasco High’s Christian Young tore his hamstring running the 4x100 relay at the district meet a week ago, meaning he didn’t get much practice heading into the regional meet.
It didn’t look like it mattered much, though, as Young won the 100 and 400 titles and was second in the 200.
“I wanted to get some good times, but I knew I had to get through (to state) as well,” he said. “I will try to rest it during the week and see what I can do.”
He won the 100 in 11.32 and the 400 in 49.08.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Kamiakin’s Jim Fowler wasn’t worried about anyone else but himself as the finish line neared in the Class 3A 300 hurdles race.
And it paid off as he withstood a furious rally by Sunnyside’s Elijah Pena to win the regional title in 40.17.
“It’s a good feeling,” Fowler said. “I put a lot of hard work into it, so it was good.”
Pena did win the 110 hurdles (15.59) and the triple jump (44-5).
Pasco High’s Angela Cardon won the 100 in 12.71 and the 200 in 25.96, Chiawana’s Cara Gilmore won the 100 hurdles in 16.17, and the Richland’s boys 4x400 relay won in 3:25.92.
In Class 3A, Southridge’s Clay Gonzales won the 400 in 49.23 and Marissa Berry won the pole vault, clearing 12-0.