Heather Donais did not know she needed to bring her own hurdles to warm up with at the Arcadia Invitational, but in the end, it didn’t matter.
The Kamiakin High School senior finished first in the women’s 300-meter hurdles seeded event Saturday at the prestigious Southern California meet with a time of 43.42 seconds. She also was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles seeded event with a personal-best time of 14.59.
“I don’t even think it has quite hit me yet,” Donais said by phone. “It was breathtaking. We were coming around the corner, and all these girls had people cheering for them, and I was the only one without a fan club. I looked to my left and my right. I have never been to anything like this before. I had tunnel vision and did my thing.”
The time in the 300 was Donais’ second-best ever in the event. She ran a 43.24 in May in Spokane.
Kamiakin’s Wyatt Musser matched his personal best and school record in the men’s discus throw.
Musser, a junior, fouled on four of his six throws, but his top mark of 166 feet, 5 inches placed him sixth among the 22-man field. His other legal throw was 156-6.
“I’m pretty psyched about it,” Musser said. “It was fun. I thought I’d go there and choke. I wanted to hit above 160, and that happened. I had some good throws, but they were out of bounds. I need to get my technique a little better for the Pasco Invite (next Saturday).”
Donais also looked poised to win the 100 hurdles, but the rest of the field was able to pull even toward the end.
“I was actually beating everyone until after the sixth hurdle,” she said. “There was someone to my right, and she got me at the end. I’m not used to that competition. I tensed up a little and got nervous. I’m happy with my performance. It was the best start I have ever had.”
Donais and Musser were the only Kamiakin athletes at the meet, and it provided a bit of levity at times.
“The first time I was in the tent, the other girls are like, ‘Where is Kamiakin?’ I told them, ‘Washington.’ They said they had never heard of it,” said Donais, who was celebrating with a warm cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. “Then I went to pick up my backpack for competing there, and the guy asked if I had any events. He thought I ran distances. He called me a distance girl.”
Senior Nathan Esparza of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, Calif., won the discus event with a personal-best throw of 179-5. Esparza, who has signed to throw at UCLA, also was third in the shot put (65-1 1/4).
“There is competition here,” Musser said. “It was a great experience. I hope to come back next year and get in the invitational part.”
The meet featured more than 500 teams from 36 states and three countries.
“You are looking at future Olympians,” Musser said. “I saw history today when a girl went 14-4 in the pole vault. I’m not going to see that ever again — until maybe next year.”