When Johan Correa stepped on the track at Edgar Brown Stadium on Saturday morning, he had a reputation for being one of the top runners in Washington.
By the end of the day, he had proven he was one of the best in the nation.
The Kennewick junior won the elite mile at the 57th annual Pasco Invite, his time of 4 minutes, 11.04 seconds the fastest high school mark in the nation this spring. Running neck-and-neck with College Place's Kenneth Rooks over the final 200 meters of the race, Correa edged Rooks by a step.
Jericho Cleveland of New Mexico ran a 4:11.22 on March 24.
"I had Kenneth Rooks in the race and I knew I had to push the whole way," Correa said. "I was going all out. This is the first time I have had someone really push me. I am happy with my time."
Correa, who also won the 800 meters and was named the boys MVP of the meet, is the first Mid-Columbia runner to win the elite mile race since Kamiakin's Anthony Armstrong in 2011.
Rooks, who turned in a 4:11.40, said the race was fun.
"We hit the 300 mark and he just kept going," said Rooks, who on Friday signed to run at BYU. "He started out so fast and I was hoping to catch him, but that was not the case. This is a personal best for me."
The Kamiakin boys finished second in the team race with 37 points, well behind winner Rocky Mountain (55). Kennewick (20) finished ninth, and Walla Walla (18) was 10th.
For the girls, Tahoma won the team title with 66 points. Hanford led the Mid-Columbia schools with an eighth-place finish (30). Tahoma's Aliya Wilson was named the MVP of the meet, winning the 100 and 200, and running a leg on winning 4x100 relay.
While Correa led the mile from start to finish, he took his time in showing dominance in the 800.
Lewiston's Sakti Woodbury sprinted out to the lead and held it for the first lap. Correa turned on the jets during the final lap, catching Woodbury with about 300 meters to go, then took off, leaving the rest of the field behind.
Correa crossed the finish line in 1:56.46, with Brian Martinez of Tahoma second (1:57.92) and Rooks third (1:58.22). Woodbury finished fifth (1:59.05).
"After the mile, I was ready," Correa said. "I was trying to PR. I was surprised I had enough left to win this race."
Rooks congratulated Correa once again, then admitted he still has work to do.
"I was last at the end of the first lap, Rooks said. "I have to do better on my positioning."
Correa and Rooks also ran legs on their teams' 4x400 relays. Neither placed in the top eight.
In the boys high jump, Tyler Cronk of Kentridge set a meet and stadium record of 7 feet, 3 inches. The previous records of 7-2 1/2 was set in 1985 by Rick Noji of Franklin.
"It actually felt really good," Cronk said. "I was going for the stadium record and the state record (7-4 1/2).
Cronk, who signed to jump at Saint Martin's University in Lacey earlier this week, opened at 6-4, passed until 6-8, then cleared 6-10, 7 feet and he got 7-3 on his second attempt. He then tried for 7-5, but missed on all three attempts.
"I haven't jumped 7-2 since least year at district," he said. "When everyone started clapping (as he went for 7-5), I didn't really notice, but when all eyes are on you, you have to put on a show. It was fun."
The Mid-Columbia runners continued to perform well the distance races as Kamiakin's Stanford Smith was second in the 1,600 in a time of 4:25.41.
"It's amazing," Smith said. "Everyone here is an amazing competitor. To place second among these guys was awesome. When it got to be about 800 meters left, I started to think there's only half a race left and I put in the final kick."
Kamiakin's Ryan Child was fourth in the 3,200 (9:27.38), while teammate Porter Grigg was eighth (9:31.18).
The boys 110 hurdle race did not disappoint. Hanford's Beau Franklin was third (15.33), Kamiakin's Parker Morgan fourth (15.37) and Walla Walla's Jared McAlvey fifth (15.38). Nate Burch of Coeur d'Alene won the race in 14.66.
"I had a terrible start in the prelims and didn't even know if I made the finals until they called my name," Morgan said. "The lane assignment was not ideal (Lane 10). My goal was to run a good race and beat the guy next to me (he did)."
Franklin said it was a fun race in front of a large crowd.
"I felt pretty good," he said. "I nicked a few, but I finished good. I'm going to guess it's one of my better races."
Burch, who was seventh in the event at the Invite last year, said he had been training for this race all week.
"Every guy out there was talented," he said. "I was happy to beat Zach (Meyer of Rocky Mountain). We compete against each other all the time. He beat me at state last year, but I beat him for the first time in Boise last week, and now today."
Morgan also ran a leg on the Braves' 4x100 relay team that finished third in a time of 43.08. Also on the team was Benson Smith, Colten Chelin and Syl Hunt. Chelin also placed fourth in the 100 meters (11.38).
Cehlin, Smith, Jonah Franco and Cameron Guetierrez combined to finish second in the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:24.85.
Chiawana won the mile relay in a time of 3:24.14, with the team of Cameron Breier, Sisay West, Benny Alferness and Teddy Hunter.
Hanford's Amanda Fraga turned in a third-place finish in the girls 400 meters, clocking a personal best 58.73.
"I'm very happy with my race," she said. "I think I PR'd, so that makes it so much better. With four heats, you have to wait to see how you place, but with my time, I knew I would."
In the girls 800, Kamiakin freshman Hannah Paulsen finished third (2:18.64), while Kennewick's Geraldin Correa-Cambino was fourth (2:19.07). In the 1,600, Walla Walla's Ella Neslon was fifth (5:14.33).
In the girls 100 hurdles, Hanford's Nyenuchi Okemgbo turned in a season-best time of 14.67 to place second. She also was second in the 300 hurdles (44.90), and ran a leg on the 4x400 relay team that placed third (4:01.57).
Kamiakin's Katherine Petsch finished sixth in the 200 (26.11) and the 100 (12:65).
In the field events, Connell's Seer Deines finished second in the shot put with a throw of 52 feet, 3 inches, while Kamiakin's Brock McCue was fifth with a personal best of 51-0 3/4.
Chiawana's Dion Lee was fifth in the triple jump (45-3), while Kamiakin's Brayden Freitag was fifth in the pole vault (14-0), and Pasco's Kyle Bradley was sixth (13-6).
Kennewick's Monica Kaylor placed third in the high jump at 5-4, while Walla Walla's Emma Wenzel was third in the girls javelin (130-1), Skylar Druffel was third in the discus (123-5) and Hally Ruff was eighth in the pole vault (11-0).
Connell's Halli Whitby was fifth in the discus (120-1), while teammate Heather Hawkins was sixth in the shot put (37-5 3/4).