High School Sports

Two Mid-Columbia teams sweep state track titles. Several athletes named state champions

Richland’s Riley Moore completed his prep career with a fourth-place finish in the 3200 at state.
Richland’s Riley Moore completed his prep career with a fourth-place finish in the 3200 at state.

It’s pretty safe to say track and field may be king in the Mid-Columbia.

The Kamiakin and Walla Walla boys track teams won state team titles in Class 3A and 4A, respectively, at the WIAA state high school track and field championships this weekend in Tacoma.

In addition, there were a number of state champions, both individually and relay teams.

Connell’s Alma Manzo may have had the best weekend of all with her state track meet in Cheney.

Here’s a look of the weekend’s highlights:

4A boys track

Jared McAlvey won the 300 hurdles, and Patrick Utschinski took the discus title. That led the way for the Blue Devils to take the team title with 50 points.

Last year, Wa-Hi lost the team title by a half-point.

McAlvey blazed to victory in the 300 hurdles, with a school-record time of 37.43 seconds. McAlvey also earned a fifth-place finish in the 300 hurdles, and he helped the 4x100 relay team — along with Haden Wegner, Ryan Moore and Brady Kinney — place fifth.

Meanwhile, Utschinski rolled to victory in the discus with a toss of 180 feet, 1 inch. His second-place finish in the shot put (59-10) also helped the Blue Devils.

In the javelin, senior Jahmal Mangarero finished fourth, while freshman Dash Sirmon took sixth to help the Blue Devils.

Chiawana placed 10th as a team with 18 points. The Riverhawks were led by triple jumper Dion Lee. The junior placed second with a mark of 45-11.5. Teammate Cameron Breier, a sophomore, placed fifth in the 300 hurdles.

Hanford senior Connor Woodward, bothered much of the spring with a hip pointer, came through in the high jump with a second-place finish leap of 6-4.

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Hanford’s Connor Woodward, bothered much of the spring with a hip pointer, came through in the high jump with a second-place finish leap of 6-4. Michael Najera Special to the Herald

Richland’s Riley Moore completed his prep career with a fourth-place finish in the 3200, while Bombers senior Jack Schuster finished fifth in the javelin.

Sunnyside junior Mike Rivera scored points by finishing fourth in the 100.

4A girls track

Hanford finished a respectable fifth in the team standings with 31, while Walla Walla was right behind in sixth at 30.5 points.

The Falcons got good points from senior Nyenuchi Okemgbo, who placed third in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. Teammate Sophia Sherman, a junior, placed fifth in the 100 hurdles.

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Hanford’s Nyenuchi Okemgbo placed third in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles at the state competition. Noelle Haro-Gomez Tri-City Herald

Okemgbo, Sherman, Amanda Fraga and Camryn Dezember placed third in the 4x200 relay.

Freshman Katelynn Gelston finished fourth in the discus.

Sophomore Ella Nelson led the Blue Devils with a second-place finish in the 160 meters, clocking in at 4:52.52.

Nelson also placed third in the 3200.

Noelani Helm, a senior, finished third in the high jump and fifth in the javelin.

Richland junior Maelyn George finished third in the javelin, while senior Brianne Turner placed sixth in the discus.

3A boys track

The Kamiakin boys scored 64 points to win the team title. Kennewick finished seventh with 25 points.

The Braves had a lot of different athletes score good points.

It started with senior pole vaulter Brayden Freitag, whose 15-9 height won the event. Freitag’s teammate, Neal Berkey, placed sixth. Berkey also finished second in the long jump, with a leap of 22 feet, 4.5 inches.

Senior Cameron Gutierrez scored points in the 400 (third place) and 800 (fourth).

In the 3200, Ryan Child finished third, while Porter Grigg took fifth; senior Parker Morgan placed third in the 300 hurdles, and took fourth in the 110 hurdles. Senior Jaxson Nichols placed third in the high jump.

Kennewick senior Johan Correa won the 800 meters with a time of 1:53.40, and took third in the 1600 for the Lions.

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Kennewick senior Johan Correa (412) won the 800 meters with a time of 1:53.40, and took third in the 1600 for the Lions. Noelle Haro-Gomez Tri-City Herald

The Lions’ 4x400 relay team — Correa, Arnaldo Cabrera, Gavin Cook and Tyler Beauchene — placed third also.

Southridge senior Alax Grimes came away with the discus title, with a mark of 158-10. Suns sophomore Jacob Heileson won the wheelchair discus (43-8) and javelin (43-3) titles.

3A girls track

Thanks to senior Katherine Petsch’s win in the 100 meters (12.4 second), and she and her teammates winning both the 4x100 and 4x200 relay finals, the Braves took second in the team standings with 47 points.

Petsch also placed fourth in the 200.

But it was those relay teams that scored some points. Petsch, Kaili Knapp, Britney Donais and Rachel Harper traded the baton for a 49.24 seconds time in the 4x100, and a 1:43.87 in the 4x200.

Donais also added points by placing fifth in both the 100 meters and 300 hurdles.

The Mid-Columbia Conference dominated the javelin event. Hermiston junior Jazlyn Romero easily won it with a toss of 144 feet, 11 inches. Kennewick sophomore Madeline Gebers was second at 128-9; Kamiakin senior Salee Westermeyer placed fifth at 126-2.

Southridge placed 13th with 20 points. Senior Emily Meek placed third in the 100 hurdles for the Suns.

Southridge — with Meek, Mahek Bhandel, Sarah Tucker and Olivia Lee — finished fourth in the 4x200 relay.

Suns freshman Jayden Smith finished fourth in the high jump, while Kennewick freshman Nevaeh DeNune placed fifth in the shot put.

2A track

Prosser senior Abby Rodriguez was the highest area placer, taking second in the girls shot put with a toss of 39 feet, .75 inches. Meanwhile, Prosser sophomore Haden Hicks placed fourth in the boys high jump with a leap of 6-4. Teammate Oliver Davis was sixth at 6-foot.

1A track

No one was more outstanding than Connell’s Manzo, who won four individual events at the state meet at Eastern Washington University.

Manzo, a senior, won the girls 100 meters in 12.44 seconds, the 200 in 25.26 seconds, the 400 in 57.48 seconds, and the long jump at 18 feet, 1 inch.

The Connell girls placed second as a team with 54 points. Sophomore Emma Andrewjeski added third-place points in the girls discus, and she finished fifth in the javelin.

The Connell boys were ninth in the team standings with 20 points. The Eagles’ two relay teams — the 4x400 and the 4x100 — placed third and fourth, respectively.

Connell’s 4x400 team consisted of Cutter Egbert, Salvador Araiza, Maeson Holst and Tariq Francois. The 4x100 team included Tariq Francois, Payton Riner, Keyan Francois and Holst.

Senior Nolan Chase finished fourth in the boys 3200 meters.

The SCAC East was impressive in the 300 hurdles, as Kiona-Benton sophomore Billy Simpkin finished third, River View senior Mauricio Mendoza was fourth, and Ki-Be senior Jared Garner placed fifth in the final.

River View senior Rylan Naughton finished third in the boys javelin; while College Place’s Braedon Schwarz placed third in the triple jump, and Kiona-Benton junior Martine Villarreal finished third in the same event

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.
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