KENNEWICK -- The Pasco Invite is a good microcosm of the relationship Kaytlyn Coleman and Kelsey Julian have developed.
On that blustery day, Coleman was in the process of throwing a then-personal-best 128 feet, 1 inch en route to winning the discus title. Julian was having a day to forget.
But rather than be jealous of her Kennewick High teammate or get too worked up over her own struggles, Julian did what friends do. She congratulated her and then went back to work to keep improving, while Coleman tried to keep her friend in good spirits.
"I had to put aside that I had a bad day," Julian said, "and be happy for her and then go fix what I needed to fix so I could PR the next week."
The friendship between the pair didn't happen overnight, and it almost didn't happen at all.
Going to different middle schools, the two were archrivals.
"We were both the 'big girls' and were not the biggest fans of each other," Julian said.
"We never talked, we just played each other in basketball and volleyball," Coleman added.
Playing together as teammates, though, sowed the seeds that would pay off their senior season.
"During track our sophomore year is when we became friends. Wait, is that what she said?" said Coleman, laughing.
No matter when it happened, the friendship has helped spawn a senior year that started with the school's first trip to the volleyball state tournament and could end with both throwers' dream of making the state meet later this month in Tacoma.
"That would mean the world to me," Coleman said. "It would be amazing. It would be even better if we both went to state in volleyball and then this is our grand hoo-rah."
The way both have been throwing, the state meet seems like a real possibility.
Coleman has thrown personal bests her last six meets and has the best throw in the Mid-Columbia at 130-9, while Julian has thrown 124 or better three of the last four meets. Coleman's throw would have easily won the Class 3A state title last season, while Julian would have finished second.
"How we're throwing right now is very good for regionals," Julian said. "If we can keep throwing that and keep increasing our PR's, we have a chance to get there."
For Coleman, a trip to state would be especially gratifying after struggling at the regional meet last season.
"At regionals, I choked," she said. "This year, I'm just doing it because I like track. No pressure. Just tossing it and working on the little things and just chilling."
That approach has worked so far and with a few more good performances in the coming weeks, then a state berth will be on the horizon.
Coleman and Julian's success have not only benefitted them, it has also been a good example to a bevy of young throwers coming up through the Lions system.
Kennewick throwers hold six of the top eight throws in CBBN 3A this season.
Sophomore Panisesi Taimani has the second best throw in the CBBN, catching a nice tail wind and throwing it 126-7 on April 21. Freshman Samantha Lester has thrown 110-0, junior Kim Harrod has thrown 96-7 and freshman Alena Sharp has thrown 92-4.
"The next four years will be long track seasons," Kennewick throwers coach Ty Cronenwett said. "I'm super excited to have these kids."
With so many of the throwers returning, Kennewick will surely be able to build upon whatever legacy Coleman and Julian manage to create in the next month.