Richland High graduate Larry Still continues to fly with a pole vault.
The Eastern Washington University senior broke his own school record on Saturday at the Sam Adams Invitational at Whitworth University when he cleared 17 feet, 1.75 inches. That mark breaks his old record of 17-.75 in 2016.
The new mark is also No. 10 in the nation among all NCAA competitors.
That performance also earned Still his first ever Big Sky Conference Field Athlete of the Week award on Monday.
“Larry is a driven performer,” said EWU head coach Stan Kerr. “Coach (Eric) Allison and Larry have worked through a lot of seasons of injuries and other minor setbacks to reach this height. We’re very proud of Larry and know that this performance is a great sign for the current outdoor season.”
Other track items
High school track is, pardon the pun, just starting to get untracked.
But there were some good local marks from last Saturday, especially from two meets — the Ray Cross Invite in Ephrata and the Richland High Ice Breaker.
The top five boys performances from the weekend were:
- Dion Lee, Chiawana, triple jump: Hit a 45-foot, 11.25-inch mark at the Ray Cross. That’s the second best mark in the entire state.
- Kamiakin’s Brayden Freitag cleared 15 feet in the pole vault in Richland. That’s No. 3 in the state.
- Kamiakin’s Ryan Child clocked 9:32.32 in the 3200 at Richland, the fourth-best time in the state.
- Chiawana boys 4x400 relay team of Bennie Alferness, Sisay West, Jalen Webber and Austin Bachman had a 3:30.90 at the Ray Cross; fifth best in the state. Kamiakin’s Parker Morgan won the boys 300 hurdles at Richland in 40.56 seconds. That’s No. 5 in state.
Top five girls performances were:
- Hanford’s Amanda Fraga covered the 400 meters in 59.66 seconds. That’s the best in the entire state.
- Connell’s Alma Manzo with 18 feet, 5 inches in the girls long jump at Ephrata, second-best in the state. Then Manzo won the 100 meters in 12.47 seconds four the No. 4 time in the state.
- Hanford’s Nyenuchi Okemgbo had a 15.24 seconds time to win the 100 hurdles at Richland – fifth best in the state.
- Richland’s Madeline Mauia had a 38-foot, 9-inch shot put at her host meet. That ranks No. 8 in the state.
State dance champs
Pasco High’s dance team won the Class 4A Hip Hop title at the WIAA state dance team championships Saturday night in the Yakima Valley SunDome.
The Bulldogs scored a Superior rating of 290.60 points for the victory.
Pasco also finished second out of four teams in the Show division, with an Exceptional rating of 259.60; and the Bulldogs finished fifth in the Pom division with an Exceptional rating of 261.10.
Richland placed second in the Dance division, scoring a Superior rating of 281.80. In that same division, Walla Walla placed sixth at 265.30, and Hanford was seventh at 264.20.
Hanford finished third behind Pasco in the Hip Hop division with a 266.10.
Fire loses season opener
The Tri-Cities Fire fell behind 28-12 at halftime and could never catch the host Reno Express on Saturday night, losing its American West Football Conference opener 42-24.
It’s always tough to know what you have before a season opener, and Fire head coach Warren Reynolds still believes he has a good squad.
“Our defense is our strongest suit,” said Reynolds on Friday night as the team bused to Reno from the Tri-Cities.
“I think the offense looks great. We’re going to run the football down our opponents’ throats, then go over the top.”
No statistics from Saturday’s games were available, but the Fire now prepares for its home opener, set against the Idaho Horsemen, at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Toyota Center.
Former Fever running back Keithon Flemming is the Fire’s starting quarterback.
“Keithon got recruited as a quarterback right out of high school,” said Reynolds. “He would have been a backup running back for us. We are very talented at running back.”
Former Fever wide receiver Kevin Heard is the Fire’s defensive coordinator. He likes this unit.
“They’re fast and athletic,” said Heard. “The defensive backs can line up as linebackers, and our linebackers can walk out and play defensive back.”
Former River View linebacker Kris Welch, who played collegiately at Eastern Oregon University, is the middle linebacker.
“From Day 1 he’s been our leader,” said Heard. “And (Kamiakin grad) Tyler Merkel is our free safety and one of our team captains.”
Tickets for Saturday’s home opener are available at the Toyota Center.
Americans trail Everett 2-0 in playoffs
The Tri-City Americans made it close Saturday night in Everett, closing to within a goal, before falling to the Silvertips 4-3 in the Western Hockey League playoffs.
Everett now leads 2-0 in the series, which moves to the Toyota Center on Wednesday for Game 3 (7:05 p.m.) and Thursday for Game 4 (also 7:05).
Krystof Hrabik gave the Ams a 1-0 on Saturday with a power-play goal at 10:51 in the first period. But over the next 21 minutes and 8 seconds, Everett scored four unanswered goals.
Nolan Yaremko added a short-handed goal in the third period for Tri-City, and teammate Aaron Hyman completed the Ams scoring with a power play goal with 1:02 remaining in the contest.
Everett outshot Tri-City 39-31.
SWX Classic on Sunday
The Tri-City girls and the Yakima boys once again won their games at the second annual SWX All-Star Classic on Sunday at Yakima Valley College.
The Tri-City girls beat Yakima 84-62, using a 27-16 third quarter to take control of the game. In that quarter, Tri-Cities Prep’s Talia von Oelhoffen and Kennewick’s MeiLani McBee each scored 5 points to give Tri-City the lead for good.
Richland’s Nicole Gall made some clutch plays during key moments, finished with 12 points, and was named the game’s MVP.
Von Oelhoffen added 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Chiawana’s Clare Eubanks was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor with 10 points.
Sunnyside’s Ashlee Maldonado led Yakima with 15 points and seven rebounds. In the boys game, Yakima went on a 15-3 run in the final 3 minutes to pull away and beat Tri-City 104-96.
Kittitas senior Brock Ravet, who is headed to Gonzaga next year, scored 7 points in that key run. Selah senior Elijah Pepper -- who was named the game’s MVP with a 20-point, 8-rebound and 6-steal performance – added 6 points in the run.
Ravet finished with 10 points in very limited playing time, while Ellensburg’s Steele Venters (headed to play at EWU) had 18 points. Richland senior Dhaunye Guice led Tri-City with 23 points, while Bombers teammate Cole Northrop added 14.
Chiawana’s Matthew Kroner had 10 points, while Kamiakin junior Kyson Rose had an outstanding game with 9 points and 12 rebounds.
The proceeds from the game went to the Yakima Family YMCA.