TACOMA — Kolby Hoover sat in the stands at Lincoln Bowl Saturday afternoon, attended by a dripping bag of ice and an unopened box of Reese’s Puffs cereal.
The cereal was for a post-run hunger, and the ice was for a sore right ankle that has ached all season.
If either affliction slowed him down, Hoover didn’t let it show.
The hurdler won both of his events at the Narrows League 4A meet — the 110 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles — and helped lead the 4×100 relay team to districts with a third-place finish.
While Hoover seemed unimpressed (“It could have been better”), he was surprised by one aspect of the races: he separated from the field in the middle of the race, instead of the beginning.
“That’s good. It means my hurdles are smoother,” he said.
Hoover wasn’t the only surprise from North Kitsap.
The 4×100 relay team of Hoover, James Smith, Jeremiah Doehne and Miles Hankins sped to a third-place finish.
“A couple of weeks weeks ago, I had that team written off,” said Tim Adams, a North Kitsap coach. “They got fast when they needed to get fast.”
Adams was also impressed by runner Mariah Hanson, who pled with him to let her concentrate on the 200 meter dash, then proved she could handle it by slicing a half-second from her time late in the season.
Hanson finished third in the event at the league meet.
Robyn Embrey was third in the 300 meter hurdles.
The NK throwers were led by Jason Mumford, who was fourth in the discus; Ryan Young, sixth in the javelin; and Adrienne Carter, who was eighth in the shot put. (Sharlene Pixton finished ninth, one spot away from districts.)
The NK boys’ team finished 10th at the 16-team meet, while the girls finished ninth.
There were plenty of top finishes from other Kitsap County athletes at the meet, which determined which individuals or teams would advance to the district meet May 16 and 17, also at Lincoln Bowl.
First-place finishes were taken by Olympic’s Jarrell Nelson, who was first in the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash; South Kitsap’s Kayle Peterson, who took first in the 3200 meter run (and second in the 1600) and Nick Anderson, who was first in the long jump and triple jump.
Olympic’s 4×100 relay team took first place, and Central Kitsap’s Darren Adams and Mike Custer took second and third in the javelin throw.
Nelson, who has been touted as a state contender if he can remain healthy, was pleasantly surprised by his finish in the 200.
“I didn’t know my time was going to be that low — 21.79 seconds is a personal best for me,” Nelson said of his dominating performance in the 200 finals, where he crossed the finish line nearly a second before Stadium’s Josias Flynn.
“Yesterday in the prelims I ran a PR (personal record) of 22.00. I was just thinking before the race how I’d like to run a 22.7,” Nelson said. “I want to be No. 1 in everything I did… I want to win without anybody being close to me.”
Among teams, South Kitsap was second among boys and 12th among girls.
Olympic finished fourth among boys’ teams and 14th among girls.
Central Kitsap was 12th and ninth, and Bremerton was 13th and 15th.
Sean Lamphere of the Central Kitsap Reporter contributed to this story.