TACOMA — Juniors Tyishea McWhorter and Lauryn Chandler, as well as freshman Nyaijah Johnson, were all certain before the season that they would run the 4×100 relay together.
They just weren’t sure who would complete their foursome.
Enter Te’caela Wilcher, a freshman who was not initially planning to run track this year.
“I had another sport and my mom just wanted me to focus on grades,” Wilcher said. “But then the coaches started calling her.”
The speedy Bremerton foursome captured a state championship in the 4×100 relay May 26, the last day of the WIAA 2A state meet at Mount Tahoma High School. Their time of 48.98 was just .86 off the meet record set by Bellingham in 2013.
It hasn’t been an easy season for the group. At various times, each member has suffered an injury. Chandler estimated that the state meet race was only the sixth time the four had run together at a meet.
Fortunately, things kept running smoothly thanks to the presence of sophomore Trisha Mae Mabini, who has filled in quite capably in the 4×100.
McWhorter, Johnson, Chandler and Wilcher all consider her a part of the team — Mabini was present at the meet as an alternate and took the podium after all four accepted their medals for another round of photos.
“Trisha Mae Mabini — we couldn’t do it without her,” Johnson said.
Chandler also captured an individual state championship in the 100-meter hurdles. She had the second-best preliminary time but surprised state meet followers with a personal best of 14.84 in the finals. That personal record helped energize the relay team with the belief that they also could win it all.
“It set up the mood, really,” Chandler said.
Bremerton’s Jesse Smith also made the podium in the boys 2A pole vault with a leap of 14 feet, 3 inches. Johnson took eighth in the girls 100-meter run with a time of 12.67.
Olympic’s Adam Johnson came away with second place in the 2A 100-meter dash with a time of 11.06. Johnson also grabbed his second podium finish of the meet by taking eighth place in the 200 meters.
Hanna Troy took home fourth in the 100 meters and seventh in the 200 meters. She also placed fifth in the triple jump.
Ho’oponokauillani Fuiava headlined a fine day for Central Kitsap. The freshman finished second in the shot put with a throw of 42 feet.
Senior Olivia Krog took home third in the javelin with a mark of 118 feet, 5 inches; Zion Archer took fourth in the triple jump (45 feet, 11 inches); Seth Tower leaped 6 feet, 2 inches in the high jump to place fifth; and another freshman, Maya Nichols, finished seventh in the 3200-meter run.
At the 1A meet at Eastern Washington University, Klahowya freshman Sara Kurgan finished fourth in the 800 with a time of 2:25.47. Dylan Jackson took seventh in the 100-meter dash (23.57).
South Kitsap’s Deyondre Davis captures second and third in the hurdles
It was a banner day for South Kitsap sophomore Deyondre Davis as he finished second in the 110-meter hurdles and third in the 300-meter hurdles.
“I couldn’t ask for a better meet,” Davis said.
Davis considers the 110-meter race to be his better event, but he ran a strong race and finished just behind Germain Barnes, a Chiawana senior, in both events.
Barnes approached Davis after the meet and said, “This is yours next year,” alluding to the fact that both he and Matthew Howard of Bothell are graduating this year, leaving Davis as a top contender for a state title.
In the 300-meter hurdles, Davis admitted he faded a bit down the stretch but held off Jared Mcalvey of Walla Walla to take third. He was just .23 seconds behind Howard in what was an extremely close race.
“I went a little harder on the start,” Davis said. “I should have been a little slower at the start of it, because then I would have had the energy to hold it all the way through.”
South Kitsap walked away with seven podium finishes in all for the Wolves athletes.
Emily Reeder scored a pair of third-place finishes in the shot put (41-01) and discus events (132-09). Emily Riehl jumped 5 feet, 4 inches to take sixth in the high jump; and Paxton DePoe and Evelyn Collins-Winn took home seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the girls 1600-meter run.
Five North Kitsap athletes get to the podium
It’s been a difficult year for North Kitsap junior Raelee Moore. It was rare to see her on the basketball court or at a track meet without kinesio tape or a compression sleeve to protect her injured joint or muscle.
But fighting through those maladies paid off as she took fifth place in the long jump with a distance of 17 feet and 1/2 inch.
“At the beginning of the season, at the PA invite, I was like ‘Wow, I’m going to be sitting here doing nothing,’” Moore said. “Weeks went by and I was like, ‘I don’t even want to compete anymore.’ But then districts came and I got better and better.”
Moore was not 100 percent this past weekend. She sported a pad on her right thigh while competing at the state meet, but at that point, Moore said, most athletes are banged up from the long season.
“I try not to focus on that anymore,” Moore said. “It’s kind of like, ‘Okay, you’re over it, everyone’s hurting, it’s the end of the season.’”
After summer basketball in June, Moore said her focus will be on lifting, getting stronger and recovering to be healthy for her senior season.
“The goal for this coming year is no tape whatsoever,” Moore said.
Viking freshman Alyssa Cullen acheived the highest podium spot, taking third in the triple jump with a distance of 35 feet, 7 inches. Andrew Blackmore finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles; and Annika Taylor finished fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:19.53. Jameson Moore took eighth in the 2A discus.
Kingston’s James Dillow took fifth in the boys 400 meters with a time of 50.57 and seventh in the 200 (23.13).
Boys 200 meters — Dylan Jackson, Klahowya, seventh, 23.57.
Girls 800 meters — Sara Kurgan, Klahowya, fourth, 2:25.47.
Boys 100 meters — Adam Johnson, Olympic, second, 11.06.
Girls 100 meters — Hanna Troy, Olympic, fourth, 12.30; Nyaijah Johnson, Bremerton, eighth, 12.67.
Boys 200 meters — James Dillow, Kingston, seventh, 23.13; Adam Johnson, Olympic, eighth, 23.22.
Girls 200 meters — Hanna Troy, Olympic, seventh, 26.29.
Boys 400 meters — James Dillow, Kingston, fifth, 50.57.
Girls 800 meters — Annika Taylor, North Kitsap, fifth, 2:19.53.
Boys 110-meter hurdles — Andrew Blackmore, North Kitsap, fourth, 15.47.
Girls 100-meter hurdles — Lauryn Chandler, Bremerton, first, 14.84.
Girls 4×100 relay — Bremerton (Chandler, Johnson, Te’caela Wilcher, Tyishea McWhorter), first, 48.98.
Boys discus — Jameson Moore, North Kitsap, eighth, 140-02.
Boys pole vault — Jesse Smith, Bremerton, second, 14-03.
Girls long jump — Raelee Moore, North Kitsap, fifth, 17-00 1/2.
Girls triple jump — Alyssa Cullen, North Kitsap, third, 35-07; Hanna Troy, Olympic, fifth, 15-11.00.
Girls 3200 meters — Maya Nichols, Central Kitsap, seventh, 11:04.60.
Boys high jump — Seth Tower, Central Kitsap, fifth, 6-02.
Girls shot put — Ho’oponokauillani Fuiava, Central Kitsap, second, 42-00.
Boys triple jump — Zion Archer, Central Kitsap, fourth, 45.11-00.
Girls javelin — Olivia Krog, Central Kitsap, third, 118-05.
Girls 800 meters — Paxton DePoe, South Kitsap, seventh, 2:16.71; Evelyn Collins-Winn, South Kitsap, eighth, 2:17.44.
Boys 110-meter hurdles — Deyondre Davis, South Kitsap, second, 14.54.
Boys 300-meter hurdles — Deyondre Davis, South Kitsap, 38.83.
Girls shot put — Emily Reeder, South Kitsap, third, 41-01.00.
Girls discus — Emily Reeder, South Kitsap, third, 132-09.
Girls high jump — Emily Riehl, South Kitsap, sixth, 5-04.