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Star Track success for Spartans
The Spartan track and field team really outdid themselves this year.
With the best boys team finish ever, individual 3A State Championship titles in boys shot put and discus, both boys and girls 800-meter runs, and a second place spot in the boys 4x400 relay finals, the Sparts had quite a bit to cheer about.
This is so much fun to see, said head track and field coach Andy Grimm.
Spartan senior Tim Freeman couldnt agree more.
Weve never done so well at a state meet - it comes down to excellent coaching. Thats what is responsible for all good track teams. Im really happy.
Freeman should be happy -- he took first place in the boys 800 finals.
And while pleased with the end result, he was still critical of the effort.
Way too slow, said Freeman after running a 1:56.28 time in the race. Its the heat, it really gets to me.
The University of Washington-bound senior placed second in the same event last year, and wasnt about to let the hot weather deter him from his goal of a title.
I have a strong kick, and Ive just got more desire. This is my last race for the school. Its what I wanted.
Veronica Ivey topped the field of girls 800-meter runners, with a winning time of 2:19.15.
I cant believe it. I still cant believe it, said a giddy Ivey after the race.
Ivey led the race from the beginning to end, but had to fend off a late kick from Shorecrests Mickey Pelland. Ivey won by the slim margin of six hundredths of a second for state championship honors.
Spartan thrower Matt Wauters was the epitome of restraint, both before and after his events.
But during the shot put and discus, he was anything but.
With cacophonous yells, Wauters accomplished exactly what most thought he would, after regularly decimating his competition through the entire regular season.
And he did it on a still-injured ankle that was, admittedly, only at 90%.
I was hoping for 170 (in discus), so Ive accomplished what I wanted to, said the Bainbridge junior.
Hopefully I can do it again next year.
Grimm was also pleased with the effort put forth by Wauters.
He deserved it - to be rewarded with the highest honor in the state for track and field.
Honored not only once, but twice. Wauters racked up 20 team points for the Spartans with wins in both shot put and discus.
The heavily favored boys relay teams didnt quite live up to their own expectations, with a seventh place finish in the 4x100, and second place in the 4x400, falling to Hanford.
Hanford scared us a little bit. We added up the splits and we knew we could beat them, said anchor Freeman.
And they almost did.
The 4x400 team of Angelo Ritualo, Zach Ainsley, Christian Lucier and Freeman came close. On the final leg, Freeman made up a seemingly insurmountable gap, only to lose his kick in the final stretch.
As I was coming around the last turn, the announcer was giving my place away, said Freeman. He (Hanford anchor) turned it on, and my legs gave out.
The girls 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, with times of 51.11 and 4:04.78, were not quick enough in the prelims Friday, which dropped them out of finals contention.
Rachel Belt finished ninth among girls 3200-meter runners with a finals time of 11:35.14.
Angelo Ritualo took seventh place in the boys 400 finals, running 50.81, and also competed with both boys relay teams.
While Freeman may credit the coaching staff for the Spartans banner year, Grimm humbly deflected the praise.
Id put it all back onto the kids. Theyre great workers, great competitors. Its been a fun season.
Individual and relay results: Wauters - 1st, shot put, 58-02.5; 1st, discus, 172-10. Freeman - 1st, boys 800, 1:56.28. Ivey - 1st, girls 800, 2:19.15. Boys 4x100 relay (Ritualo, Ersser, Ainsley, Freeman) - 7th, 43:83. Boys 4x400 relay (Ritualo, Ainsley, Lucier, Freeman) - 2nd, 3:21.27. Ritualo - 7th, boys 400, 50.81. Belt - 9th, girls 3200, 11:35.14. Emily Pierce - 11th, girls discus, 101-05. Girls 4x100 relay (Michelle Baggett, Ivey, Alana MacWhorter, Brittney Belt) - 7th (prelims), 51.11. Girls 4x400 (Baggett, MacWhorter, Ivey, Kylie Dardis) - 5th (prelims) 4:04.78.