East Jefferson track and field teams excel at invites

Leader News Staff
Posted 5/10/23

The East Jefferson Rivals track and field teams had a busy time in late April, with the teams participating in three meets across the Kitsap Peninsula and Shelton.

A small group of Rivals …

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East Jefferson track and field teams excel at invites


The East Jefferson Rivals track and field teams had a busy time in late April, with the teams participating in three meets across the Kitsap Peninsula and Shelton.

A small group of Rivals athletes participated in the recent Shelton Invitational for a 60-team, elite-level invitational.

The top EJ performance of the day was turned in by Fiona Fraser who, despite the warmest weather of the year so far, pulled an impressive second-place finish in the 3200-meter race with a 17-second improvement of her personal best at 11:19.63. That put Fraser approximately 10 seconds behind winner Nicole Yanasek of Puyallup, but also more than 25 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Natalie Oathout of Klahowya. Fiona’s mark ranked her fourth in the state for the 1A classification.

Ellise Gardner also picked up a medal for EJ in the javelin with a sixth-place throw of 99-8.

Camryn Hines turned in a seasonal best in the 800-meter run with her 10th-place time of 2:27.94, putting her at 12th in the state for 1A.

The Rivals faced familiar Nisqually League opponents in their Klahowya-based meet in Silverdale less than a week later, on April 25. For the first time this season, the Nisqually League teams got to experience somewhat warm weather with neither rain, nor headwinds, and it certainly showed in the results with seasonal and personal bests popping up like dandelions throughout the competition.

Due to a conflict with the high school Model UN team, seniors were unable to take part in most of the meet, though some were able to make it down for the final few events.

The East Jefferson javelin throwers once again put on an impressive display, with Gardner and Reid Martin both coming away with victories after tossing lifetime-best throws. Gardner’s mark of 112-7 brings her up to the seventh place 1A mark in the state, while Martin’s 153-6 ranks him 15th in the state for 1A.  

Freshman Hilina Taylor-Lenz may have been put up the most improved mark of the day in taking the 1600-meter win with a time of 5:57.81, an improvement of more than 35 seconds over her previous best time.

Fellow freshman Manaseh Lanphear Ramirez also impressed with his third-place finishes in both the 100-meter (11.92) and 200-meter (24.59) races. His 100-meter time puts him among the top 10 freshmen in the state for 1A.

Lastly, the EJ track and field teams made their way to North Kitsap High School for the Lil’ Norway Invitational meet on April 22.

Among the 18 teams in attendance, the Rivals finished as the top 1A team on both the girls’ (eighth place) and boys’ (13th place) sides.

The top result of note was the girls distance medley relay team notching the victory over Anacortes High in 12:57.26, setting both the meet record and the new school record. 

Fraser carried the opening 1200-meter leg in 3:59.9, coming back from an early deficit to hand off with a narrow lead over Anacortes and Stadium High School.

While Anacortes cracked open a sizable lead on the 400-meter second leg, freshman Hilina Taylor-Lenz improved her best over the distance by nearly 8 seconds with her 1:12.8 carry.

Getting the baton in third position for the 800-meter leg, Hines immediately passed the runner from Stadium and went on the chase after Anacortes.

Still 6 seconds back after her first lap, Hines kept the pressure on over the second half of her leg (2:30.6), catching the Anacortes runner just before the line and handing off to Aliyah Yearian for the 1600-meter anchor leg with a lead of just under 1 second. 

With an aggressive first lap of 1:12, Yearian put the race away within the first 200 meters.

Running against the clock for the remainder of the race, Yearian covered her 1600-meter leg in 5:12.9 to stop the clock 10 seconds ahead of Central Kitsap High’s meet record, and 16 seconds ahead of the school record, both set last year.

Also atop the podium for East Jefferson were javelin throwers Martin and Gardner. Martin’s throw of 149-8 was good for an 8-foot victory against Jimmy Buie of Central Kitsap. Gardner threw a personal best throw of 103-9 for a 9-foot victory against Violet Mills of Port Angeles.

Other top finishers included Yearian (second place, 800-meter, 2:21.24), Soare Johnston (third, 3200-meter, 10:10.93), Addy Asbell (fourth, shot put, 32-2), Stephanie Sanchez (fifth, 100-meter hurdles, 17.73), Hines (sixth, 400-meter, 1:06.64), and Adelynn Johnson (seventh, discus, 84-7).

The Rivals finished in eighth-place with the boys 4x100-meter relay team of Austen Hammer, Jasper Dances, Lanphear Ramirez, and Gary Zambor earning a seasonal best time of 47.14.