Rival athletes earn multiple medals at State

Leader News Staff
Posted 6/7/23

The East Jefferson girls track team tied for sixth place at the Washington State Track & Field Championships.

The championships were held on Memorial Day weekend at Zaepfel Stadium in …

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Rival athletes earn multiple medals at State


The East Jefferson girls track team tied for sixth place at the Washington State Track & Field Championships.

The championships were held on Memorial Day weekend at Zaepfel Stadium in Yakima.

The Rivals girls team finished the competition with 35 points.

Ellise Gardner of East Jefferson won second place in the javelin.

She endured a back-and-forth battle in the javelin with Eatonville’s eventual champion Brooke Blocker with both athletes posting personal best throws along the way.

The title came down to the final two throws of the meet.  Ellise’s 119-1 clinched second place and 5 feet further than her previous best throw.

Aliyah Yearian had a busy weekend and amassed three second-place finishes in the distance events (2:16.63, 800 meters; 5:02.33, 1600 meters; 11:10.38, 3200 meters).

The 1600-meter race was a brutal confrontation between Yearian and Alexis Leone of Seton Catholic, according to the Rivals coaching staff.

The contest started at a hot pace, with each runner pushing small surges the moment either one let off in the slightest, until Leone eventually created a winning gap in the final 150 meters. 

The 800-meter race found Yearian again racing against Leone, as well as Naomi Atwood of South Whidbey, as the trio pulled well clear of the field over the first 600 meters.

Atwood used her superior sprint speed to put the race to paper as the top three finishers spread out; Leone was nearly caught by the fourth-place finisher.

Less than two hours after the 800-meter race, Yearian and Leone were in another matchup in the 3200-meter.

With the thermometer at 83 degrees, the heat started with neither runner backing down. Again Leone took the race out fast and kept the pressure on throughout, with Yearian following a step behind.

Both racers showed the cumulative fatigue of the meet, though it was clearly a two-person race for the title from the start, noted Rivals Coach Ian Fraser, with Leone able to create a winning cushion over the sixth and seventh laps of the race.

Other medal winners for the EJ girls team included Fiona Fraser (seventh place, 3200 meter, 11:38.47), and Camryn Hines (eighth place, 800 meter, 2:27.95, with a 2:22.14 PR in the preliminary heats).

Other EJ competitors included:

Addy Asbell (11th place, shot put, 33-7 1/4);

Camryn Hines (14th place, 1600 meter, 5:34.49);

Girls 4x100m relay of Sienna Emerson, Kaylen Pray, Audrey Matthes, Stephanie Sanchez (13th place, 52.56);

Girls 4x400m relay of Kaylen Pray, Hilina Taylor-Lenz, Sienna Emerson, Leah Ferland (14th place, 4:46.03);

Boys 4x100m relay of Austen Hammer, Jasper Dances, Manaseh Lanphear Ramirez, Gary Zambor (16th place, 46.20); and Sebastian Manza (17th place, 1600 meter, 4:44.37; 20th place, 3200 meter, 10:40.50).

Reid Martin was scheduled to compete in the boys javelin competition, and looked to be a likely medalist. But Martin and Stuart Dow were also slated to compete in the boys tennis state championship doubles tournament nearly simultaneously, and the tennis officials gave no flexibility with their match schedule timing, according to EJ coaching staff.

The track and field meet organizers tried to be as accommodating as possible, allowing Martin to switch to a later flight once his tennis match time was made public, but after their first match he arrived at the javelin venue just after the qualifying flights of the javelin had ended, and he never had a chance to throw. 

Martin and Dow did finish the tennis doubles tournament with fifth-place medals.

Also of note, all of the EJ relay teams finished higher than they were seeded coming into the meet with both 4x100m relays closing the time gap on their district rivals, and every runner on the 4x400m relay posting their best ever split times.