It was hard to believe just 16 months ago, the Coronavirus pandemic canceled an entire track and field season in the state of Washington.
But in a year of uncertainty, this was truly a season to remember.
Not only did these athletes get their chances to compete this spring, but they also went above and beyond all our expectations in all aspects of the sport.
We look back at the top 10 girls sprinters from the 2021 year to conclude this track season.
1. Emma Pollak, Kentwood
Before this season, Emma Pollak was just a specialist in the 400 and 300 hurdles, but now that she added shorter sprints to her repertoire, and has been having the same amount of success. The Colorado-bound sprinter and The Runner WA Athlete and Sprinter of the Year went undefeated this season for Kentwood posting personal-best marks in the 100 (11.93), the 200 (24.87), the 400 (56.0), the 100 hurdles (15.17), and broke the school record in the 300 hurdles (43.05). Pollak also led Kentwood to a third-place team finish at the 4A NSPL Meet winning three events.
2. Adaji Osaro-Igwe, Tahoma
Despite a slow start to the year, Adaji Osaro-Igwe found her stride once again closing out her senior season. The two-time 4A state champion and Harvard-bound sprinter most recently ran season-best marks of 11.84 in the 100 and 24.44 in the 200 and took first place in both events at the USATF Pacific Northwest Youth Championships and the Xtreme Speed Last Qualifier Meet. While sprinting for Tahoma, Osaro-Igwe went undefeated in the 200 and led the Bears to an NPSL 4A team title winning the 200 and anchoring the 4x100 relay to victory.
3. Danielle Hunter, Timberline
Danielle Hunter was one of the biggest surprises this season and put herself in the conversation as one of the top sprinters in Washington. The Timberline star lowered her personal best time in the 100 by .6 hundredths running 12.03 and almost 2.5 seconds in the 200 running 24.46. Hunter ranked top five in the state in both events and won two individual titles at the South Sound Conference Championships, all while earning a walk-on spot at the University of Washington next school year to sprint for the Huskies.
4. Brooke Lyons, Tahoma
Tahoma reloaded once again this spring with another up-and-coming sprinter in Brooke Lyons. In her first year of sprinting in high school, Lyons ran personal best times of 11.97 in the 100, 24.96 in the 200, and 60.95 in the 400, and won two USATF Pacific Northwest Youth Championship titles in the 100 and 400. While sprinting for Tahoma, Lyons won the NSPL 4A 400 individual title and was a key leg to the Bears winning 4x100 relay team. She was also second in the 100 and 200.
5. Brinley Jackson, Union
Brinley Jackson couldn't have asked for a better ending to her high school career, even without a state championship to compete at. The top Union sprinter ran the races of her life at the GSHL District Invite running personal best times in the 100 (12.23), the 200 (24.90), and the 400 (58.67) to win all three individual titles to cap off an undefeated racing year.
6. Braelyn Baker, Bear Creek
Across all classifications in Washington, Braelyn Baker will be the next great sprinter. The freshman from Bear Creek was first in 1A for the 100 and 200 posting personal best times of 12.02 and 24.96 and was third in the 400 running 60.34. Baker finished her first undefeated high school season winning the 100, 200, and long jump individual titles at the Emerald Sound Conference Championships. Baker also won two more events at the Xtreme Speed Last Chance Qualifier and USATF Pacific Northwest Youth Championships meets in the 200 and long jump.
7. Alyssa Cullen, North Kitsap
Alyssa Cullen would have been a heavy favorite to win three 2A state titles this spring. The Boise State commit ranked first at the 2A level in the 100 and 200 posting personal-best marks of 12.06 and 24.91, and excelled in the triple jump with a mark of 38 feet, eight inches. Cullen won four Olympic League titles to cap off her amazing career at North Kitsap, along with two appearances at the 2A state track meet. She came away with five podium finishes, including a state championship in the 4x200 relay.
8. Marie Petrbokova, Redmond
Along with Timberline's Hunter, Marie Petrbokova was another athlete who made big improvements this spring. Petrbokova's times her junior year were roughly a second faster than her freshman season times as she ran personal-best marks of 12.23 in the 100, 25.11 in the 200, and 58.33 in the 400. She also won four events at the Lake Washington School District Championships in these three events and the 4x400 relay to lead Redmond to the team title.
9. Morgan Little, Mt. Tahoma
Morgan Little's debut to the high school track scene gave us plenty to look forward to in the next two years. Little ran personal best times of 12.12 in 100 and 25.23 in the 200 at the USATF Pacific Northwest Youth Championships in her recent races and won two PCL individual titles in both events when sprinting for Mt. Tahoma. Before high school, Little qualified for five USATF National Junior Olympic Championships with her highest finish coming in 2019 as an eighth grade placing 12th in the 200.
10. Riley Pyeatt, Sequim
When you talk about an athlete who can do it all in track, Riley Pyeatt is your go-to person. Coming off a terrific cross country season, Pyeatt posted the fastest 400 time in the state this spring running 57.35, and was first in 2A for the 800 running a personal best time of 2:15.46. She also posted personal best times in the 100 (12.7) and the 1,600 (5:18.77). Pyeatt won her second Olympic League 400 title after going undefeated in the event. However, her biggest win of the year came at The Outdoor Nationals Meet in Eugene as the Sequim junior came from behind with less than 50 meters to go to take home the 800 Tri-state title running 2:16.