State record holders set to put on a show for crowd at Mt. Tahoma High School
The time has finally arrived.
The 2022 State Track and Field Championships makes it long awaited return after a three-year COVID hiatus. It'll be one of the most highly anticipated meets in quite some time featuring some of the best athletes not only in Washington, but across the nation.
Teams and individuals from around the state will travel near and far as the 4A, 3A, and 2A schools will make their way over to Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma, while the 1A, 2B, and 1B schools head to Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
With the state meet getting underway on Thursday, May 26, and running through Saturday, May 28, The Runner WA has your first look at all that is going down this coming week as teams and individuals set to chase after greatness and glory.
The preview concludes with a look at top hurdlers to watch for at the 4A/3A/2A meet and favorite picks for the 1A/2B/1B meet.
Boys 110 Hurdles
Who to watch for: Sean Martelles, Lake Stevens; Jonah Tongco, Kentridge; Asher Ogden, Emerald Ridge
Dark Horses: David Brown, Lake Stevens; Seth Shook, Richland
Outlook: This is a really close field between three talented short-sprint hurdlers. Lake Steven's Sean Martelles seems to be getting back into the swing of things in the 110s after not racing at all in April. Then there's Emerald Ridge's Asher Ogden who has the fastest mark of 14.53 from the Oregon Relays but hasn't come close to the mark since reaggravating a stress fracture in his ankle. And finally, Kentridge's Jonah Tongco, who broke for the 15 for time last week defeating Odgen at their district meet. Plenty of storylines heading in, but only one can win it all.
The Runner WA pick: Sean Martelles
3A Who to watch for: Parker Duskin, Arlington; Jaylen McCabe, Silas; Amado Toyo, Shorecrest
Dark Horses: Kyler Ronquillo, Yelm; Jonathan Frazier, Lincoln (Tacoma)
Outlook: It'll take quite the start from out of the blocks and drive through the last few hurdles if anyone wants to beat Silas' Jaylen McCabe. The senior hurdler ranks first in 3A with a time of 13.96 and is one of three hurdlers in Washington this season to have broken the 14 second barrier. Arlington's Parker Duskin and Shorecrest's Amado Toyo have both excelled in the hurdles this season and should be aiming for top three finishes behind McCabe in this tough field.
The Runner WA pick: Jaylen McCabe
Who to watch for: Andre Korbmacher, Squalicum; Carter Birade, Sehome; Joshua Boast, Ellensburg
Dark Horses: Collin Babineau, Aberdeen; Nicholas Altheimer, Washington
Outlook: We all had an idea of what we were going to get from Squalicum's Andre Korbmacher in the 110s this season after he won a national championship back in March, but club teammate and school rival, Sehome's Carter Birade, has shaken things up after a gigantic PR last weekend at their district meet. Both boys broke 13.70 at Lakewood High School on Friday dipping way under the previous all-time state best of 13.84. With .06 hundredths separating them, it could go anyone's way if they play their cards right. Picking the newest all-time record holder feels like the move - at least for now.
The Runner WA pick: Andre Korbmacher
Small school meet picks:
1A: Jordan Hallmark, Meridian
2B: Morgan Anderson, Raymond
1B: Sam Plocher, Evergreen Lutheran
Girls 100 Hurdles
Who to watch for: JaiCieonna Gero-Holt, Emerald Ridge; Chloe Pattison, Lake Stevens; Hannah Chang, Richland
Dark Horses: Cassidy Haddad, Central Valley; Kalia Estes, Kamiak
Outlook: Nothing has fazed Emerald Ridge freshman star JaiCieonna Gero-Holt in any event she's competed in, especially the 100 hurdles. The state's top hurdler has run 14.49 this season and comes into the state meet with an undefeated racing record of 11-0. She's also the favorite to win high jump with a height clearance of 6-0.75. She'll have her work cut out for though against Lake Stevens' Chloe Pattison and Richland's Hannah Chang, who both have been racing well as of lately. Three sub 15 hurdlers makes for a fast final.
The Runner WA pick: JaiCieonna Gero-Holt
3A Who to watch for: Hana Moll, Capital; Olivia Conklin, Hazen; Brooke Mansfield, Bonney Lake
Dark Horses: Kara Mattson, Prairie; Grace Twiss, Evergreen
Outlook: When Hana Moll steps away from vaulting over 14 feet, she's hurdling to fast times in the 100s. The Capital junior comes into state off a personal best run of 14.69 at her district meet, beating another athlete in this same field in Bonney Lake's Brooke Mansfield. Moll may also face against another fast opponent in the final who she raced early on in the year, and beat, in Hazen's Olivia Conklin. Conklin also ran a personal best time to win her district title in 14.85. Between Moll and Conklin, both girls better get out fast from the start and have good clearances mid way through if they want to come out with a win.
The Runner WA pick: Hana Moll
Who to watch for: Heather Vanderbeek, Sedro-Woolley; Ellie DeGroot, Enumclaw; Nicole Avery, Pullman
Dark Horses: Alyssa Duncan, Tumwater, Allison Bryan, East Valley (Spokane)
Outlook: Safe to say Sedro-Woolley's Heather Vanderbeek is hitting peak form going into her final high school races this week. The senior hurdler has been nothing but perfect in the 100s this season with a record of 15-0 and leads 2A with a recent personal best effort of 15.07. The sub-15 barrier is calling Vanderbeek's name, and someone like Enumclaw's Ellie DeGroot, second in 2A at 15.26, could push them both to reach new heights in Friday's final. The pressure of keeping the streak alive sits on Vanderbeek's shoulder, but I expect a step up in her game this weekend being it's her final high school track meet.
The Runner WA pick: Heather Vanderbeek
Small school meet picks:
1A: Eleeshiyah Faulkner, Blaine
2B: Kyra Gardner, Raymond
1B: Charlie Carper, Pe Ell
Boys 300 Hurdles
Who to watch for: Maurice Woodring, Puyallup; Sean Martelles, Lake Stevens; Benjamin Haywood, Union
Dark Horses: Un Wally, Mariner; Jaquan Means, Mariner
Outlook: This is a tricky race to pick from because of how closely bunched everyone is. There are six hurdlers separated by just a smidge over one second based on times and all have run personal best efforts within the last two weeks. Puyallup's Maurice Woodring nearly beat his best time of 39.12 last week when he ran 39.14 to edge out Union's Benjamin Haywood (39.17) at their district meet. Lake Stevens' Martelles hasn't touched his PR of 39.10 this season but is also getting back into the mix of the 300s after a month off in April.
The Runner WA pick: Maurice Woodring
Who to watch for: Amado Toyo, Shorecrest; Parker Duskin, Arlington; Jonathan Frazier, Lincoln (Tacoma)
Dark Horses: Caleb Pook, Ballard; Nathan Kahnau, Peninsula
Outlook: For Shorecrest's Amado Toyo and Arlington's Parker Duskin, their main focus of events will be right here in this 300 hurdles race. The 110s will be a nice warm up, but the real competition begins when these two line up next to each other on Saturday morning. At last week's district meet, Toyo came away with the win in a personal best time of 38.27 over Duskin, who crossed the tape placing second in a personal best time of 38.61. Part two between these two should a fun one. Then you throw in Lincoln's (Tacoma) Jonathan Frazier, Ballard's Caleb Pook, and Peninsula's Nathan Kahnau - three more hurdlers who have broken 40 seconds this season.
The Runner WA pick: Amado Toyo
Who to watch for: Lyricc Lopez, Foster; Andre Korbmacher, Squalicum; Josh Bates, Squalicum
Dark Horses: Adrian Brown, Sequim; Cole Logan, Woodland
Outlook: It's the race we all want to see. Washington state's all-time best in the 110 hurdles versus the all-time best in the 300 hurdles. I might be more excited for this race than any other one, and this is coming from a person who's primarily covered distance races before this season. You don't need me to tell you any information about this race because you already know everything there is to know about Squalicum's Korbmacher and Foster's Lyricc Lopez. All I can say is this: get your popcorn ready and enjoy the show.
The Runner WA pick: Lyricc Lopez
Small school meet picks:
1A: Daniel Watts, Freeman
2B: Tre Seydel, Raymond
1B: Colin Hughes, Wellpinit
Girls 300 Hurdles
Who to watch for: Chloe Pattison, Lake Stevens, Ella Hopper, South Kitsap; Alondra Lopez, Emerald Ridge
Dark Horses: Catalina Montanez, Redmond; Kalia Ester, Kamiak
Outlook: Two much-improved hurdlers, who also happen to be the top two 300 hurdlers in all of Washington, headline this event featuring Lake Stevens' Pattison and South Kitsap's Ella Hopper. Both of their recent personal best efforts were run within the last month as Pattison ranks first at 43.64 followed by Hopper in second at 44.22, giving each of them positive momentum going into Friday's prelims and a hopeful final on Saturday. Emerald Ridge's Alondra Lopez also ran well during this month as she came away with a personal best 45.67 two weeks ago.
The Runner WA pick: Chloe Pattison
Who to watch for: Olivia Conklin, Hazen; Grace Twiss, Evergreen; Brooke Mansfield, Bonney Lake
Dark Horses: Josie Settle, Kelso; Arianna Nguyen, Mercer Island
Outlook: Since Hazen's Conklin began racing the 300 hurdles this season, it's been nothing but great results for the senior. The second time she ever raced it at the Oregon Relays she broke 45 seconds, and most recently ran a PR of 44.41 two weeks ago at her conference championship. Along with racing against conference rival Arianna Nguyen of Mercer Island, Conklin potentially now has to race two other talented hurdlers in Evergreen's Grace Twiss and Bonney Lake's Brooke Mansfield. Both have also PR'd as well within the last month. Conklin takes this one, but her competition won't let her have it easy.
The Runner WA pick: Olivia Conklin
Who to watch for: Ellie DeGroot, Enumclaw; Allison Bryan, East Valley (Spokane); Ada Owens, Hudson's Bay
Dark Horses: Faith VanBrocklin, Lynden; Genevieve Blum, Bellingham
Outlook: Enumclaw's DeGroot has had major breakthroughs all season long in the 300 hurdles, but her latest race stands out the most where she finally broke 45 seconds for the first time running 44.97 at her district. Entering the field almost three seconds ahead the next best entry time, DeGroot's odds to win a state title on her side. As for the rest of the field, the battle for second should be a close one between East Valley' (Spokane) Allsion Bryan and Hudson's Bay's Ada Owens. You could even throw Lynden freshman Faith VanBrocklin into the conversation after running a personal best time last week.
The Runner WA pick: Ellie DeGroot
Small school meet picks:
1A: Braelyn Baker, Bear Creek
2B: Jordan Koetje, Morton White Pass
1B: Hayden Schuh, Odessa