NWC's Shackell Breaks 2B State Meet Record in 1,600

Cheney, WA – Northwest Christian of Lacey’s Ava Shackell won the 2019 2B Girl’s 1,600-meter title running a 2B state meet record time of 5:02 at Roos Field on the campus of Eastern Washington University on Thursday, May 23.

Northwest Christian’s Ava Shackell won the 2B girl’s state 1,600 meter final. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)

Shackell, a recent Arizona State University commit, trailed for the first lap behind Life Christian Academy’s Gabby Martin, who finished in second running 5:11.57.

Without panicking, Shackell stayed relaxed and stuck with her race plan even though she fell back early.

“I just really focused going into this race about my own time,” said Shackell on her thoughts early in the race.

“I wasn’t too concerned about the placing the first lap because I knew what my splits should be and I felt like I was pace.”

This is a 2 second personal best for Shackell, although she was hoping to get into the 5-minute range and possibly break it too.

“A P.R. is a P.R. and I can’t be upset about that,” said Shackell. “It would have been nice to be in the 5-minute mark. I got three more races this week, so I am going to take this one and focus on those next ones.”

Meleah Kandoll of Toutle Lake finished third running 5:19.36.

The previous state meet record was held by St George's Madison Ward at 5:04.45.

In the 1A 1,600-meter race, Naomi Smith of King’s led from start to finish to win her first state championship on the track in a time of 5:00.

King’s’ Naomi Smith won the 1A girl’s state 1,600 final. (Keenan Gray/ The Runner)

Last week at the Bi-District meet, Smith lost to Bear Creek’s Olivia Markezich on the final 200 meters despite running 4:55.

To prepare herself for this week since she would face Markezich again, who placed second in 5:04.18, Smith worked on creating separation earlier so it wouldn’t have to come down to a ‘kickers’ finish.

“Talking with my coach, we just decided what it came down to was Olivia could outkick me so I just needed to a created a big enough gap to where she couldn’t quite get up there,” said Smith.

“We did a lot of technique work this week like starting my kick with 500 meters to go and I think that really paid off. Going in with a plan and wanting to really race helped. I got lucky to be able to create an early lead and managed to hold it.”

This is Smith’s second state title she has won this school year as she has also won 1A Cross Country race in the fall.