Liberty falls short of Sea-King track title; Newport wins by two points

May 24, 2011

By Bob Taylor

Devin Bennett, a Liberty High School senior, jumps out at the start of the 400-meter race May 20 during the 3A Sea-King District Championships, qualifying for state with a time of 51.01 seconds. By Greg Farrar

As good as the Liberty High School Patriots were last week at the 3A Sea-King District Championships, Franklin High School, of Seattle, was just a touch better.

Franklin topped Liberty by two points for the district team title May 20 at the Southwest Complex in Seattle. It was a battle that went down to the final event, the 4×400 relay. Liberty won the event, but Franklin took second in the race to win the championship.

“If Franklin had not taken second, we would have won the meet,” Liberty coach Michael Smith said.

Franklin finished with 83 points in the two-day meet and Liberty, the defending champion, had 81 points.

Meanwhile, the Issaquah girls were a bit of a surprise as they finished second at the 4A Northwest Regional at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Haley Jacobson, of Issaquah, had another day of four first places. She won the 100 and 200 meter dashes, and ran as a member of two victorious relays.

The top five qualifiers in each event moved on to this week’s state competition at Tacoma’s Mount Tahoma High School. The three-day event, which features top athletes from the 2A, 3A and 4A ranks, begins May 26. Skyline senior Kasen Williams enters the 4A meet as the defending champion in the triple jump.

Patriots fall short

If the Patriots had just been able to find a few points in the throwing events, the outcome at the Sea-King District meet might have been different.

“It’s funny how times change. We’ve been known for our throwers, for having good shot putters, good discus throwers and good javelin throwers,” Smith said. “This year, we just didn’t have the throwers.”

Overall, though, Smith said he was not disappointed by the effort of the boys team.

“At the beginning of the season, we thought there were four or five guys that would get most of our points in the big meets, and that’s what happened at district,” Smith said. “The guys we depended on did well. Franklin won because it really had a lot of good sprinters.”

Joshua Gordon and Devin Bennett won individual events and had strong finishes in two other events. They also ran as members of the 4×400 relay team, which ran its best race of the season.

The highlight of the competition for the Liberty boys came in that relay. Hamilton Noel, Gordon, Bennett and Hiron Redmon ran a season-best time of 3 minutes, 22.53 seconds. Redmon, the anchor, was in second when he got the baton and overcame the lead runner to win the race for Liberty.

“The relay looked so good. Every one of the guys ran their fastest split time of the year,” Smith said. “That is always exciting to see four guys come together and do their best in the same event at the same time.”

Gordon, a junior, had a strong two-day performance. He won the long jump by leaping 22 feet, 7 1/2 inches. He also ran a strong 200, finishing second in 22.52. Devantae Carson, of Rainier Beach, won the race in 22.37. Gordon also finished fifth in the high jump at 6 feet. It was far from his best of the season, but that helped motivate him for other events.

“He was so ticked by the high jump that he came out and really ran an awesome 200,” Smith said.

Bennett won the triple jump May 18 by going 43-6 1/2. He also finished second in the 400 in 51.01. Michael Wells-Daniels, of Franklin, won the 400 in 50.81. Bennett also finished third in the long jump by going 20-6 3/4.

Redmon ran a strong 800, but for the second straight week finished second to Bellevue’s Addison Woolsey, who had a winning time of 1:57.48. Redmon was close behind in 1:57.53.

“Hiron ran well, but he just couldn’t run down Woolsey,” Smith said. “The last three years in a row, it seems like Bellevue and Liberty have two of the best guys in the state always duking it out in the 800.”

Liberty also qualified two pole vaulters to state. Noel was second in 12-6 and teammate Chase Kenney was third at 12 feet. Matt Morris just missed qualifying for state, taking sixth at 11-6.

The Patriots beat Bellevue, which won the KingCo title last week, by seven points.

The Liberty girls, who won the KingCo title last week, hoped to add another championship at district. However, the Patriots finished fifth with 51 points. Holy Names, of Seattle, won the meet with 108 points. Juanita was second with 85.5 points.

Freshman Amy Broska qualified for state in two events. She placed fourth May 18 in the 3,200 in 11:38.32. Broska came back May 20 and finished fifth in the 1,600 in a school-record time of 5:15.61.

“Metro had four super runners in the 1,600. Amy ran the hardest race of her life,” Smith said.

Liberty qualified its 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams for state. The 4×200 relay team of Madison Birdsall, Delane Agnew, Stacy Christensen and Elizabeth Ryker finished fifth in 1:47.57. The 4×400 relay team of Michaela Chucka, Agnew, Ryker and Birdsall was third in 4:05.82.

Birdsall also qualified for state in the 400 by taking fourth in 59.08.

Other Liberty state qualifiers for the girls team were Morgan Safley, Anna Frodsham, Jessica Pickering and Emily Pestl-Dimmitt. Safley took third in the shot put at 33-11. Frodsham was third in the javelin with a season-best throw of 108 feet. Pickering was fifth in the pole vault at 9 feet and Pestl-Dimmitt took fifth in the javelin at 103-8.

Issaquah girls take second

The Issaquah girls team, fourth at the KingCo championships the previous week, made a good jump at the Northwest Regional, which showcased top athletes from KingCo and the Western Conference. Issaquah had 60.2 points. Inglemoor, which tied for the KingCo title, won the meet with 82 points.

Jacobson, a senior, again dominated the 100 and 200. She blazed past the competition in the 100, finishing in a season-best time of 12.16 seconds. Ballard’s Emmaline Suchland was second in 12.59. Although Jacobson qualified for state in the event for the fourth straight year, it was the first time she had ever won a district title in the 100.

“Haley was even better in the 200,” Issaquah coach Gwen Robertson said.

Jacobson won the 200 in 25.21. Amia Nash, of Edmonds-Woodway, was second in 25.88. Jacobson became the first Issaquah girl in 27 years to win a district title in the 200.

In addition to the two sprints, Jacobson helped the Eagles capture the 4×100 relay and the 4×200 relay. The 4×100 relay, which also included Kim Varney, Mckenna Hogan and Gabrielle Gevers, had a season-best time of 49.07. Varney, Jacobson, Mack Wieburg and Hogan composed the winning 4×200 relay team, which had a season-best time of 1:43.43.

Wieburg, a freshman, also qualified for state in the 400 by finishing fifth in 59.05.

Eva Perry, healthy again after missing a majority of the spring because of an injury, again qualified for state in the pole vault. She finished third at 10-6.

The Issaquah boys finished eighth with 36 points. The Eagles had no individual first places. However, there were two noteworthy efforts.

Jorrell Dorsey, who finished second in the triple jump to Williams, became the first Issaquah boy to qualify for state in the event in 17 years. Dorsey went 44 feet, 1/2 inch. Williams, who won state last year at 47-6, was first at 45-5.

Dorsey also finished third in the long jump at 21-1 1/4 and ran as a member of the Eagles’ qualifying 4×100 relay team. Allen Su, Alex Rylander and Kyle Farmer were other members of the relay team.

Farmer took third in the 100 in 11.12. He is the first Issaquah boy to qualify to state in the event in 10 years.

Jason Hollaway, of Issaquah, took second in the pole vault at 14-6 to qualify for state.

“Overall, we had a pretty good meet,” Robertson said. “District is all about qualifying and we got most of our kids moving on to state.”

Skyline has several qualifiers for state

The Skyline girls finished seventh with 40.2 points.

Haley Smith, of Skyline, qualified for state in four events. She took fifth in the 800 in 2:19.48 and was a member of all three relay teams that qualified for state.

Jordan Branch, of Skyline, was second in the 800 in 2:18.87 and ran as a member of two of the relay teams.

The 4×100 relay team, which took fifth in 50.05, was made up of Caroline Cindric, Michelle Bretl, Aleeya Neal and Smith. The 4×200 relay team was third in 1:45.39 and was made up of Maria Volodkevich, Branch, Smith and Dorie Dalzell.

Alexis Daugherty, Smith, Branch and Bretl composed the 4×400 relay team, which finished third in 4:04.69.

Lindsay Coutts also qualified for state in the long jump after taking second in 16-10.

The Skyline boys were fifth with 55 points. In addition to the triple jump, Williams took first place in the high jump at 6-4 and was second in the long jump by going 22-1 1/4. He also ran as a member of the Spartans’ 4×400 relay team, which placed third in 3:25.28. Kyle Branch, Drew Matthews and Trevon Clark were other members of the relay team.

Branch qualified for state in two events. He took third in the 1,600 in 4:21.08 and fifth in the 3,200 in 9:29.79. Matthews was second in the 400 in 50.24.

Bob Taylor: 392-6434, ext. 236, or Comment at

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