The qualifying standards were much tougher this time around, but Sequims track and field teams are still heading to the class 2A state finals with a busload of athletes.
Eleven Sequim track stars six boys and five girls are set to make the trek to Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma May 23-24 after posting top marks or runner-up marks at the West Central District meet in Belfair Friday and Saturday.
Sequims girls finished second in the team rankings with 118 points, behind champion Fife (144.5).
Sequims boys were similarly second-place finishers with 97 points, well behind Fosters total of 179.
Sequim senior Kincaid Nichols continues his series of strong showings in the 100- and 200-meter sprints and the long jump. Nichols topped the field in the long jump with a 20 feet, 3.25 inches, then ran a virtual dead heat with Rashaun Johnson of Foster in the 100, finishing with a blistering 10.85 mark, a new Sequim High School record. He finished second to Johnson in the 200 with a 22.45 mark, just 0.2 seconds back.
Nichols 100 time broke the Sequim High School record set by Wayne McClelland in 1970.
Nichols added his fourth state-qualifying time by joining Mitchell Fowles, Derrell Jensen and Kenny Russell on the Wolves 4x400 relay team that placed first with a 46.97 mark. Colby Robb and Jared Lindorfer are alternates.
On the girls side, Alli Cutting, Lauryn Garrett and Anna LaBeaume are all double-event state qualifiers.
Cutting topped the field in the 800, an event sub-district champ Ruby Roberts pulled out of. Cutting won with a 2:22.78 finish, more than five seconds ahead of Fifes Kaylee Kramer. She finished second to Roberts in the 3200 with a 11:33.43 mark.
Garrett finished second in the 300 hurdles in 48.60 seconds, and second in the high jump (4-10); both were personal bests.
LaBeaume proved too strong to beat in the shot put, hitting 39 feet for the second time in as many meets to win the event by more than three feet. She added a second-place finish in the 200-
meter sprint in 26.86 seconds.
Freshman Audrey Lichten made the most of her chance to place when Cutting pulled out of the 1600, finishing second behind Roberts with a 5:30.28 mark.
Whiteside placed second in the pole vault (8 feet) to earn her second state meet berth.
In all, Sequim athletes produced 13 personal-best marks at the district meet.
This season, just the top two athletes in each event qualified for state; the top three qualified last year. Sequim finished third in three events: Josh Fodge in the 110 hurdles, plus Sequims girls 4x200 and 4x400 relay races.
For ticket information, driving directions and more about the class 2A state track and field meet, see: www.wiaa.com/athletics/track/.