Sequim’s track and field stars got off to a quick start at the Olympic meet last week in Poulsbo and ended strong for third place finishes in both boys’ and girls’ team standings, setting up a promising postseason that gets under way May 14 at the West Central District sub-district meet in Port Angeles.
Sophomore Haleigh Harrison broke both school and league meet records with a 34-foot, 10-inch triple jump and then broke her own record in the high jump at 5-5, going on to be named co-female athlete of the meet along with North Kitsap’s Indigo Williams.
Teammate Audrey Lichten had a trio of top-two finishes, racing to a win in the 800 and placing just behind Kingston’s Marina Roberts in both 1,600- and 3,200-meter distance races.
On the boys’ side, Sequim got a host of second-place finishes, including Frank Catelli in both javelin and shot put (he also finished third in the discus), Taylor Bonneau in the 200, Jayson Brocklesby in the 400 and Mack Grinnell in the pole vault.
“I think the kids did great,” Sequim coach Brad Moore said. “It’s nice to see the kids perform well now at the end of the season. I think we’ll advance a bunch of kids.”
The top eight from the league meet now advance to sub-districts, with the top five in each event there moving on to the May 20-21 district meet in Tacoma. The top six athletes in each event at districts move on to the class 2A state meet the following weekend, also in Tacoma.
Already holding the school mark in the triple jump, Harrison was part of a contingent of Sequim athletes that set 12 personal best marks on May 5, the first day of the league meet.
Two days later, not long after finishing her 300 hurdles event where she placed second, Harrison cleared 4-10 and then 5 feet before Moore suggested she bump up to 5 feet 3 inches.
“Psychologically I thought that might help,” Moore said. “She was tired, kind of out of gas.” It didn’t show.
Harrison cleared that mark and the next, topping 5-5 for the first time and, according to athletic.net, posting the second-best 2A mark in the state behind Leteah Holmes of Fife at 5 feet 6 inches.
Harrison added a third- place finish in the long jump.
Used to racing with a larger contingent of distance runners in previous seasons, Lichten was a lone Wolf in the longer races and posted strong times, including a personal best in the 800 (2:19.70) that topped her best from the state meet in 2010, and a 3,200 mark (11:30.69) more than three seconds better than her previous best, set at last year’s Olympic League meet.
Freshman Sarah Hutchison raced to a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles and joined Sequim’s 4x100 and 4x400 relay squads for a pair of third-place finishes.
Going from a 9-6 mark on April 22 to 10-6 the next week, Grinnell adapted quickly to a new, bigger pole and cleared 11 feet 6 inches on Saturday.
“It’s nice to see him progress,” Moore said of Grinnell. “I think he’s got 12-6 in him this season.”
Also setting personal bests for Sequim’s boys were Stephan Stilts in the 300 hurdles (third place), Alex Jenkins in the 3,200 meters (sixth), Catelli in the discus and Bonneau in the 200-meter sprint.
“Taylor (Bonneau) has been a huge asset for us, a huge plus,” Moore said.
After a series of injuries kept him out of action this season, junior Emanuel Herrera looked to the sub-district meet to regain the form that carried him to within a half-second of a 300 hurdles state title in 2010. But a sickness the night before means Herrera only will be able to take part in Sequim’s relay races.
“It’s been a tough year for the guy,” Moore said.
Port Angeles won the boys’ Olympic League meet title with 144 team points, followed by Olympic (135.5), Sequim (91.5) and North Kitsap (70).
North Kitsap won the girls’ Olympic League meet title with 195 team points, with Kingston (145) in second, Sequim (89) in third and Port Angeles (74.5) taking fourth.