SHS track & field state qualifiers
Boys — Alex Barry (javelin, triple jump, 4×400); Joshua Cibene (pole vault); Logan Habner (4×400); Oscar Herrera (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4×400); Miguel Moroles (4×400), Jackson Oliver (high jump); Jason Springer (4×400); Kane Stoddard (4×4
Girls — Emma Beeson (4×200, 4×400); Megan Breckenridge (4×200, 4×400); Gretchen Happe (4×200, 4×400); Waverly Shreffler (800, 4×200, 4×400); Heidi Vereide (long jump, 4×200, 4×400); Sadie Woods (4×200, 4×400)
A long, long track and field season is about to come to a close — and a number of purple and gold-clad Sequim athletes will be there to cap it off.
Alex Barry won the javelin, Josh Cibene took top honors in the pole vault and Oscar Herrera was in the top-three places in both hurdles events as the Sequim Wolves saw 14 athletes from their boys and girls squads earn state meet berths at the West Central District meet Friday and Saturday in Belfair.
“It’s exciting — not just for them to get here but to have a chance to finish on the podium,” Sequim head coach Brad Moore said.
The Wolves will join athletes from dozens of 2A schools from across the state for the 2A finals at Mount Tahoma High School on May 28-30.
At districts, Barry led the Wolves with a 176-foot, 7-inch javelin throw for top honors by more than 25 feet over runner-up Eric Teng of Foster, then ran the second leg of the district champion 4×400 relay team, along with Herrera, Miguel Moroles and Jason Springer. Their mark of 3:25.05 is the fourth-best mark among 2A schools this season (according to athletic.net).
“That’s the fastest 4×400 team I’ve ever had; we’re real pleased with them,” Moore said.
Barry also qualified for state in the triple jump with a 43-foot, 3-inch mark.
Cibene, dealing with an injury last week, received a pass through sub-districts — and it paid off. The SHS senior topped 13 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault for first place at districts, just three inches off his personal best.
In the 300 hurdles, Herrera was second to only one — Garrett Rouser, defending state 2A champ in that event — by less than three-tenths of a second. Herrera (15.54) was a bit behind Josh Braverman of River Ridge (15.04) and Ryan Thol of Evergreen-Seattle (15.38) in the 110 high hurdles.
Jackson Oliver placed second with a 6-foot mark in the high jump — well off his state-best of 6-5.5 but enough to advance. Kingston’s Max English was first with a 6-5 mark, second this season only to Oliver’s March 21 effort.
“In the high jump this year is one of those years (that there are) any one of eight kids who can win,” Moore said. “If (Oliver) jumps clean and gets 6-4 he’ll be in the mix.”
On the girls’ side, Waverly Shreffler and Heidi Vereide paced the Wolves with a state-qualifying mark in an individual event and in two relay events.
Shreffler placed second to Franklin Pierce’s Patryce McWilliams with a 2:22.36 mark in the 800-meter race, about a quarter of a second off McWilliams’ winning effort.
“Waverly got boxed in the 800 waiting too long to get out of that,” Moore said. “She’s capable of running a really fast time. She just kind of has to open it up and go for it.”
Vereide leaped to a 15.5-foot mark in the long jump, good for fifth.
Gretchen Happe, Mercedes Woods, Shreffler and Vereide raced to a 1:48.42 finish in the 4×200 relay, good for fifth place and a state berth.
The Wolves’ 4×400 relay team (Happe, Vereide, Shreffler and Megan Breckenridge) backed that up with a sixth-place finish in 4:15.43, but there was plenty of drama to go with their finish. In about third place heading into the final leg, a runner from Steilacoom in lane two bumped into Sequim runners in lane three. Shreffler picked up Sequim’s dropped baton and raced to the finish line. Judges ruled that the drop — oftentimes enough for a disqualification — was ruled caused by the collision, and Sequim would keep it’s sixth-place finish.
“We were far enough ahead of the other teams that we were able to get in,” Moore said. “We’ll get it done next week.”
The district meet wasn’t without some near misses for the Wolves. Sequim’s boys 4×100 relay team was second overall in the preliminaries but finished in a dead heat for sixth place (and final state berth) in the finals with Lindbergh; Lindbergh was awarded sixth following a video replay of the finish.
“They (the judges) had to go back to the thousands of a second,” Moore said. “They edged us just the tiniest little bit.”
Junior Brendon Despain placed seventh in the 1,600-meter race, missing a state berth by about three seconds, and was eighth in the 3,200-meter race, missing a state berth by less than eight seconds.
SHS senior Emily Van Dyken placed seventh with an 8-foot, 9-inch pole vault, her best mark of the season but three inches off a state-qualifying mark.
Cheryl Armstrong set personal bests in the shot put (31-5.75, 10th place) and javelin (84-2, 16th), as did Emma Beeson in the 400 (65.73, 15th), Chris Whitaker in the shot put (40-5.5, 14th) and Logan Habner in the discus (119-3, 10th).
Sequim’s boys took second place in the West Central District meet team standings with 61 points, edging Lindbergh by a point. River Ridge took top honors with 100.5 team points.
Sequim’s girls tied for 13th place with North Mason. Liberty-Issaquah was first with 86 points, followed by North Kitsap (64) and Fife (58).