Track & Field: SHS goes 1st, 2nd at PA Invite SLIDESHOW

Sequim girls champs, boys runners-up at season-opener



For once, the weather at the Port Angeles Invitational — the traditional season-opener for Sequim, PA and other local prep track teams — stayed reasonable.

The Wolves took to the mild conditions, scoring an overall team win for the girls and a second place for the boys behind North Kitsap.

It’s the top finish for Sequim’s girls in at least three years at the 12-team Port Angeles Invite, after taking fourth in 2014 and third last season.

Sequim’s boys were invitational champs each of the past two seasons, but  NK’s Vikings were too strong Saturday. Despite winning two events (triple jump, javelin), North Kitsap placed in the top three in 13 events.

Sequim senior speedster Waverly Shreffler led the charge for Sequim’s girls, picking up wins in the 400- and 800-meter races and helping two of Sequim’s three relay teams place first, helping the Wolves (110 team points) edge North Kitsap’s girls (107) and Port Angeles (94.5).

Sequim’s Mercedes Woods nearly matched her teammate, running in the same event-winning 4×200 and 4×400 relays, taking first in the 200-meter dash and placing second in the 100 meters, just 0.14 of a second behind North Kitsap’s Jasmine Selembo.

Sequim picked up a pair of second-place finishes in the distance events, with Audrey Shingleton (5:28) placing second to PA’s Gracie Long in the 1,500-meter race and Kiara Pierson (12:11) taking second to PA’s Maddie Dougherty in the 3,000 meters.

The Wolves’ 4×100 team of Rylee Gray, Elizabeth Sweet, Emma Beeson and Hannah McVay clipped the finish line in 55.84 seconds, second to North Kitsap.

Foes couldn’t catch up to Sequim’s other relays, as Shreffler, Woods, Telicia Busby and Gretchen Happe raced to a 1:52.19 in the 4×200, winning by nearly two seconds.

Meanwhile, Beeson joined Happe, Shreffler and Woods — three of SHS’s 4×400 relay team that took fifth at the state 2A finals last season — for a 13-second win in the 4×400 relay, in 4:26.

Hilary Holtrop added a second-place finish in the pole vault and Cheryl Armstrong took fourth in the discus.

State 2A competitor Oscar Herrera dominated both hurdles events to lead Sequim’s boys, racing to a 15.25-second finish in the 110 high hurdles and 40.86 in the 300 hurdles.

Herrera joined Kane Stoddard, Jason Spring and Jackson Oliver for a win in the 4×400 relay to close the meet, crossing the finish line in just under 3 minutes, 43 seconds.

Oliver, a senior, took top honors in the 800-meter run with a 2:07 finish, a personal best eclipsing his mark set as a junior by nearly a second.

It was Oliver’s matchup with Max English, however, that saw an early season rarity: two top state competitors battling for first in the high jump. English, the defending state champ, leapt to a personal-best 6 feet 8 inches to win the PA Invite, while Oliver — last year’s 2A runner-up — eclipsed 6 feet 2 inches, finishing second. (English’s mark was four inches better than the pair set at last year’s state meet.)

Brendan Lauritzen scored key points for Sequim as well, taking second in the javelin with a 139-foot, 9-inch throw, less than two feet out of first place. He also took fourth in the shot put with a 36-inch, 7.25-inch throw.

Sequim’s Chris Whitaker took fourth in the discus and Curtis Gorr added a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash.

Looking ahead

Sequim takes on Chimacum, Olympic and North Kitsap in Poulsbo on Thursday, March 24, the Wolves’ first regular Olympic League meet of the season.

Select Sequim athletes compete at the Lil’ Norway Invitational in Poulsbo on April 2 before the team is off for spring break. Sequim is back in action against Coupeville, Port Angeles and host Port Townsend on April 14.