A little gust of wind … that’s all it took.
Already with a lead in the event with just two challengers chasing, Sequim High senior Mirek Skov looked like he’d cleared 14 feet 3 inches in the waning moments of the Class 2A state pole vault finals. But a bit of bad luck knocked his pole from stand-still and into the crossbar, ultimately ending his chances of finishing his Wolves prep career on the podium’s top spot.
The finish was bittersweet but was still good for second place in a competitive event, helping Sequim tracksters tally three second place finishes and six medals for top-eight placings at the prep finals held at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, May 25-27.
In team scoring, Sequim’s girls garnered 26 points to tie for 10th place overall. Tumwater (51 points) won the 2A title, with Sehome (48) in second and Orting (36) third.
SHS’s boys tallied 10 points to tie for 17th place overall. Sehome claimed the 2A crown with 73 points.
Junior Jolene Vaara was Sequim’s top individual finisher, leaping to a second place finish in the long jump in the meet’s opening day with a mark of 16-3.25, behind Chayse Flick-Williams of Bellingham (17-7).
She added a tie for second place in the high jump (5-2) on May 27, holding a share of the lead briefly with just three competitors remaining before Shadle Park senior Abi Caprye cleared 5-3 and took the 2A title.
“Her jump at 5-2 would have cleared 5-5,” Sequim coach Brad Moore said.
“She just didn’t quite hit it on her next height.”
Barrett, a sophomore, cruised to the second-fastest time in the 400 preliminaries on May 26 and a day later set a personal best in 59.43 seconds, good for second place behind Tumwater junior Annabelle Clapp (59.10).
“She came out late in March just before spring break,” Moore said of Barrett. “I think she surprised even herself.”
Moore said that following the state 400 final, Barrett told him “I’m going to get that girl next year.”
Said Moore, “Ivy has been a great addition to the team. She’s got some fire in her.”
Along with teammates Kaitlyn Bloomenrader, and Katie Morris, Barrett and Vaara helped Sequim’s 4×200 relay team place sixth in Saturday’s final (1:47.92).
Each of that quartet is set to return in 2024.
“That little group they could do some things next year,” Moore said.
Sophomore Andrew Brown also earned a spot on the medal stand. Struggling with a knee injury he said has been bothering him for weeks, Brown, the West Central District champ in both 110- and 300-meter hurdles events, just missed spots in the finals in both of those events (he finished 10th and 12th respectively).
Brown, however, bounced back to place seventh in the high jump with a 6-0 effort.
“Last year I was a lot more nervous,” he said, a few minutes after finishing the high jump event.
He said he was a little distracted having to think about hurdles preliminaries and high jump at the same time.
Assistant coach Jon Fodge said Brown really improved his transfer of speed and his turn on approach, and can reach marks of 6-4 and 6-5 and beyond if he will “stay with it the next two years.”
Said Fodge, “He can get better and better.”
Brown will try to do so next fall in a different uniform: he said he and his family are moving to Corpus Christi, Texas, for his father’s work.
“I’m going to miss [Sequim] but I’m very excited,” Brown said.
Skov, who held the top 2A pole vault mark after clearing 14-7 at districts a week prior, and Moore were both disappointed with the non-call at the end of the 2A event.
“It’s a judgement call [by the judge]; can’t challenge a judgement call,” Moore said.
“In my opinion he was the best 2A vaulter in the state. That’s just the way the competition went down.”
Bloomenrader, competing in her second state 2A meet, placed 11th in the 400 with a 1:01.35, just 0.22 of a second off her personal best set a week prior, and took 13th in the 800 meters (2:31).
She joined Barrett, Morris and Vaara on a 4×400 that placed 10th in the preliminaries in 4:15.39, about three seconds off a spot in Saturday’s finals.
Sequim freshman Ahrya Klinger cleared 8 feet in the pole vault to place 15th in her first state prep final.
“She looked good; she competed well,” Moore said of Klinger.
SHS sophomore Sean Southard, also competing in his first state meet, placed 16th in the 400-meter race.
Sequim junior Brody Anderson just missed clearing his first height of 10-6 (twice) in the pole vault and didn’t receive a placing.
“I would have loved to see Brody get a height [but] It was a good experience for him,” Moore said.
The Sequim coach said the Wolves will have a bunch of solid returners next year, including each SHS girl competing at state and a host of top-flight pole vaulters.