Anna Rodgers isn’t healthy but the Lewis and Clark junior is as close to full health as she’s been in two years.
Reduced to doing straight-ahead running because of a tendon issue in a hip, Rodgers popped her first jump of more than 19 feet in the long jump.
“Welcome back,” a friend close by said after her winning mark of 19 and ¾ inch was announced on her final attempt as the District 8 4A track and field meet concluded Saturday afternoon at Spokane Falls Community College.
A smile replaced Rodgers’ normally stoic look. Earlier, she won the 100 meters (12.39 seconds) and ran on LC’s winning 400 relay (48.03).
LC finished with 164 points, good for second behind run-away-winner Central Valley, which had 239.5 points.
Rodgers, whose personal best in the long jump (19-1) came her freshman year at the Pasco Invite, has taken second at state the last two years.
She wants a title. And she wants to crack 20 feet.
“It just feels good to finally get a jump that I’m happy with and that I can keep moving forward,” Rodgers said. “I’m hoping for higher 19s and even 20s by the end of the season. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
Rodgers teamed with Emily Greene, Isabella Millsap and Maya Lebar in the 400 relay.
“I’m happy to be back competing even if it’s limited,” Rodgers said. “I’ve got bad inflammation in my hip and none of the anti-inflammatory (medicine) I’ve been taking has taken all the swelling away.”
CV didn’t have any overly spectacular results but the Bears’ depth couldn’t be challenged.
Kearan Nelson completed a distance sweep, taking the 3,200 (10:59.76); Anna Fomin won the 400 (57.96); and Anna Pecha took the 800 (2:15.68).
“We did exactly what we needed to,” CV coach Geoff Arte said. “For us it’s a three-week process (leading to state). You have to be good all three weeks if you want to have a chance over there (state). So next week we’ve got to do it again.”
In the boys, CV captured the team title with 171.83 points. Mead was second (144.33) and Ferris took third (140).
Ryan Kline and Erik Fitzgerald led CV. Kline won the 3,200 (9:24.03) and Fitzgerald won the javelin (191-6).
For a second year in a row, Mead’s Joseph Heitman had three individual wins and aided a winning relay.
He won the long jump on Thursday and added wins in the 110 hurdles (14.49) and 300 hurdles (39.21) and 400 relay (43.06).
Heitman’s love is the 300 hurdles. His season best (39.09) has him ranked third in 4A and .08 out of first. He wanted to get into the high 38s Saturday but had difficulty with the second hurdle.
“I want to take that time down a lot,” Heitman said. “I felt like I could do a lot more today. I got close but not close enough. I had a little mix up on the second hurdle. I clipped it with the top of my toe.”
Zella Conley of Mead aggravated a season-long foot injury in the 100 hurdles. Her start was poor and then she banged her shins into a couple hurdles, finishing last.
She didn’t run the 300 hurdles but will get medical clearance to compete at regionals. She hopes some extra rest this week will allow her to bounce back.
The top eight in each event move on to regionals against Mid-Columbia Conference athletes Friday and Saturday at Richland’s Fran Risch Stadium.
3A subregional: Also at SFCC, Greater Spokane League and MCC athletes decided the top two berths to a state-qualifying meet against District 2 athletes in Seattle next weekend.
And there’s a good chance the third- and fourth-place finishers in each event for boys and girls will move on as well.
In the boys, Mt. Spokane’s versatility prevailed, as the Wildcats won with 166.5 points. Shadle Park (111) edged North Central by a point for second.
“I like how the guys we expected to do well just took care of business,” Mt. Spokane coach Pat Kostecka said.
In the girls, Kamiakin won with 177 and Mt. Spokane took second (165.5).
Shadle Park junior Tony Pizzillo turned in one of the best efforts Saturday. He won the 200 (22.09) and 400 (48.87) in career bests. He also teamed with Preston Parks, Kyle Cozza and Vinny Epefanio to win the 400 relay in a season best 42.80.
If that wasn’t enough, Pizzillo took second in the 100 (11.17) behind NC’s Noland Wick (11.13).
Pizzillo now has the 3A state best in the 200 and second best in the 400.
“I wanted to break 49 and get into the 48s,” Pizzillo said of the 400. His times have come down measurably in the last two weeks.
Shadle’s Jakobe Ford, who won the long jump on Friday, added wins in the triple (47-9½) and high jump (6-10).
NC freshman twins Erinn and Mia Hill finished 1-2 in the 3,200. Erin won in 11:12.73, a little more than a second in front of Mia.
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