TACOMA – The Mead boys team consists of five participants at the State 4A track and field meet.
Most of the Panthers’ points will come Saturday.
Hurdlers Joseph Heitman and Thomas Dammarell jump-started Mead’s drive for what they believe can be a state title.
Yes, with just five entrants – two of whom whose only event is the 400-meter relay with Heitman and Dammarell – the Panthers believe they can capture a state title.
Heitman grabbed the first of what he hopes is multiple state titles when he won the 110 high hurdles in a time of 14.48 seconds. Dammarell made a .15 improvement, clocking 14.62 to take third.
Heitman was .04 off his personal best.
“It feels good. It’s still settling in,” he said.
Heitman had his eye on the school record (14.18), but he’ll have another season.
“I can’t be mad about a state championship,” Heitman said.
Dammarell has pushed Heitman in races and training all season.
“It’s our last hurdle race together. It’s sad, but it’s cool that we got (team) points together and did well together,” Dammarell said.
Dammarell and Heitman projected the team points before the meet began. They believe Mead can score at least 46 points. That would put the Panthers in the hunt for the title with Curtis.
Heitman ran a career-best 38.30 in the 300 hurdles prelims, topping his previous best by .36. He’s just .10 off the school record.
Lewis and Clark’s Anna Rodgers fell short of her goal in the long jump, placing fourth (18-3 1/4).
The 4A state record in the 400, set by Becca Noble of Rogers (54.14) in 2005, was broken in the prelims by Union speedster Jai’lyn Merriweather (53.83).
One of the highlights for Great Northern League teams came when East Valley sprinter Rodrick Fisher ran his 100 prelim.
Fisher broke the state-meet record in 10.48, topping the time set by Jonathan Green of Ephrata (10.61).
The overall meet record is 10.35, set by Ja’Warren Hooker of Ellensburg in 1997.
Cheney’s Charles Johnson posted the second-fastest time (10.74).
Alsatta Bakana of Cheney set a meet record in the 200 prelims, running 24.48. That eclipsed the time set by Alexis Yeater of Steilacom (24.52) set in 1998.
Brock Winegar of Cheney took second in the javelin with a 16-foot improvement over his previous best. His throw of 186-10, a foot out of first, came on his first attempt. He didn’t eclipse 169-10 thereafter.
Payton Walker of Pullman took second in the girls shot put with a throw of 38-6. It was a personal best by 7 1/2 inches.
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