TRACK: Kent-Meridian boys win surprise-filled district meet

Surprises? The Class 4A West Central District track and field meet last Friday and Saturday was filled with more than its share of eye-openers. The Kent-Meridian boys continued their ascension, finishing in a tie with Federal Way for first place in then team race. K-M and Federal Way tallied 66 points apiece, well ahead of third-place Gig Harbor (47.5).

  • BY Wire Service
  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:44pm
  • Sports


The Class 4A West Central District track and field meet last Friday and Saturday was filled with more than its share of eye-openers.

The Kent-Meridian boys continued their ascension, finishing in a tie with Federal Way for first place in then team race. K-M and Federal Way tallied 66 points apiece, well ahead of third-place Gig Harbor (47.5).

It was a bittersweet title, Kent-Meridian coach Ernie Ammons said.

“We did really well,” Ammons said. “But we lost a couple (kids) in there who have been pretty key for us all year.”

The surprise for the Royals came in the 100-meter dash, where neither BJ Arceneaux nor David Jones made the cut. Both Arceneaux and Jones have been among the state's top 10 all year.

“You just never know what’s going to happen at the district meet,” Ammons noted. “It is so hard to get out of district here.”

The top six placers in each event qualified for Friday's (May 28) and Saturday's (May 29) state meet, which will be held at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma.

Despite losing a handful of potential qualifiers, Kent-Meridian still will be sending an area-high 22 (11 boys, 11 girls) athletes to the state meet.

Kent-Meridian wasn't the only team to see a few surprises during the rain-soaked meet. The Tahoma girls, who played second fiddle to Kentwood during the regular season, rose to the occasion, taking the team title with 77 points. Kentwood, which has been considered a viable contender for the state team title all season, finished in fourth with 54.5 points.

Kentwood coach Steve Roche echoed Ammons' sentiments.

“You just never know how things are going to go,” Roche said. “You have the kids you’re pretty sure are going to go on and those who you think have a really good shot. (But) fourth place for this team is a major, major step forward. At the same time, you have to think what might have been.”

Tahoma not only won the girls crown, but did so with a solid margin. Olympia finished in second with 61.5 points followed by Auburn Riverside at 56.5. The Bears were paced by their 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay teams (Kassie Jensen, Cassidy Richmond, Paige Hammock, Mande McKinney), which brought home titles in each event.

Tahoma will send 12 total athletes (9 girls, 3 boys) to the state meet.

Derek Eager continued to shine the brightest for the Bears, pulling a sweep in the throwing

The track event of the day, however, proved to be the 800-meter dash, where stars Derrick Daigre (K-M), Jesse Jorgensen (Puyallup), Tim Pettit (Kentwood) and Kenny Krotzer (Auburn Riverside) went toe-to-toe. Daigre won the state title a year ago while Jorgensen won it two years ago. Saturday's finale lived up the hype as well. Pettit won the prelims, breaking the tape in 1:53.56. The finals, however, proved to be a different — and much faster — story. Jorgensen won the event with a state-best time of 1:51.58 and was followed by Daigre, whose time of 1:52.59 is the fourth fastest in Washington this year. Pettit's time of 1:52.83, which is currently fifth best in the state, was only good enough for third. Krotzer also delivered a top-10 time (1:53.59, 7th), but took fourth.

“If there's one event that's truly special right now in Washington, it's the 800,” Roche said. “You have two defending state champions and five guys who have clocked under 1:53. In most years, that time would win it in the blink of an eye.”

Kentwood's Holly DeHart along with Kentlake's Madelayne Varela also were on the fast track on Saturday. DeHart won the 100 (12.50) and the 200 (24.85) while Varela grabbed gold in the 400 (57.03) and also will advance in the 100 and 200.

Meanwhile, Kent-Meridian once again dominated the pole vault for both genders.

Nick Lemmon brought home the individual title, uncorking a vault of 13-feet-6 inches. Teammate Keenan Komoto took third at 13-3. Kelsey Bueno added a first-place finish for the girls, going 11-6 while teammate Jenna Crain added a third-place finish with an even 11 feet.

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