Eastlake boys, Skyline girls grasp state track trophies

June 3, 2014

By Neil Pierson

Finishing among the top-four teams and winning a trophy at the Class 4A state track and field championships is a difficult task, but Eastlake and Skyline high schools both had squads that accomplished the feat.
Eastlake’s boys scored 38 points to finish fourth, and Skyline’s girls scored 35 points for fourth, capping their respective seasons in style at Star Track XXXII, May 29-31 at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

The Skyline girls 1,600-meter relay team goes in for a group hug after winning the state title.  Photo by Greg Farrar

The Skyline girls 1,600-meter relay team goes in for a group hug after winning the state title. Photo by Greg Farrar

Skyline captured a state title in the 1,600-meter relay as Mckenzie Deutsch, Alex Daugherty, Brandi Hughes and Dorie Dalzell shattered the school record with a time of 3 minutes, 53.24 seconds.
The championship was a fitting conclusion to the prep careers of Daugherty and Dalzell, who will be Division I collegiate runners next season – Daughterty at Notre Dame and Dalzell at Kansas.
Dalzell came within a hair of an individual title, too, taking second in the 400 meters (55.83 seconds). She was only 0.14 seconds back of Bellarmine Prep’s Hannah Derby, who earned her fourth straight championship in the event.
In the May 30 preliminary heats, Dalzell had a relatively slow mark of 56.83, putting her in fourth place. She chalked that up to less-than-ideal weather conditions.
“I think the wind really made it a lot harder than it needed to be,” she said afterward while trying to catch her breath.
In the 200-meter final, Dalzell was seventh in 25.41.
Daugherty’s top individual finish was in the 800 meters, where she took fourth in 2:10.75. The 800 field was loaded with speed, as Daugherty, Central Kitsap senior Rose Christen and Camas junior Alexa Efraimson all entered state ranked among the top 20 in the nation.
Efraimson defended her 2013 title, but Daugherty said she was happy with recording a good time against top-notch competition.
“I was talking to Rose Christen,” Daugherty said, “and she was saying the people at her school say, ‘Oh, you’re going to win state.’ No big deal. And the people (at Skyline) said the same to me.
“But it’s not so much about winning state anymore as it is getting to compete with the best people in your back yard. I love it.”
Daugherty fell just short of a medal in the 1,600 meters, finishing ninth (5:00.75).
Skyline’s girls won medals in all three relay events. In the 4×100 race, Allie Warfield, Brandi Hughes, Nicole Cox and Amanda Johnston were seventh (49.49). In the 4×200 race, Hughes, Johnston, Daugherty and Dalzell took second (1:41.87).
The Eastlake boys had contributions in the sprint, middle distances and throws to finish fourth behind Federal Way, Eastmont and Wenatchee.
Seniors Troy and Drew Lewis won three individual medals between them – Troy was third in the 100 (10.96) and 200 (21.73), with Drew taking fifth in the 200 (22.36).
Troy Lewis said his faster times in 2014 were due to intense preparation over the last several months.
“I think it all has to do with motivation and dedication,” he said, “and especially during the offseason when I could be hanging out with friends … all I was basically doing was trying to focus on getting better.”
Another senior sprinter, Matt Morrison, added a fifth-place medal for the Wolves in the 400 meters (49.54).
The Lewis brothers, Morrison and sophomore Nathan Pixler combined to win a state title in the 1,600 meter relay. They finished in 3:18.68.
Joe Ellis, a senior, had the top qualifying mark in the discus. He wasn’t able to hold off South Kitsap freshman Nolan VanAmen, who took first at 160 feet, 10 inches, but Ellis got second at 160-01.
“There’s nothing wrong with 160,” said Ellis, who will compete for Michigan next season. “I’m really happy with that, so I’m just glad to end on a good note.”
Pixler had the second-fastest qualifying time for state in the 800 meters, but windy conditions in the preliminary heats slowed him down. He didn’t qualify for the finals, finishing ninth in 1:58.23.
“During an 800, you don’t really have too much time to think about stuff,” he said of the wind. “You’re kind of subconsciously aware of it, but you don’t really start thinking about it until afterward.”
Eastlake’s girls team tied for 14th place with 18 points. They won three individual medals and a fifth-place award in the 400 relay, where Ellie Woerner, Anna Carskaden, Audrey Knutsen and Maddie Kennedy finished in 49.09.
Woerner, a junior, was third in the 100-meter hurdles (14.52) and freshman Pia Richards took fourth in the 3,200 (10:51.96).
Carskaden, a senior, had a redemptive performance in the 400, where she placed sixth in 57.81. Her junior season was rough after she broke her ankle doing taekwondo. She credited her teammates for helping the recovery process.
“They’re everything,” Carskaden said. “They’re just always there for me, and I’m there for them.”
Skyline’s boys won two medals. In the 4×400 relay, the Spartans finished seventh in 3:26.01 behind Jack Welch, Brendan Long, Joseph Bretl and Tyler Ma.
Senior Bryan Lee, who will compete for Western Washington next year, capped his prep career with a sixth-place effort in the discus (151 feet).
“I’m happy with the state medal, a little unhappy about my performance,” Lee said. “I feel like I could’ve done a lot better. I’m usually pretty consistently a mid-150s thrower. I only hit one 150 today, but I can’t be too mad about it.”

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