Panthers are in orbit

Throwers have a field day at the state meet

Josh Bischoff needed some time to get his feet back on the ground.

The Washougal High School junior tossed the discus a personal best 158 feet, 2 inches and landed in second place during his first state championship meet Saturday, at Mt. Tahoma High School, in Tacoma.

“I feel like I’m on a cloud,” Bischoff said. “I walked in expecting to get seventh. When I heard I got second, I was dumbfounded.”

The meet started off rough for Bischoff. He scratched his first throw, and the second one didn’t take off like he wanted it too. He also failed to make any head room in the shot put event Friday.

After a short conference with coach Chris Martell, Bischoff stepped back into the ring, cleared the mechanism and sent that discus into orbit.

“When I saw it, I said ‘I’m going to finals.’ I didn’t think it would carry me all the way to second,” he said. “It will be one of my fondest memories, this first state meet. It’s been an amazing journey. I just wished it would last longer.”

Bischoff smiled as he stood tall and proud on the championship podium. His eyes big and bright as he looked toward the future.

“I’ve got the whole world in front of me,” he said.

Bischoff wasn’t the only Panther throwing toys. Freshman Anna Sharp tossed the javelin 115-11 to secure fifth place at her first state meet.

“It was pretty nerve-racking at first, but once I started throwing, it was like any other track meet,” Sharp said. “Fifth place feels pretty good. I’d like to be in a better spot, but I’ve got a couple more years. I just wanted that 120.”

Morgan Rodgers returned to state as a senior and finished fifth in the discus with a mark of 111-1.

“It was a nice feeling to get it out there on my last throw, but I wish it went farther,” Rodgers said. “I’m proud that I finished off my track career with a medal in something I love to do.”

Rodgers also took 12th place in the shot put (33-9). Aubrey Kraft earned 12th place in the boys shot put (48-2.75) and Bischoff followed in 13th place (47-7.75). Courtney Owens claimed 12th place in the 3,200 with a personal best time of 11 minutes, 46.76 seconds.