Fishback Stadium was overflowing with track and field fans from all across the region as Washougal hosted a 2A district tournament for the first time in seven years on Friday, May 17.
The Panthers’ girls team won the district title, and the Washougal boys placed fourth out of 13 teams.
“Usually you have a really strong boys team or really strong girls team, but we’re pretty solid all the way around,” Panthers head coach Dave Hajek said.
A number of Washougal athletes qualified for the 2A state meet, which will be held today, Friday and Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
“This is a great group of kids,” Hajek said. “They practice hard and work hard. Obviously with as many school records and (personal records) we are getting this season, it’s just really exciting.”
Leading the charge for the Washougal girls was Kiara (Kiki) Kallie, who won the 100-meter hurdles with a personal record (PR) time of 15.28 seconds.
Amelia Pullen won the 3,200, and the Panthers’ 4×100 team of Clara Best, Kallie, Carissa De LaRocha and Mickhala Lowery also ran their way to first-place honors.
In the field events, Kiersten De La Rocha qualified for the 2A state meet in the discus with a second-place finish; Gracie Dolan had a PR in the triple jump to place second; and Katie Stevens tied for second in the pole vault to qualify for the state meet.
The Washougal boys turned in some impressive individual performances, including blistering sprint times by senior Ryan Davy, who won the 100 and 200 events.
Davy said he was a lot less nervous than he was in past district meets. During last year’s district meet he suffered a hamstring injury, which prevented him from competing at the state meet.
“I was a lot more comfortable with the races, and I think that was because I was so much more used to the track and the environment, and I think having a home crowd with people I know from the community helped me perform better,” said Davy, who is one of four valedictorians in his Panthers’ senior class this year.
Davy is the anchor leg of Washougal’s district champion 4×100 relay team, which also includes Arcey Harton, Brig Griffin and Kenny Kanthak. The team ran a 42.94 to win the district meet. The quartet crushed the all-time Washougal school record in the event several times this season.
Long distance specialist Gabriel Dinnell had a PR time of 9 minutes, 32:89 in the 3,200.