Track and field teams from Camas and Washougal high schools made impressive showings and earned championships in individual and relay events at the state championship meets, held at Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma on May 23-25.
The Camas boys team, which won the state title last season, finished in third place in the 4A division behind the heroic efforts of senior Daniel Maton, who for the third consecutive season won the 800- and 1,600-meter runs, then wrapped up his stellar high school career by helping the Papermakers’ 4×400 relay team, which also included Quinton Patterson, Mason Gross and Blake Derringer, to a first-place medal.
Derringer, who advanced to the state finals in the 100 last year, did not qualify for the finals in the event this time around after battling a cold bug.
“It just wasn’t my day,” he said. “My legs were flat all day. I’m just now getting over a sickness and was still coughing pretty hard during prelims. (It was) just not a good day.”
Gross finished third in the 400.
High drama for Panthers’ 4×100 relay team
The Washougal boys finished seventh in the 2A meet. The Panthers’ 4×100 team of Kenny Kanthak, Arcey Harton, Brig Griffin and Ryan Davy brought home a state championship to mark their legacy as the fastest 4×100 relay team in the history of the school.
Washougal’s runners finished the race in third place, but 25 minutes later officials disqualified the first- and second-place squads for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Panthers quartet the victory.
“We got really excited when we found out we won, but we didn’t really think it was official until we were getting up on the podium,” Davy said. “But even now it’s still a little bit surreal to us that we won.”
Davy also finished third in the 200 and fourth in the 100.
“I think my start could have been better in the 200, but overall I don’t think I ran too bad,” Davy said.
Panthers senior Coy Chaston finished third in the 800 and fifth in the 400. He said the fact that the two events were on different days really helped him.
“I’m pretty happy,” he said. “Coming into state I wasn’t ranked very well, but during the season I usually run the 400 and 800 back to back, so that makes it a lot harder.”
Washougal’s Gabriel Dinnel finished sixth in the 3,200 and 10th in the 1,600 to end his high school career.
“It’s just been such a great experience racing with all these guys,” said Dinnel, who is headed to the University of Idaho this fall. “We got to know each other pretty well, and I really look forward to competing with them at the next level.”
Washougal thrower wins discus title
The Washougal girls team had a 10th-place finish in large part to senior Kierston De La Rocha, who finished her high school career by becoming a state champion discus thrower on a windy Friday morning.
She tossed the discus 116 feet, 4 inches, but didn’t know she won until after the event was complete because the second- and third-place finishers were less than two inches from De La Rocha’s distance.
Washougal state champion cross country runner Amelia Pullen finished fourth in the 3,200 after leading most of the race.
“I felt like we were going pretty slow, so I decided to speed it up,” Pullen said. “I definitely don’t have a big kick like some runners. The longer I go the faster I get, but I don’t have that fast leg speed. I got outkicked at the end, but that’s OK. I did my best.”
Pullen, who will join Warner Pacific University’s cross country and track and field teams this fall, also finished ninth in the 1,600.
Senior Kiara Kallie earned a sixth-place medal in the 100 hurdles. Sophomore pole vaulter Katie Stevens earned a fifth-place finish with a vault of 10 feet.
In the 4A girls meet, Camas’ Halle Jenkins finished ninth in the 3,200 and 12th in the 1,600.