The Black Hills coach told his 10 athletes who qualified for state not to stress about the Wolves’ goal of winning their first state team title.
“I just wanted them to focus on their events,” St. Clair said.
With Cody Peterson gutting out a pair of second-place finishes in the hurdles and with Trent Alsin coming from behind to win the 100 meters, the Black Hills boys won the 2A state championship.
Black Hills, which came into the final day with just 10 points, finished with 61, grabbing two firsts, three seconds and two thirds. Burlington-Edison was second with 47 points. In girls, River Ridge was third.
“Winning a state title was a team goal all year,” St. Clair said. “But we tried not to talk it up and jinx ourselves. I just told them to do their jobs.”
Running in a strong headwind at Mount Tahoma Stadium, Alsin gave his team an emotional boost early Saturday when he overcame a sluggish start to win the 100 in 11.4 seconds, 0.5 off his season best.
“To be honest, it didn’t feel like a great race,” Alsin said. “I had the lead at 50.”
All 10 Wolves scored points.
“It took everybody. They all contributed,” St. Clair said. “That’s what makes this so exciting.”
Ben Westrum took second in the discus, and Eric Walsh gutted out a third in the 400 and a seventh in the 200. Walsh also ran a gritty anchor on the 1,600-meter relay, passing a runner at the finish for third in 3:23.87, a school record by two seconds.
“This whole team is selfless,” Peterson said. “No one was concerned with individual awards. It was jut about winning a state championship. We took care of business all week.”
Alsin anchored Black Hills to the 400-meter relay title in a season-best 43.25.
Walsh came off the final turn in the 400 in first but began to tie up and finished in 49.64, just off a season best. South Whidbey’s Joe Poolman won in 49.3.
“I cramped up a little,” said Walsh of his seven races in two days. “I hit the wall. I couldn’t get into the next gear.”
Westrum popped his best throw of the meet on his second attempt with a 166-2, his third-best of the season. But he couldn’t catch Sehome’s Ryan Macdonald, who threw a 2A meet-record 180-3.
Black Hills won the league and district titles.
“We all knew we could do well but not this well,” Westrum said.
River Ridge sophomore Necy Wade grabbed a pair of seconds in the sprints. Running into a strong headwind, Wade overcame a slow start in the 100 to place second in 13.0. She moved from fourth to second in the closing of the 200 and finished in 26.1.
“My starts weren’t the best,” Wade said. “I didn’t get out as fast as I wanted.”
But she finished strong in both races. River Ridge’s Khayla Blount was sixth in the 100 in 13.08 and seventh in the 200 with a 26.19.
River Ridge’s Kyahri Adams was fourth in the long jump with a 16-11/4, picking up five points to help the Hawks place third. The Hawks were second in the 400-meter relay in 50.0.
“We talked about winning a state title,” Wade said. “We won league and district. We knew we had a chance.”
In the boys 1,600, Olympia’s Nate Brennand took fourth in a school-record 4:15.35, passing a runner at the finish. Brennand, who was fifth with 300 meters to go, broke the school record by a second. Central Kitsap’s Shane Moskowitz won in 4:09.67.
In the girls 4A high jump, Olympia’s Tayler Fettig placed fourth with a 5-2 and teammate Sarah Stoker was eighth, also at 5-2 with more misses. Wenatchee’s Audrey Ketcham won with a 5-8.
Tumwater placed fourth in the 2A girls 800 relay with a 1:47.7, nearly two seconds behind winner Blaine.
Timberline’s Quinton Sison had a season-best 22-1 to place third in 3A boys long jump. Rainier Beach’s Marquis Davis won in 22-3.
Capital’s Roman Vern was seventh in the 3A 100 with an 11.61 and Shelton’s Ryan Adams placed fifth in the 4A 100 with an 11.6.
Chehalis junior Andy Robertson won the 2A boys 800 in a season-best 1:54.92. Teammate Dakota Parker placed fourth in 1:56.04.