TUMWATER — When discussing local high school sports lore, few names carry more clout than Timberline alumnus Jonathan Stewart.
While Stewart is best known for his football prowess, the current Carolina Panthers running back wasn’t too shabby on the track, either.
So when your name is mentioned alongside his, you must be doing something right.
River Ridge’s Dejuan Frye almost broke Stewart’s 100-meter meet record, running a blistering 10.89 seconds Friday to win at the 49th Bob Shaner Track and Field Invitational at Tumwater High School.
Stewart, the state’s all-time leading rusher in football, set the meet mark of 10.86 as a senior in 2005.
For Frye to post a time so near Stewart’s, everything must have gone perfectly, right?
“It actually was a horrible start,” said Frye, whose previous best time was 10.99. “I couldn’t get out of the blocks. During warmups, I was getting out fast, and everything was going great. Of course, once the race started,
everything went wrong, and I couldn’t get out. By the time I did, everyone was in front of me.”
The difficult start forced Frye to find another gear.
“It was a gear I didn’t know I had until today,” Frye said. “It felt great once I kicked in.”
Frye’s time is the second fastest in the 2A classification this season behind Ephrata junior Jonathan Green (10.83).
Frye, who also won the 200 (22.35), wasn’t the only one to register a personal best.
Capital senior Andy Miller won the shot put with a throw of 52 feet and one-half inch.
“I’ve been shooting for 53 feet for a while now,” said Miller, whose mark is the second highest among 2A shot putters this season. “Maybe it was the warm weather. It kind of helps loosen the muscles up. The goal is obviously to peak towards the end of the season. Hopefully that’s what’s happening here.”
Miller, who also won the discus (158-01), and Frye were joined by Tumwater teammates David Durden and Lane Russell as boys dual-event winners.
Durden won the 110 hurdles (14.88) and the 300 hurdles (38.99).
“I was hoping for something in the lower 14s in the 110,” Durden said. “The sun was out, which was nice. I had a little trouble adjusting to the tailwind, but it certainly wasn’t a bad day.”
Russell won the triple jump (45-04) and long jump (21-10.75).
One Thunderbird missing from the meet was senior Andrew Brown, the two-time defending Class 2A state champion in the 400 and the state’s top 2A performer this season in the 200 (21.84) and 400 (48.31).
Tumwater coach Rich Brown said Andrew Brown was resting a sore hamstring but should be fine for next week’s conference championships.
On the girls side, junior Brooke Feldmeier gave the Thunderbirds a pair of wins.
Feldmeier, who has drawn interest from Division I programs such as Washington and Oklahoma State, captured the 100 hurdles (15.28) and the 200 meters (25.25).
Northwest Christian’s Karen Bulger won the girls shot put (41-03) and the javelin (143-11).
W.F. West’s Dallas Snider posted the state’s fastest 2A time in the boys 800 with a winning time of 1 minute, 54.73 seconds.
Tumwater and Olympia shared the boys team title with both squads finishing with 107 points. W.F. West (78), Yelm (69.5) and River Ridge (67) rounded out the top five.
Northwest Christian (104) won the girls title followed by Timberline (96), Tumwater (91.5), Olympia (86.5) and Black Hills (80.5).
The stakes increase for all the athletes next week as the 3A and 4A Narrows League schools head to South Kitsap High School on Thursday for the league championships. The 2A Evergreen Conference holds its championships Friday at W.F. West High School.