State track preview: Thunderbirds’ Feldmeier ready to soar

Brooke Feldmeier has state’s best time in 400 meters; Tumwater standout also competes in heptathlon

mwochnick@theolympian.comMay 23, 2013 

  • STATE TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS

    Class 4A, 3A, 2A (Star Track XXXI)
    Thursday-Saturday, Mount Tahoma Stadium, Tacoma

    Schedule: Session I begins at 3:30 p.m. Thursday; session II begins at 9 a.m. Friday; session III begins at 1:15 p.m. Friday; session IV begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

    State 1A/2B/1B state championships
    Friday-Saturday, Roos Field, Eastern Washington University

    Schedule: Session I begins at 10 a.m. Friday; session II begins at 10 a.m. Saturday

    WHAT TO WATCH FOR

    Bulger going for two: Northwest Christian’s Karen Bulger could become the school’s first state champion in a throwing event since Rebekah Hutson won the 2B shot put title in 2009. But how many state titles will Bulger win? The junior leads Class 2B in the javelin (161 feet, 5 inches) and shot put (43-11/4), both of which are school records and her javelin mark is ranked second nationally. She’s seeded third in the discus (107-3). She leads the 2B field in the javelin by 33 feet and the shot field by almost four feet.

    Three-peat for Brown? Tumwater senior Andrew Brown looks to become a three-time state champion in the boys 400 before he heads off to run at the University of Washington. But this weekend’s race might be the stiffest state competition Brown, the 2A state record holder, has faced. Ephrata’s Jonathan Green enters with a best time of 48.82; Brown’s personal-best time of 48.31 was set in early April at the Stanford Invitational.

    Peaking at the right time: Olympia junior Sofia Kane enters Star Track in late-season form, running her best times during the postseason. She clocked a 10:48.45 in the 3,200 at last weekend’s 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district meet, seeding her second in her specialty event. Kane’s time is nearly two seconds behind Woodinville’s Chandler Olson (10:46.08) in her quest for her first state title.

TUMWATER – Brooke Feldmeier’s name already is splashed across the board of records at Tumwater High School.

Feldmeier is the proud owner of six school records.

And if she did more events, she might have more records.

“She can do anything,” Thunderbirds co-coach Bruce Smith said.

The multitalented junior will attempt not only to win as many as three individual state titles at Star Track XXXI this weekend at Tacoma’s Mount Tahoma High School, she could set state records.

Her 400-meter dash time of 55.18, set at last weekend’s 2A District IV meet, leads the state in all classifications and ranks 13th nationally this year; the Class 2A state record is 56.09 set last year by Blaine’s Cherish Morrison.

“I love the feeling I get afterward,” Feldmeier said. “I didn’t know (the 400) was going to be something that I love as much as I do. I love running it every time.”

Also, Feldmeier is ranked first in 2A in the 200 (25.01) and fourth in the 100 hurdles; the state’s leading time of 14.80, by East Valley of Spokane’s Brittany Dugger, is .16 seconds faster than Feldmeier’s personal-best time of 14.96 set last month.

Next week, Feldmeier will defend her title at the state’s multi-event championships – which is not a WIAA-sanctioned event, but is like a heptathlon – at Lake Stevens High. While the grueling 400 is not an event contested there, she looks forward to testing herself in the different events.

Had it not been for joining the Barron Park Striders, an Olympia-

based youth track and field club founded by Drew Stevick, as a 12-year-old, Feldmeier might be on the Tumwater fastpitch team. As a youth, she put her speed to use on the basepaths and led her team in batting average.

Feldmeier’s fascination with the 400 started her first year with the Striders.

She demonstrated her versatility by placing eighth in the Junior Olympics pentathlon in her age group.

That hooked her on track and field entering middle school. “I slept with my medal (that night),” she said.

Feldmeier still competes for Stevick, whom Feldmeier called a mentor. She was second in the heptathlon at last summer’s Junior Olympics, setting a club-record score of 4,338. Stevick said she has the speed and power for those events but most of all, “she likes it,” he said.

“It’s a special thing to be able to do,” Stevick said.

Feldmeier holds Tumwater school records in the 200 and 400 dashes, the 100 and 300 hurdles, the heptathlon and shares the high jump record. She’s competed in six events this spring, but elected to focus on heptathlon-centric events that don’t have time conflicts at the state meet; the schedule is spread out for all three events she’s entered this year. Athletes are limited to four events at state.

She was one of 24 girls to compete for Tumwater during the regular season and accounted for many of the team’s points. She tallied 30 points each at the 2A Evergreen Conference sub-district meet and 2A District IV meet, setting school records in the 400 and 200.

She won the District IV title in the 400 by almost six seconds – no other participant ran under 60 seconds. And while stiff challenges might not be at every meet, Feldmeier’s motivation comes from the clock as much as the competition.

“I pushed myself and I want go for a faster time every time,” she said.

Smith, a former 400 runner, said Feldmeier has yet to run the perfect race.

“I don’t know how fast she is yet,” he said.

Smith has built a strong contingent of 400 runners the past few years. Tumwater is home to Andrew Brown, the two-time defending 2A boys 400 state champion who has signed with Washington and is going for his third consecutive title this weekend.

Feldmeier and Brown could complete a Tumwater state sweep in the 400 this weekend.

“We’re really good friends,” Feldmeier said of Brown. “We’ve talked about how cool it would be to both win it and how it could actually happen. Now, we really want it to happen. … I’ve been waiting for this the whole season.”

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick mwochnick@theolympian.com

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