TACOMA — Tumwater High School’s David Durden came along at the wrong time.
Make no mistake, the multisport athlete is a fine hurdler. In fact, his time in the 110-meter hurdles finals Friday at Star Track XXXI would have been good enough to win Class 2A state titles a couple of times over the past decade.
But his 15.18-second effort into a strong headwind at Mount Tahoma Stadium netted him a fifth-place state finish.
“It was so quick,” Durden said, shaking his head. “I was right behind them at the start, and they slowly pulled away. They are so quick over each hurdle ... that 10 hurdles seemed like nothing to them.”
In what could turn out to be the most competitive, high-level race of this state track and field meet – in any classification – White River’s Devin Liebel stole the show by winning his first 2A 110 hurdles title in 14.17 – just ahead of Washington State University-bound standouts Daniel Zmuda of Steilacoom (14.38) and North Mason’s Craig Allen (14.41).
All three broke the previous 2A meet mark of 14.52, set by Kiona-Benton’s Barry Leavitt in 2003.
“Oh, well,” Durden said. “Good competition.”
Three Thurston County athletes won state titles Friday: Capital’s Andy Miller (2A boys shot put), Tumwater’s Lane Russell (2A boys triple jump) and Tumwater’s Brooke Feldmeier (2A girls 100 hurdles).
It was especially gratifying for Miller and Russell because they
had been battling injuries.
A sore left knee popped up this week for the Cougars’ thrower. It was so painful, Miller practiced only Thursday – for 30 minutes.
But the senior apparently felt fine Friday. His first attempt went 51 feet, 7 inches. His next throw was a personal-best 54-31/4, which ended up winning the event.
“After my second throw, I sent the message that today I was going to win” Miller said. “I am glad it actually played out that way.”
Russell posted the state’s third-best triple jump mark – 46-71/2 – early in the season at the Stanford Invitational. On that same jump, the Tumwater junior injured his left heel.
“I was stupid and did three more (jumps),” Russell said. “That just made it worse.”
Turns out the injury was plantar fasciitis, which has greatly limited Russell in workouts.
“I have not had a lot of healthy jumps this year,” Russell said. “I kind of have been coasting and doing short approach jumps to try and keep it healthy until state, so it was nice to actually come out and put some force into it from a full approach.”
Russell led the entire way in the 2A triple jump, and posted his meet-winning 47-1 on his last attempt in the finals. W.F. West’s Bryan Moon (44-3) was second, and Capital’s Ryan Chase (43-13/4) was third in the 2A Evergreen Conference’s dominant showing.
Then there was Feldmeier, who obliterated the field – which included defending 2A champion Reagan Colyer of North Kitsap – in the 100 girls hurdles’ finals.
The junior’s time was 14.88 seconds – well ahead of runner-up Tiffany Richeson of Burlington-Edison (15.55). Colyer was third at 15.64.
“I finally won it this year,” Feldmeier said. “It was really cool to beat (Colyer) – we are friends. I hope it continues tomorrow.”
Feldmeier had the second-fastest qualifying mark in the 2A girls 400 at 58.41. Cheney’s Janessa Day is tops at 57.32.
Defending 2A boys 400 champion Andrew Brown of Tumwater grabbed the top qualifying time in 48.03, a personal best and better than his state-record time of 48.35 set in the finals last season.
“It was a little faster than I wanted,” Brown said. “I wasn’t trying to PR. I just wanted to get through.”Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/preps @ManyHatsMilles