Timberline’s Keshara Romain knew it would be a challenging day Friday at the Class 3A West Central/Southwest District bi-district track and field meet.
All three of her events — the 4x100 relay, 4x200 relay and triple jump — all came up within a 90-minute span.
The Blazers’ junior easily won the 3A WCD triple jump title with an effort of 36 feet, 1 inch, although it was well behind her No. 2 state mark in the classification (38-3 3/4).
She also anchored the Blazers’ heat-winning 4x200 relay team, which finished third overall with a time of 1 minute, 46 seconds. Since they finished in the top five, they will be headed to next weekend’s state championships at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma.
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As happy as she was about those two performances, it was difficult for Romain to stay excited too long.
Her mind raced back to what unexpectedly happened in the girls 4x100 relay where the Blazers finished sixth, and missed out on a state-meet berth.
They came into the day with the ninth-best time in 3A (50.11) — and were the No. 2 seeds behind Gig Harbor (49.95).
But on a fast track, with a home-stretch tailwind, their time of 51.05 in the first heat was well back of Thurston County rival Capital, which won it at 50.49.
“It was really weird,” Capital relay member Paris Crawford said. “We expected Timberline to be first because they won league. But I was standing at the end, and I saw (Cougars anchor runner) Regie (Grady) pulling away. We won, and we are going back to state.”
All the Timberline sprinters could do was wait for the second heat to unfold. And when Gig Harbor (49.50) and Central Kitsap (49.59) came in with fast times, their eyes peered over to the scoreboard to check out the times of the other schools.
When Lincoln’s time of 50.81 came up, the Blazers knew they were officially eliminated.
“It was nerve racking. We all did bad in our (relay) legs,” Romain said. “And then it was really hard to wait for (the other heat).”
▪ In the boys long jump, Timberline’s Justin Evans (21-6 1/4) finished third, and teammate Jaylen Taylor (21-5 3/4) was fourth, advancing to the state meet.
Taylor is the heavy favorite in the triple jump Saturday. He ranks third in the state at 47-6 3/4.
“Warm day, and the wind was at my back, so I knew I could get a (state-qualifying mark),” Taylor said. “And I am looking forward to Saturday, It is a chance to break my uncle’s school record.”
▪ It’s been a while since the Yelm boys had a 4x100 relay team with high expectations.
But this year, they do. The Tornados second in their heat — and fourth overall — with a time of 43.29, giving state-leading Lakes its biggest challenge.
“This was a nice surprise,” Yelm leadoff sprinter Cole Harrison said.
▪ Shelton’s Cody Simon easily captured the boys pole vault with a mark of 14-6.
He still ranks No. 3 in 3A.
And Highclimbers ninth grader McKenzie Salazar-Fox tied her personal best with a throw of 39-0 to finish as the girls shot put runner-up behind Gig Harbor’s Hadassah Ward (44-6).