NW Christian just misses sweep

CHENEY – That humming noise coming out of Lacey these days is the Northwest Christian track program.

The Navigators proved to be the class of the Class 2B boys track and field meet Saturday, getting convincing wins from Lucas Graham in the 800 meters, and Justin Holden in the 3,200 to wrap up their first team championship.

Their 82 points were well ahead of defending 2B champion Riverside Christian (63).

“It was a lot of hard work and dedication from every member of this team,” Graham said.

Even with a 1,600 relay triumph with a season-best time of 4:09.42, the NWC girls fell just short of claiming their first team title since 2007. Pe Ell’s 67-point total nudged them by one point.

That wasn’t to say the ride home from Eastern Washington was a downer – both teams had plenty to celebrate, coach Mike Michael said.

“The girls are not in a funk over it. They came over here and tried hard, and did what they could do,” Michael said. “We had some things go wrong but we also had some things go better than we thought.”

Just as he did Friday in his 1,600 victory, Graham picked the right time to turn on the jets in the last part of the 800. With 150 to go, he put it in a higher gear, and finally was able to shake Bradley Fenbert of Morton/White Pass.

Graham won in 1 minute, 57.99 seconds; Fenbert was the runner-up at 1:59.74.

“Bradley was on my behind,” Graham said. “I was able to gut it out.”

Not too many athletes run what is arguably the most three difficult three track events in a meet – the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

Holden did, even showing his coach something when he ran the first lap of the eight-lap 3,200 in 65 seconds.

“We went out aggressively,” Michael said. “Yeah, we questioned it.”

But Holden showed he had plenty in reserve, coming across the finish line in 9:54.89 – and winning by 31/2 seconds.

“Our team needed (the points), and I prayed about it,” Holden said. “And the Lord said I could do it.”

In Class 1A action, Elma High’s Todd Jackson won the boys 3,200 on Saturday in similar fashion to his victory the day before in the 1,600 – taking down defending champion Tyler King, of Coupeville. Jackson won in 9:37.1, to King’s 9:38.42.