The final win of Josh Braverman’s track and field career at River Ridge High School had him smiling from ear to ear.
Not because the senior crossed the finish line first at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma for the fourth time in his career, but because of who he got to share the win with.
“It means a lot,” Braverman said. “I’m just happy that my teammates got to experience getting first place.
“That was the whole goal for me coming into this (race), my team having all the glory and having fun with it.”
Saturday afternoon, Braverman won the final race of his career at the Class 2A track and field championships, anchoring River Ridge’s 4x100-meter relay.
He was thrilled to share his final title with teammates Drayden Alexander, Alex Coleman and Tyler Robinson.
The squad, which was seeded second entering the finals, ran a season-best time of 42.92 seconds. Alexander was quick through the first corner.
Coleman, a senior who ran the second leg, said there was a small gap entering the second half of the race, but he closed it. River Ridge remained tight with the rest of the pack until the final exchange.
Robinson and Braverman had a seamless transition, and top-seeded Pullman dropped the baton, giving Braverman a clear track to the finish.
“Coming around the corner, it looked very clean,” Braverman said. “The handoffs were good. We won. We got the job done.”
River Ridge was the only team to finish the race in less than 43 seconds, and continued the program’s longstanding tradition in the event.
The 2014 group of Michael Key, Ika Morton, Chris Lieba and Dejuan Frye still holds the meet record at 41.49.
“It’s the perfect way to end it and continue the legacy,” Braverman said.
Earlier Saturday, Braverman easily defended his title in the 300 hurdles, finishing at 38.48.
He won the 110 hurdles on Friday at 14.07, and set the meet record for that race in the prelims Thursday at 14.04.
Braverman also took sixth in the 100 (11.05) on Saturday, reaching the podium in all four of his events for the second consecutive season.
He finished his three-year career at River Ridge with 10 medals at the state championships, including the four titles.
▪ After going back and fourth with Shadle Park’s Jakobe’ Ford all season in the 3A boys triple jump rankings, Timberline senior Jaylen Taylor finished just behind him.
Taylor, the state runner-up, led through the prelims, but Ford passed him on the second jump of the finals. Taylor got close, posting a jump of 47 feet, 6 inches on his second-to-last attempt.
Ford upped the ante again on the final attempt, posting the winning mark of 49-2 1/4, and Taylor couldn’t quite match it.
“I feel like I had a good run,” Taylor said. “It’s sad that it’s come to an end, but over the last three years I’ve felt great about it.
“Coming in second in state behind someone who just jumped 49 (feet), I’m pretty proud of myself.”
Tumwater senior Evan Groat was the only other local runner-up at Mount Tahoma. He took second in the 2A boys 800 at a personal-best time of 1:54.37.
Selah’s Brigham Cardon set a meet record at 1:52.16 to win the race.
▪ Several local girls won third-place medals in Tacoma. In 4A, Olympia senior Lauren Wilson tied for third in the high jump, with Mead’s Amanda Chen, matching her personal-best jump of 5-6.
In 3A, Yelm sophomore Carissa Stovall took third in the shot put at 40-3 1/4, with Shelton freshman McKenzie Salazar-Fox right behind her in fourth at 39-5 1/2. Timberline junior Makenna Hansen took third in the 200 at 25.31.
In 2A, the Tumwater 4x200 relay team of Sydney Smith, Codi Short, Bella Wallerstedt and Bella Foos took third at 1:45.9. W.F. West junior Kendra Bottenberg took third in the javelin at 136-10.
▪ In Cheney, the Northwest Christian won the 2B girls team title by a large margin, aided by four first-place finishes on Saturday at Eastern Washington University.
Heidi Sowers, a senior, won the 100 hurdles at 15.43 and defended her 300 hurdles title at 45.95. Sowers also took second in the long jump at 17-6, losing by 1/2 inch to La Conner’s Matty Lagerway.
Navigators junior Eliana Summers won the 3,200 at 11:54.55, and was the only competitor to finish in under 12 minutes. Megan McSheffrey, a junior, won the 400 (1:00.14) and took third in the 800 (2:25.26).
In the 2B boys division, senior Luke Schilter won the 1,600 at 4:23.34, and senior Corban Phillips took second in the 800 at 2:01.97. The Navigators finished second to Northwest Christian of Colbert in the team standings.
Rainier’s Brayden Lasher took second in the 2B boys pole vault at 14-0.
▪ Mary M. Knight sophomore Kaylee Sowlee completed the triple crown in the 1B girls jumping events in Cheney.
She added a triple jump win (35-0) on Saturday to the long jump (17-10 1/4) and high jump (5-6) titles she won Friday. Sowlee also finished third in the 100 (13.38), reaching the podium in all four of her events.