So what if Austin Parker’s follow-through — hitting his face with his knee — after a personal-best jump of 6 feet, 4 inches might’ve gotten a few chuckles from onlookers.
The high jump bar stayed put, and Parker, a Timberline High senior, had a PR on his way to sewing up third place and a state berth.
“It was one of those days,” Parker said.
But ultimately a good one for Parker and the rest of the Blazers at the opening day of the 4A West Central District III track and field championships at Kent-Meridian’s French Field on Thursday. Parker’s third-place finish was one of Timberline’s two state-bound first-day performances.
The other was a 42.86 time from the Blazers boys’ 4x100 relay of Kerry Ervin, Brent Unroe, Michael Barnes and Christien Barnes, which broke the 11-year-old school record from 2004 — a team anchored by future NFL running back Jonathan Stewart.
The top six finishers from each district event qualify for next week’s Star Track at Mount Tahoma Stadium. The meet continues at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Also making a first-time state trip is Olympia senior Alexa Barnes, a runner-up finisher in the girls discus (121-5). Two years ago when Barnes turned out for track as a sophomore, she wasn’t a fan of the discus — but it’s grew on her enough that she’ll throw it and do other events at California Lutheran, an NCAA Division III school, starting next year.
“I never was expecting it,” Barnes said.
Also headed to state for the Bears are Winston Seaman (boys 400, 50.48), Kaden Wilson (boys javelin, 169-10) and Jake Bradshaw (boys javelin, 169-1).
After fouling three of his first four leaps in the long jump, one of his premier events, Yelm’s James Rodeman did enough to place sixth (22-2) and advance to state. He also was second in the 110 high hurdles (14.57). Teammates Kollin Crown (boys shot put, 53-61/2), Princess Sullivan (girls 100, 12.63) and Rheese Dolgash (girls 400, 59.83) also qualified for state.