As Kasen Williams bolted down the runway in his third attempt at the triple jump Friday morning, the sun peeked through the massive gray clouds above Mount Tahoma Stadium.
Perhaps some symbolism of what was about to come next for the Skyline senior.
Exploding off the board, Williams used a hop, skip and a jump to go farther than any athlete in Washington has ever gone, clearing 50 feet, 9 1/4 inches. He crushed the state meet record set in 2005 by West Valley’s Rashad Toussaint (49-11 3/4) and beat Toussaint’s all-time state best (50-8 1/4) by one inch.
“Last year I was going for it, but the weather just wasn’t where I wanted it to be at,” Williams said. “This year the sun came out and it wanted me to get it.”
Williams nursed a hamstring injury through the KingCo 4A championships and the District 1/2 meet by taking just one jump. He still won both titles.
On Friday, he scratched on his first jump and cleared a season-best 49-8 on his second attempt. Then came the big leap.
“Man, I haven’t even embraced it yet,” said Williams, moments after learning he set the record. “My expectations have been so high. For me to come out here and pull that off, especially on my last jump, wow.”
He felt his final jump could have even been longer.
“I wasn’t even on the board on that 50 foot 9, so who knows how far I would have gone if I was actually on it,” Williams said.
Aaron Williams, Kasen’s dad, once held the state triple jump record. He leapt 50 feet, 3/4 inch in 1977 at Tacoma’s Wilson High School. The jump still holds as the No. 5 all time best.
Kasen, who has long declared a goal of winning three titles, reached his personal milestone later in meet. He won the high jump Friday night, clearing 6-foot-10. He had hoped to clear 7-1 and set a new state meet record, but came up just shy.
Williams claimed his third title on Saturday afternoon, leaping 24-5 1/4 in the long jump. He let loose on the big jump on his final attempt, coming from behind to beat Kentwood’s BJ Arceneaux.
Skyline’s 1,600 relay team of Williams, Drew Matthews, Kyle Branch and Trevon Clark placed eighth overall in a time of 3 minutes, 28.44 seconds. Branch finished 15th and 16th in the 1,600 and 3,200, respectively, while Matthews failed to make the 400 meter final.
The Spartans earned 31 team points, placing them fifth overall. Kent Meridian won the team title with 45 points.
Issaquah placed 31st as a team with eight team points.
Senior pole vaulter Jason Hollaway picked up a large chunk of those points, finishing third overall. He cleared 14 feet — finishing only behind two jumpers who cleared 14-6.
Jumper Jorrell Dorsey placed seventh in the long jump (22-0) and ninth in the triple jump (43-6).
Kyle Farmer failed to qualify for the 100 meter finals, while the 400 relay team also came up shy of the finals.
Eastlake’s lone competitor Gino Bresolin came up one place shy of earning points for the Wolves in the shot put. Bresolin’s throw of 50-5 3/4 put him in ninth place overall.
Eastside Catholic’s lone competitor Chevy Walker failed to make the finals in the 300 hurdles.
Issaquah’s Eva Perry wins pole vault crown
Eva Perry has been in the hunt the last two years. The Issaquah junior pulled through on Saturday, claiming her first state title in the pole vault after clearing 11 feet, 3 inches.
She edged Richland’s Elizabeth Quick (11-0). Both vaulters cleared 12 feet during the regular season.
Senior Haley Jacobson finished her career with strong performances.
She captured second in the 200 in a season best 24.54 seconds — only behind Kentwood’s Holly DeHart (24.29). Jacobson was also fourth in the 100 finishing in a season-best 12.11 seconds.
The 400 relay team of Kim Varney, Gabrielle Gevers, McKenna Hogan and Jacobson placed third overall in a time of 49.05, while the 800 relay of Varney, Hogan, Jacobson and Mack Wieburg was sixth in 1:43.92.
Hogan placed 10th in the long jump (16-3), while Wieburg failed to qualify for the 400 meter final.
The Eagles finished sixth as a team with 32 points. Kentwood won the meet with 66 points.
Eastlake’s Haley O’Connor provided points for the Wolves, finishing fourth in the 400 meters in a time of 58.10 seconds. Katelyn Steen was 13th in the 3,200, while Lauren Files came up shy of the finals in the 300 hurdles.
Skyline didn’t have any top-eight placers over the weekend.
Lindsay Coutts finished 12th in the long jump with a leap of 16 1 3/4. All three relay teams fell shy of the finals, while Jordan Branch and Haley Smith came up short in the 800.