The fix was simple for Skyline sophomore Kasen Williams — sprint harder on his approach to the high jump bar.
“I changed my run-up in practice this week,” he said. “I adapted to that so I could get more speed. That was my problem before, I just didn’t have enough speed.”
Williams’ new-found approach helped him clear a personal best 6-feet, 10 inches in the high jump last Friday, earning the 4A state title at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma. His previous best was 6-6.
“It felt good because there was two 7-foot jumpers going in, and I wasn’t one of the guys they were expecting to win, and I pulled it out,” Williams said.
Williams also leapt to a personal best 47-10 in the triple jump on Friday, taking home second place behind Kentlake’s Zach Smith (48-1). Williams finished third Saturday in the long jump with another personal best 23-5. He led going into the final group of jumpers before Justin Veltung of Puyallup went 24-5. Smith went 23-8 on his final jump to edge Williams.
“It still feels good to place and get third,” Williams said. “You can’t be mad at third place at state.”
The Spartans also earned an eighth place finish from senior Simon Sorensen in the 800 meters. He completed the race in 1 minute, 54.81 seconds. Skyline sprinter Alex Lee, who entered the state meet with the second fastest time in the 100, failed to make it out of the prelims in the 100 and 200. The 400 relay team also just missed the finals. Skyline finished eighth overall with 25 points. Mead of Spokane won with 49 points.
The Skyline girls, who have finished first in 3A in 2007 and fourth in 3A in 2008, took fifth place overall at the 2009 4A meet with 29 team points. Bellarmine Prep won with 56.
The Spartans didn’t have any state champions, but had six top-eight finishes, including two second places.
The 400 relay team of Kiara Williams, Shealee O’Donnell, Kaylyn Berry and Rachael Butenko finished in second place in 48.29 seconds. Bellarmine Prep won the race in 47.4 seconds.
“We’re all really close with each other, and three of us are graduating this year, so it was our last race,” Butenko said. “We’re happy with what we did.”
Berry also finished second in the long jump with a personal best 18-2 1/4 inches. Andrea Geubelle of Curtis won the event (19-4).
O’Donnell finished third in the 100 at 12.03 seconds. Gubelle won the race in 11.87 seconds. O’Donnell finished seventh in the 200 (25.31), while Amber Dodd placed sixth in the 300 hurdles (45.99) and seventh in the 100 hurdles (15.42).
Issaquah girls grab sixth
The Issaquah girls finished in sixth place in 4A with 28.33 points. The Eagles, who finished second in 3A last year, had six top-eight finishes.
Haley Jacobson earned the highest place for Issaquah, taking second in the 200 in 24.64 seconds.
“At the beginning of the season I didn’t like it, but I found out I was good at it so I stuck with it,” Jacobson said, after running in the 200 final.
Kelly Jacka of Bellarmine won the 200 in 24.24 seconds.
Jacobson also finished fourth in the 100 (12.04), narrowly edging teammate Johanna Carr (12.07), who finished fifth.
The 400 relay of Kim Varney, Jacobson, Elaine Tran and Johanna Carr finished fourth overall in 48.85 seconds.
“We have two seniors, so we wanted to go out right with them,” Jacobson said, noting the team was pleased with its performance.
The 800 relay of Carr, Kaley Allison, Varney and Jacobson finished third overall (1:42.54) and freshman Eva Perry placed eighth in the pole vault (10-0).
The Issaquah boys tied for 43rd place overall, earning two points from Dillon Reagan’s seventh-place finish in the shot put (51-9 3/4).
Eastlake boys take 15th
The Eastlake boys had a strong showing, finishing in 15th place with 17 team points. The Wolves had four top-eight finishes, helped by Brandon Cole. The junior finished third in the 400 in a life-time best 49.81 seconds. He also anchored the 1,600 relay to a third-place finish (3:23.43) — marking the third straight year Eastlake has finished in the top six in the event. The 400 relay of Robert Moore, Marcus Harewood, Dune Butler and Daniel Jackstadt finished sixth overall (43.67), and Jeff Sloat took seventh in the 300 hurdles (40.58).
The Eastlake girls took 42nd place with four team points, helped by Natalie Lambert’s fifth-place finish in the long jump (17-3).