By the time Neale got the baton in the final event of the meet, the Stanwood team had built a substantial lead. But Neale, who had already set a meet record in the 800-meter run earlier in the day, closed the gap and overtook the Spartans to clinch the win for the Grizzlies.
"We wanted to compete at districts," Neale said. "We love closing the meet in a way we won't forget. I'm so proud of my teammates."
Glacier Peak's Katie Bianchini also set a meet record in the 3,200 run. Bianchini finished the race in 10:47.95, edging out the previous record of 10:48.3 set in 1984.
Neale's time of 2:08.90 in the 800 was almost six seconds faster than the previous record of 2:14.80 set in 1992.
The Grizzlies' Megan Davis finished third in the 800.
"It's amazing," Neale said of winning the district championship. "I've definitely welled up a few times today. This is the best district meet I've had. I'm just so proud of my team."
While Neale – an established senior and star runner for four years – shined, another up-and-coming athlete made a name for herself at her first district tournament.
Mountlake Terrace freshman Chinne Okoronkwo's 39 feet-4.25 inch mark in the triple jump set a new meet record, besting the old mark of 38-1.25 by Bellingham's Kaylee Gardner when the Red Raiders were a 3A team in 2003.
Okoronkwo, who also qualified for state by finishing second in the long jump even on Wednesday, got another meet record in the pole vault event, jumping 12 feet – nine inches ahead of the next highest jumper.
"She's a very talented athlete," said Mountlake Terrace head track and field coach Russ Vincent. "I look forward to her continuing (her success) into next week's state meet."
Okoronkwo, who helped Terrace to a fifth-place finish, said there weren't a lot of nerves in the district meet, which she just tried to treat like any other event. She said the events are "programmed into my system," and she didn't even know what the records were while she was competing.
"I wasn't thinking meet records," Okoronkwo said. "I didn't know what they were. Those are just the icing on the cake."
The freshman is looking to continue her success at next week's 3A state championships and beyond. Okoronkwo hopes to continue to improve, and perform well at future district championships.
"I'll hopefully just keep breaking my own records and getting better," she said.
Team Scores: 1. Glacier Peak 144, 2. Shorecrest 93, 3. Marysville Pilchuck 84, 4. Shorewood 73.5, 5. Mountlake Terrace 71, 6. Stanwood 57.5, 7. Oak Harbor 53.5, 8. Marysville Getchell 49, 9. Meadowdale 33, 10. Everett 23.5, 11. Ferndale 20.
800 relay--1. Marysville Getchell 1:48.03, 2. Shorecrest 1:48.39, 3. Oak Harbor 1:48.55; 100 hurdles--1. McKenna Hunt (MT) 15.36, 2. Lacey McLean (MP) 16.42, 3. Angela Nguyen (MD) 16.71; 100--1. Charity Ijiomah (SW) 12.53, 2. Wurrie Njadoe (SC) 12.71, 3. Amanda Klep (MP) 12.75; 400 relay--1. Marysville Pilchuck 49.79, 2. Shorecrest 50.34, 3. Glacier Peak 50.65; 400–1. Ali Anderson (St) 59.23, 2. Maddi Kuligoski (GP), 3. Natalie Wyles (St) 59.88; 300 hurdles--1. McKenna Hunt (MT) 45.48, 2. Lacey McLean (MP) 45.63, 3. Megan Ransom (SW) 47.00; 800–1. Amy-Eloise Neale (GP) 2:08.9*, 2. Christina Wicker (OH) 2:17.40, 3. Megan Davis (GP) 2:17.94; 200--1. Charity Ijiomah (SW) 25.65, 2. Amanda Klep (MP) 26.03, 3. Jessica Miller (GP) 26.12; 3,200--1. Katie Bianchini (GP) 10:47.95*, 2. Haley Suarez (MD) 11:02.36, 3. Alex Laiblin (OH) 11:17.61; 1,600 relay--1. Glacier Peak 4:02.24, 2. Stanwood 4:03.33, 3. Marysville Pilchuck 4:05.38; High jump--1. Wurrie Njadoe (SC) 5-5, 2. Kaitlyn McCormick (MG) 5-2, 3. Mikayla Ingram (GP) 5-0; Triple jump--1. Chinne Okoronkwo (MT) 39-4.25*, 2. India Smith (GP) 36-3.25, 3. Mikayla Ingram (GP) 34-8.25; Shot put--1. Rosie Sittauer (E) 36-1, 2. Hailee Malins (MT) 35-8.5, 3. Anglica Cleveland (MP) 34.10.5; Pole vault--1. Chinne Okoronkwo (MT) 12-0*, 2. Lacey McLean (MP) 11-3, 3. Jenna Hess (GP) 11-0.
*denotes 3A District 1 meet record
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