By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
TACOMA — With the discus competition winding down, Dan Boyden of Arlington was just moments away from a coveted championship on Friday’s second day of the Class 4A state track and field meet at Mount Tahoma High School.
Damon Unland of Ferris had one last throw to pull ahead of Boyden into first place. And with all the pressure of a make-or-break toss, Unland let loose an impressive fling of 185 feet, 5 inches — roughly 5 feet shy of the state meet record — to snatch the victory away from Boyden.
The Arlington senior, competing in his third state meet, settled for second with a throw of 176-2.
“Damon is an incredible thrower,” Boyden said. “It’s a little devastating to lose on the last throw, but at least I’m losing to a good thrower. And I wouldn’t want it to be any other way than (finishing second) to his best.
“Maybe it would’ve been (better) if he was ahead the whole time,” he added. To lose on the last throw, “there’s just a little more sting, that’s all.”
Boyden had an earlier toss that was probably beyond 180 feet and maybe would have been enough to win, but it landed a few feet outside the chalk line for a fault. “That was my best throw,” he said.
Joining Boyden in the discus finals was a trio of other Western Conference throwers. Wyatt Meyring of Edmonds-Woodway placed fifth (153-0), Nick Demars of Cascade was sixth (152-10) and Joshua Sharpe of Snohomish was seventh (146-1). Sharpe, a junior, was the highest finisher among underclassmen in the event.
Boyden was one of three runner-up finishers from Snohomish County schools during the Day 2 competition, which also included 3A and 2A schools. Cascade’s Kaleb Dobson was second in the Class 4A boys 110-meter high hurdles and Jackson’s Everett Kleven placed second in the Class 4A boys pole vault.
Kleven, a senior, was one of six vaulters to clear 14 feet, and one of two to clear 14-3 with a third vaulter passing that height. All three missed at 14-6, and Kleven finished second to Evan Britt of Wenatchee based on five misses to Britt’s three.
“I felt like I did really, really well, but I also feel like I could’ve done better,” Kleven said. “But I’m just so happy that I got second place. It feels really good. … Yeah, I was a little disappointed (not to win). But when it comes down to it, I did a lot better than I was supposed to do and that’s something I’m just really proud of.”
At 14-3, Kleven missed his first two vaults, leaving him just one more chance to advance in the competition. On his third attempt he got a strong push off the pole to clear the bar, and then let out a big yell of triumph as he dropped to the pit.
On that jump, Kleven said, “the pressure was on. With two misses, it was my last jump and I had to make it. To put the form together like I knew I could do, it was just a huge relief.” His last miss at 14-6 came close to a clean vault, “but I don’t think it was as good as my 14-3 jump,” he added.
“Everett performed well,” said Tony Carnevale, his coach. “Everything was right. … We wanted to peak right at state and we did that. So he responded well.”
Like the discus competition, the Wesco was well represented in the boys pole vault. Malcolm Manson of Mariner tied for third and Kodiak Landis of Snohomish was eighth.
Dobson began the day thinking he had a chance to win the high hurdles, but his time of 14.52 left him second to Eric Simpson of Rogers-Puyallup, a fellow junior who finished in 14.12.
“I’m a little heartbroken just because of all the hard work I’ve put in,” Dobson said. “But I’m still proud to be here. And to place second in the state of Washington, I’m very proud about that.”
Dobson will compete in two more finals today, the boys long jump and the boys 300 intermediate hurdles.
One of the day’s most remarkable performances was turned in by Tyson Penn of Federal Way. A freshman, he won the Class 4A boys high jump with a leap of 6-8.
The meet wraps up today with finals in the remaining events. Competition begins at 9:30 a.m., and continues to the final track events scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.