SNOHOMISH — Here’s something worth knowing about Madison Lichter. She is fast, really fast. So fast, in fact, that she will compete at this weekend’s Class 4A state track and field championships in the 100-meter dash for the fourth straight year.
But here’s another story. One that tells you less about Lichter the athlete and more about Lichter the person.
Back in April, Snohomish High School was getting ready to host the annual Eason Invitational, one of the state’s largest midseason track and field meets. Dozens of teams and hundreds of kids were showing up, and it was a chance for Snohomish — both the school and the host track team — to really shine.
Except the stadium, Lichter decided, was less than shiny.
So Lichter donned a large plastic garbage bag as a poncho, gathered some buckets and sponges, enlisted a few teammates to help, and set about scrubbing away the icky green stuff on the concrete wall at the bottom of the grandstand.
Why? “I’m very Type A,” Lichter said with a shrug and a smile. “I like things a certain way.”
Every Snohomish County high school has some exceptional young people, and Lichter is certainly one of those at Snohomish. A top student who hopes to attend law school after college, she combines excellence of character and academics with a similar determination to stand out in sports.
“She exemplifies everything we try to build into these kids,” Panthers track coach Tuck Gionet said. “She’s one of those kids you can point out to the freshmen and say, ‘This is what we want you to become.’ And it’s not just as an athlete, but as a student and a person, too.”
Lichter had previously played volleyball and danced ballet, but in her senior year she decided to focus solely on track, where she has blossomed into one of Washington’s premier high school sprinters. She qualified for state as a freshman and a sophomore in the 100, and again as a junior when she also qualified in the 200. She reached the finals for the first time a year ago, taking eighth in the 100.
“Making finals last year, I was so proud,” she said. “I could say, ‘I’m from Snohomish and I got eighth place.’ It was awesome.
“From the first day of practice every year, (getting to state) is what I’m looking forward to. It’s the big goal at the end of the season, and when you get there it’s amazing. Being around other athletes who are the best at what they do is the best feeling ever.”
Regardless of the event, it takes a special athlete to qualify for state four years in a row. “And I’m definitely very proud of that,” she said.
Lichter, who ran a school record 12.27 seconds in a district prelim race last weekend, has Washington’s fifth-best Class 4A 100 time heading into this weekend’s state meet. She will also run the anchor leg on Snohomish’s 400 and 800 relay teams.
Next season, Lichter will accept a full-tuition scholarship to compete at Seattle University, with other scholarships covering much of her expenses for room and board. She is already getting a jump on her college curriculum by taking classes at Snohomish through Everett Community College in Government Law and Government Economics.
Classes that are, ironically enough, taught by Gionet.
“A lot of kids shy away from those (difficult) classes,” he said. “But I think Madison said, ‘I want the challenge.’ She’s definitely learned to challenge herself academically just as much as she’s learned to challenge herself athletically.
“And to see the work she’s put in and the rewards she’s now going to have at the end of the year, it’s very rewarding for all of the coaches.”
State Track and Field Championships, Day 3
When: Today, 9 a.m.
Where: Mt. Tahoma H.S., Tacoma
Finals: 2A boys—100 (Josh Dickey, Lakewood); 200 (Isaac Westlund, Archbishop Murphy); 400 (Westlund; Josh Zimmerman, Cedarcrest); 800 (Peter Smith, Archbishop Murphy); 3,200 (Douglas Davis, Lakewood; Logan Orndorf, Cedarcrest; Mitchell Darrah, Lakewood); 300 hurdles (Andrew Stich, Lakewood); 400 relay; 1,600 relay; Discus (Tristan Nelson, Lakewood); 2A girls—100 (Cassie Collinge, Lakewood); 200 (Collinge; Tayla Weaver, Cedarcrest); 400 (Collinge); 800 (Kristi Bartz, Archbishop Murphy; Britney Albro, Lakewood); 3,200 (Olivia Waterman, Cedarcrest); 300 hurdles; 400 relay (Archbishop Murphy); 800 relay; 1,600 relay; Long jump; Discus (Gillian Grant, Archbishop Murphy); 3A boys—100 (Austin Joyner, Deion Stell, Marysville Pilchuck; Margaryonta Kilcup, Meadowdale); 200 (Joyner; Kilcup; Will McNamara, Shorecrest); 400 (Dejon Devroe, Oak Harbor; Will DeMaris, Glacier Peak; McNamara); 800 (Garrett Westover, Marysville Getchell; Devan Kirk, Shorewood; Chris Bianchini, Glacier Peak); 3,200 (John Rodeheffer, Oak Harbor; Omar Abdulla, Shorecrest; Keenan Stephens, Shorewood); 300 hurdles (Brent Hafenscher, Marysville Getchell; Alec Albrecht, Glacier Peak; Logan Coleman, Glacier Peak); 400 relay (Meadowdale, Shorewood, Marysville Getchell); 1,600 relay (Marysville Getchell, Oak Harbor, Meadowdale); Triple jump (Chikodi Ezeokeke, Meadowdale; Clifford Paulk, Marysville Pilchuck; Malik Braxton, Meadowdale); Shot put (Juan Ventura, Marysville Pilchuck; Justus Blair, Shorewood; Owen Reinecke, Stanwood); High jump (Jonah Hoverson, Shorewood; Aubry Victor, Shorecrest; Carlton McDonald, Stanwood); 3A girls—100 (Wurrie Njadoe, Shorecrest; Barbara Biney, Mountlake Terrace; Amanda Klep, Marysville Pilchuck); 200 (Biney, Amanda Klep, Bianca Acuario, Marysville Pilchuck); 400 (Ali Anderson, Madison Yerigan, Stanwood); 800 (Megan Davis, Heidi Smith, Glacier Peak; Jessica Ong, Mountlake Terrace); 3,200 (Katherin Gustafson, Sophia Nelson Mountlake Terrace; Alex Laiblin, Oak Harbor); 300 hurdles (McKenna Hunt, Mountlake Terrace; Sydney Mendenhall, Glacier Peak; Viviano); 400 relay (Marysville Pilchuck, Marysville Getchell, Glacier Peak); 800 relay (Shorecrest, Marysville Pilchuck, Marysville Getchell); 1,600 relay (Marysville Pilchuck, Stanwood, Glacier Peak); Pole vault (Chinne Okoronkwo, Mountlake Terrace; Annika Dayton, Glacier Peak; Kelsey Southwick, Everett); Shot put (DeeDee Free, Ndey Sonko, Meadowdale; Hailee Malins, Mountlake Terrace); Triple jump (Mikayla Ingram, Glacier Peak; Okoronkwo, Biney); 4A boys—100 (Michael Gbagonah, Cascade; Tanner Berndahl, Edmonds-Woodway); 200 (Gbagonah, Anthony Dill, Arlington); 400 (Wesley Love, Jackson; Chris Moreton, Kamiak); 800 (Noah Wallace, Lake Stevens; Kyler Sager, Snohomish; Tyler McArthur, Lynnwood); 3,200 (Aaron Roe, Jackson; Miler Haller, Edmonds-Woodway); 300 hurdles (Jared Alskog, Arlington; John-Robert Woolley, Jackson; Kaleb Dobson, Cascade; Jose Irizarry, Mariner); 400 relay ( Jackson, Kamiak, Arlington, Edmonds-Woodway); 1,600 relay (Jackson, Kamiak); Javelin (Tyler Webley, Kamiak; George Spady, Arlington; Tevin Gray, Lake Stevens); Long jump (Jacob Kraus, Kamiak; Travante Robinson, Jackson; Michael Forster, Arlington; Josiah Steele, Monroe); 4A girls—100 (Madison Lichter, Snohomish; Claire Popke, Edmonds-Woodway); 200 (Djenne Dickens, Edmonds-Woodway); 400 (Lauren Wheatley, Snohomish); 800 (Mikayla Pivec, Lynnwood; Katherine Slack, Kamiak); 3,200 (Brooke Kingma, Jackson; Malia Pivec, Lynnwood); 300 hurdles (Emily Bland, Monroe; Anna Pischer, Jackson; Rita Sakharov, Lynnwood); 400 relay (Edmonds-Woodway, Snohomish); 800 relay (Snohomish); 1,600 relay (Lynnwood, Edmonds-Woodway); High jump (Kellianne Cavin, Snohomish; Jadynn Alexander, Monroe; Anna Dominick, Lake Stevens); Pole vault; Javelin (Lyndsay Leatherman, Arlington; Mikayla Pivec; Karen Blackmer, Jackson).