By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
TACOMA — Most track and field athletes need the whole season to prepare and feel capable of competing at a high level like the state meet.
For Lynnwood’s Andrew Basham, it only took three events.
After competing in one regular-season meet as well as the Wesco 3A league and then the district meet, the Royal’s junior had all the preparation he needed to capture the 3A shot put title at the state track and field championships held at Mount Tahoma H.S. on Saturday.
It wasn’t laziness that kept Basham from the ring — far from it — rather he was recovering from knee surgery. Saturday afternoon he stood atop the medal stand with a throw of 55 feet, 7 inches. The winning toss was 11/2 feet further than second place.
“It feels good, it feels great,” Basham said. “I really worked hard for it and it paid off.”
Despite the first-place medal, Basham was disappointed that he missed his personal best, which was 3 inches further.
First year Lynnwood throwing coach Mike Davis was proud to have his only individual champion of the year — also the only local champ on the third and final day of the meet. Davis previously coached at Coupeville and Archbishop Murphy.
“These don’t come around very often,” Davis said.
After the big win, both Basham and Davis already had designs on taking a repeat title next year when Lynnwood moves up in classification.
“It will be against Arlington and Lake Stevens (next year), but he’s throwing right with Boyden (Arlington’s top thrower),” Davis said. “It’ll be fun.”
Arlington’s three sport star Blake McPherson, who placed at the state wrestling meet and has accepted a football scholarship to play at Army, had his eyes on an individual state title as well, but circumstances worked against him Saturday.
After posting the second best preliminary time in the 300-meter hurdles behind Walla Walla’s Blake Gerling, McPherson though his chances were good in the final.
McPherson also competed in the javelin, which is an event that most 300 hurdles athletes wouldn’t attempt, so the daily schedule for the two events overlaps.
McPherson’s top javelin throw was good enough for second behind heavy-favorite Sean Keller, of Heritage, despite having to scratch his final three throws to check in for the hurdles.
From the start of the race, it looked like McPherson wasn’t comfortable and he placed seventh, behind Gerling in first and fellow Eagle sophomore Jared Alskog, who finished third.
“I started out faster than I usually do,” McPherson said. “But I was too close to the first hurdle and all my steps were off.
“I was hoping to get a state title. I thought I would have a chance in this. I ran fast in the prelims yesterday and I didn’t even run that hard … so it’s kind of a big disappointment.”
McPherson has one more chance to make his mark on Arlington athletics competing at Lake Stevens in the non-WIAA sanctioned annual decathlon next weekend.
“Hopefully I can end next week winning the decathlon,” McPherson said.
Another local athlete who was expected to compete for a state title prior to the season was Jackson’s Blake Nelson. His goal entering the season was to win the 4A state 1,600 run, but a stress reaction in his heel suffered six weeks ago forced him to adjust expectations. The heel has recovered, but he missed much of arguably the most important weeks of training leading up to the state meet. He worked on non-weight bearing activities, but there’s no replacement for running for distance runners.
The first test was in the morning, when he competed in his second-best event the 800. He finished in fourth place in 1:53.04. The race started strong for Nelson, but the weakness in his legs foreshadowed the rest of the afternoon.
“I went out so fast,” Nelson said. “I wasn’t expecting that. My legs felt pretty good. It was a fast time. That last 200 I could really tell that I haven’t really got good training in with my legs.”
A few hours later, Nelson — one of the preseason event favorites — crossed the finish line last in the 1,600. It was a disappointing end to an impressive career at Jackson, but this won’t be his final race. Nelson will run track next season at the University of Washington.
“The fact that I’m running next year kind of takes away that idea of me being done,” Nelson said. “So really I’m not really affected too much that it’s my senior season.”
Other local top athletes included Cascade’s Tay’lor Eubanks with a long jump of 21 feet, 13/4 inches in seventh place and Snohomish’s Kevin Yates who jumped 22 feet, 1/2 inch to take fourth.
Glacier Peak’s Andrew Prentice took fourth in the 3A 400.
At Mount Tahoma H.S., Tacoma
Team scores: 1. Gig Harbor 62, 2. Mead 58, 3. Federal Way 52, 4. Wenatchee 51, 5. Arlington 29, 6. Union 28, 7. Auburn Riverside 27, 8. Richland 19, 9. Joel Ferris 18, 10. Lewis and Clark 17. Other local teams: 20. Cascade 12, 29. Snohomish 7, 31. Lake Stevens 6, 34. Jackson 5.5., 35. Mariner 5, 40. Marysville Pilchuck 3, 48. Edmonds-Woodway 1.
100—1. Isaiah Brandt-Sims (Wenatchee) 10.82; 1,600—1. Andrew Gardner (Mead) 4:09.71, 14. Mason Nicol 4:25.33, 17. Blake Nelson (Jackson) 4:27.20; 400 relay—1. Gig Harbor 41.43, 4. Mariner (Chris Knowles, KeiVarae Russell, Dominique Law, Josh Williamson) 42.64, 6. Marysville Pilchuck (Tony Stanfel, Cody House, Josh Feinauer, Austin Joyner) 43.14; 400—1. Wes Bailey (Mead) 47.85; 300 hurdles—1. Blake Gerling (Walla Walla) 37.99, 3. Jared Alskog (Arlington) 38.5, 7. Blake McPherson (Arlington) 39.47; 800—1. Nick Boersma (Wenatchee) 1:49.87*, 4. Nelson 1:53.04; 200—1. Brandt-Sims 21.74, 6. Christian Linder (Snohomish) 22.75; 1,600 relay—1. Federal Way 3:19.08, 4. Arlington (Andrew Bosket, Blake McPherson, John Decker, Jared Alskog) 3:23.44; Long jump—1. Justin Browne (Gig Harbor), Jorrell Dorsey (Issaquah) 23-0.5, 4. Kevin Yates (Snohomish) 22-0.5, 7. Tay’lor Eubanks (Cascade) 21-1.75, 13. Kaleb Dobson (Cascade) 20-3.5; Javelin—1. Sean Keller (Heritage) 227-11*, 2. Blake McPherson (Arlington) 197-6.
Team scores: 1. Bellevue 65, 2. Lakes 45, 3. Hanford 37, 4. Peninsula 33, 5. Liberty 30, 6. Shadle Park 28, 7. University 24, 8. Seattle Prep 23, 9. Lincoln, Nathan Hale, Juanita, O’Dea 22. Other local teams: 19. Lynnwood 16, 23. Glacier Peak 10, 33. Shorewood 5, 39. Shorecrest 2, 42. Oak Harbor, Mountlake Terrace, Everett 1.
100—1. Tatum Taylor (O’Dea) 10.68, 4. David Fan (Shorewood) 11.9; 1,600— 1. Izaic Yorks (Lakes) 4:04.77*, 13. Carter Osborne (Shorecrest) 4:25.26; 400 relay—1. Bellevue 42.3; 400—1. Marcus Chambers (Foss) 47.36, 2. Andrew Prentice (Glacier Peak) 48.39; 300 hurdles—1. Collett 38.0; 800—1. Yorks 1:50.56*, 5. Ryan McArthur (Lynnwood) 1:54.39, 7. Carter Osborne (Shorecrest) 1:55.57; 200—1. Chambers 21.41; 1,600 relay—1. Bellevue 3:19.71, 7. Lynnwood (Modou Janneh, Corey Newman, Ryan McArthur, Tyler McArthur) 3:28.49; High jump—1. Eddie Gonzalez (University) 6-6, 12. Zander Seymer (Marysville Getchell), Aldin Vojnikovic (Shorewood) 5-10; Triple jump—1. Luke Plummer (Peninsula) 46-10, 7. Daryl Derbecker (Glacier Peak) 42-5.25, 11. John Odion (Shorecrest) 41-3; Shot put—1. Andrew Basham (Lynnwood) 55-7, 8. Andrew Dickson (Everett) 52-0.75.
Team scores: 1. Ephrata 66, 2. White River 58, 3. Squalicum 44, 4. Sehome 41, 5. Tumwater 36, 6. Pullman 24, 7. Deer Park 22, 8. Port Angeles 19, 9. North Mason, Interlake, Lakewood 18. Other local teams: 16. Archbishop Murphy 15, 18. Cedarcrest 14, 46. Granite Falls 1.
100—1. Jordan Todd (Interlake) 10.84; 1,600—1. Marcus Dickson (White River) 4:10.79*, 4. Mitchell Montgomery (Cedarcrest) 4:13.83*; 400 relay—1. Ephrata 42.41, 5. Archbishop Murphy (James Bieda, Austin Broadwell, Hans VanderWel, James Cameron Guy) 43.59; 400—1. Andrew Brown (Tumwater) 48.35*; 300 hurdles—1. Daniel Zmuda (Steilacoom) 37.87; 800—1. Marcus Dickson (White River) 1:52.84; 200—1. Jonathan Green (Ephrata) 22.25, 8. Luke Driscoll (Cedarcrest) 23.05; 1,600 relay—1. Ephrata 3:20.25*; Discus—1. Adam Mahama (Pullman) 172-3, 15. Tristan Nelson (Lakewood) 108-11.