By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
TACOMA — It was quite the day for Lakewood High School junior Justin Peterson.
After earning a second-place finish in the Class 2A boys high jump — losing to Sehome’s Riley Fraser by just an inch — Peterson added a state championship to his resume in the 2A boys triple jump.
Peterson’s best jump of 44 feet, 4 inches, was 4 inches better than Tumwater’s Lane Russell. In Peterson’s first year of competing in the triple jump full time, he won a state title.
“I’m so excited,” he said. “I haven’t really triple jumped before this year and then two consecutive meets in a row I PRed by a foot.”
Steady improvement is something Lakewood jump coach Monica Rooney saw from Peterson throughout the year.
“He just really, really took to it,” Rooney said. “He’s really strong physically. He’s really coordinated and he got a lot faster this year. His sprint mechanics really improved. So those two things together really make for a great triple jumper and he’s also an outstanding high jumper — so he’s got the hops. They kind of go well together, high jumping and triple jumping.”
For full results from Friday’s track and field championships, click here
Peterson wasn’t too upset about his defeat in the high jump, but it was hard for him to hide his excitement after winning the triple jump.
“Riley Fraser from Sehome, he’s a senior and he deserves it a lot,” Peterson said. “I was a little upset that I didn’t get it, but second place, I still have another year … I’m real excited for next year and I’m really glad at how I did today.”
Rooney said Peterson’s work ethic allowed his dream day at state to happen.
“It’s amazing,” Rooney said. “He’s one of the best athletes I have ever coached. He’s hard working. He’s incredibly coachable and he is really talented.”
Peterson wasn’t the only local state champion Friday. In fact, he wasn’t even the only local triple jump champion. Cascade’s Tay’lor Eubanks won the 4A boys triple jump with a leap of 47 feet — 2-1 better than runner-up Justin Browne of Gig Harbor.
“I’m happy with the results,” Eubanks said. “It was a good day today.”
Eubanks, who is headed to Washington State University on a track scholarship, was ranked No. 1 in the state coming into the event and was a heavy favorite to win. Eubanks and jump coach Greg Font both said the senior had his eyes set on an even bigger number than he posted Friday, but Eubanks was just happy to win the championship.
“My dreams are big, man,” Eubanks said. “I’m happy that I won state, but my numbers, I wanted much better. I expected much more from myself this year. So I’m right back to training. College starts next fall, so I’m ready to start training for next season.”
Font said ultimately, Eubanks had a very successful senior season.
“He’s had a great year,” Font said. “It’s been a little up and down. He hasn’t jumped quite as far as he wanted to. He’s had some jumps well over 48 feet — we know it. But he’s scratching by this much or that much. But overall, he’s had a fantastic season and it’s been a lot of fun. He’s been a great ambassador, I think, to the sport and he’s just a wonderful kid to be around. It’s been wonderful coaching him for the last three years that I’ve been coaching him.”
Perhaps the most surprising local state champion of the day came from Archbishop Murphy High School. Mark Schireman won the 2A boys javelin on his final throw with a season-best 179-2, edging out Cedarcrest’s Justin Houser by 21 inches. Of the 16 competitors in the event, Schireman was ranked No. 9 coming into state. His final throw was a personal best by 15 feet.
“It was really awesome,” Schireman said. “I came out just trying to get Justin there at the end from Cedarcrest. It was awesome. I got a 15-foot PR. It was completely unexpected.”
Even the Wildcats javelin coach, Fred Luke, admitted he was a little surprised.
“Well, I knew he was going to have a big one today, but we didn’t think it would go quite that far,” Luke said. “It was a pleasant surprise.”
Arlington’s Dan Boyden added another top-five finish to his resume Friday. One day after he earned fifth place in the shot put, he finished fifth in the 4A boys discus.
At Mount Tahoma H.S., Tacoma
Triple Jump—1. Tay’lor Eubanks (Cascade) 47-00. Discus—1. Damon Unland (Joel Ferris) 174-03; 5. Dan Boyden (Arlington) 161-08; 8. Wyatt Meyring (Edmonds-Woodway) 148-02; 11. Travis Pickett (Snohomish) 142-10. 110 Hurdles—1. Andrey Zadneprovskiy (Auburn Riverside) 14.69. Pole vault—7. Jon Ell (MP) 13-0. High jump—9. Kevin Yates (Snoh.) 6-2.
Discus—1. Cody Quinton (Hanford) 160-02; 9. Andrew Basham (Lynnwood); 11. John Higgins (Glacier Peak) 138-05. 110 Hurdles—1. Joseph Collett (Hanford) 14.55. Javelin—1. Bradly Stevens (Mt. Si) 205-10; 8. Beau Kennedy (Mountlake Terrace) 168-01; 12. Arious (Taz) Frazier (Shorewood) 155-07. Long jump—6 .John Odion (Shorecrest) 20-1.5, 7. Cody Hernkind (OH) 19-8.25.
High Jump—1. Riley Fraser (Sehome) 6-08; 2. Justin Peterson (Lakewood) 6-05; 8. Aaron Flegel (Granite Falls) 6-00. Javelin—1. Mark Schireman (Archbishop Murphy) 179-02; 2. Justin Houser (Cedarcrest) 177-05; 10. Connor O’Kinsella (Lakewood) 164-03. Shot Put—1. Jarek Jensen (Squalicum) 54-11. Pole Vault—1. Nathan Dunford (Mt. Baker) 15-00. 110 Hurdles—1. Craig Allen (North Mason) 14.60. Triple Jump—1. Justin Peterson (Lakewood) 44-02.75.