By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — Some of the best boys and girls track and field athletes from across the state will congregate at Lake Stevens High School Friday and Saturday for the 43rd annual Washington State Combined Events championship.
The boys compete in a 10-event decathlon and the girls compete in a seven-event heptathlon. Both events are split into two days with the boys doing the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 on Friday and the 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500 on Saturday. The girls compete in the 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 on Friday and the long jump, javelin and 800 on Saturday.
Points are awarded to the athletes depending on where they finish in each event. The athletes with the most total points when all the events are complete will be the winner.
The decathlon and heptathlon are not offered as part of the high-school track season, but many of the athletes competing this week have aspirations to compete in college and practice the events throughout the year.
The decathlon is more challenging for the boys, who throw a heavier shot and discus than in high school competition, and must clear 42-inch hurdles instead of the standard 39-inch hurdles.
“It’s pretty different,” meet director Chris Mattingly said. “Even kids that are really solid hurdlers their times will come down.”
Mattingly, an assistant coach at Arlington, runs the two events along with Eagles head coach Judd Hunter.
Mattingly said Arlington’s Jared Alskog and Lakewood’s Andrew Stich are two of the favorites in the boys decathlon. Alskog placed second in last year’s event.
Holy Names’ Olivia Vincent and Tumwater’s Brooke Feldmeier are the overwhelming favorites in the girls heptathlon.
Both events are open to high school freshmen through outgoing seniors.
“It’s a low-key atmosphere, but (the kids) compete hard,” Mattingly said. “There’s a lot of camaraderie between the kids, too. They make a lot of friends.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.