By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
TACOMA — Mountlake Terrace’s Chinne Okoronkwo clapped her hands above her head like she was summoning a lighting bolt. Then she did it again. This time the fans surrounding the jumping pit joined in a building clap as she bounded down the triple jump track, flying into air.
It would have been a more dramatic moment if the sophomore had not already secured the state-winning distance, but it proved prophetic when the scorer revealed her final leap of 40 feet, 111/4 inches set the state meet record.
It was nearly three feet further than second place.
“Usually on good days when I’m feeling great, I like to get the crowd involved and it’s high energy and I like doing that,” Okoronkwo said.
“I think it’s really fun. I had to scoot my mark back a foot because of the clapping and how excited I was.”
She had plenty to be excited about, helping to lead Terrace to a third-place team finish in the 3A girls competition. Earlier in the day-long event at Mount Tahoma High School, Okoronkwo took second in the pole vault.
Okoronkwo wasn’t the only girls state winner from Snohomish County on Saturday. Arlington’s Lyndsay Leatherman picked up her second title at the girls 4A state meet by winning the javelin on her final throw.
Oronkwo might have done better in the pole vault, but her back bothered her during the event and forced her to change technique, said John Winters, Edmonds School District pole vault coach. Still, she cleared 12 feet. It was three inches behind Marissa Berry from Southridge and six behind her personal best.
“She’s really a long jump/triple jumper pole vaulting for us,” Winters said in amazement. “We’re borrowing her.”
Glacier Peak’s Annika Dayton came in seventh, clearing 11 feet.
Okoronkwo participates in track year-round, including during the indoor season and had high hopes for this weekend.
“I really wanted to get a triple this year with the long jump, triple jump and pole vault but second’s not bad,” she said.
She took the long jump title on Friday. She reminded herself that she has two more years to go for three.
Teammate Barbara Biney stood on the podium four times this weekend also in the long jump and triple jump, and placed in the 100- and 200-meter runs. Fellow Wesco 3A South performer Mikayla Ingram from Glacier Peak joined them on the triple jump podium in fifth place (36 feet, 1/4 inch), giving the league three of the state’s top eight finishers in the event.
Biney, a senior, only started doing club track a year ago and was making her first appearance at state.
“I’m trying to get used to it,” she said. “I feel like a freshman.”
She and Okoronkwo pushed each other this year and that healthy competition pushed Terrace to its first Wesco championship, its first District 1 championship and to a medal at the state tournament.
“It’s really awesome,” Biney said. “I like competition and she’s honestly one of my best friends. We’re on the same club team as well. We like to push each other but in a good way.”
Kamiakin took the overall 3A girls crown with 123 points. Holy Names was second with 102 and Terrace had 51 points.
Leatherman’s performance in the discus, which she won Friday; the shot put, which she placed second; and the javelin, which she won Saturday, helped boost Arlington to a team trophy. The Eagles finished fifth in the team standings with 33 points, which was just four points away from third. Twenty-eight of those points came thanks to Leatherman, a senior who will throw the javelin at the University of Washington next year.
“I contributed most of the points, so it makes me pretty happy that we will have a trophy,” she said.
Saturday’s javelin competition was proving difficult for Leatherman, who sat in eighth place entering the finals.
“It was pretty nerve wracking to have to hold out that long to get the title,” Leatherman said.
On her final throw of the day, she tossed a personal best of 146 feet, 4 inches, which was nearly seven feet farther than the second-place throw.
“To come up that many places in one throw is pretty cool,” Leatherman said.
Lynnwood’s Mikayla Pivec was the only sophomore to place in the event, coming in seventh (126 feet, 7 inches).
Pivec also finished seventh in the 800-meter run and was a part of the 1,600 relay for Lynnwood that took eighth.
At the 2A level, the showcase event for the girls looked to be the first individual event of the morning — the 800-meter run. Archbishop Murphy’s Kristi Bartz had been pointing to this since she finished second in the event in 2013.
Unlike any other event on the schedule, the 800 is most like a chess match, since the runners can’t really sprint. Yet it’s not a true endurance race either. Lake Washington’s Katia Matora, who also bested her in the district meet, checkmated Bartz on the final move. Matora ran in 2:17 and Bartz was six-tenths of a second behind.
“I was pretty disappointed,” Bartz said. “I was trying to keep the race kind of slow, which was why I took the lead. I started my kick too early. I got kind of anxious because the one girl was out pretty far ahead.”
With 100 meters to go it looked like she had the race. But she ran out of gas. Lakewood’s Britney Albro was right there in fourth place less than a second behind Bartz.
Murphy coach Paul Turner was equally disappointed for Bartz after the race.
“She took it really hard,” Turner said. “I’ve never seen her that disappointed. She was really focused on winning the state title. Today she got out-kicked in the finish and that’s just how it goes sometimes.
“I’m incredibly proud of her because compared to the other girls she doesn’t run cross country,” the Murphy coach said. “She kinda balances soccer with track. Those other girls run all year, so the fact that she’s even in the running for a state title is pretty amazing.”
The Wildcat 4×100 relay team (Kianna Garmanian, Lis Larsen, Katie Kelleher and Melissa Rivera) was a pleasant surprise, placing seventh with a time of 50.74 seconds.
“It was one of those things,” Turner said. “We barely squeaked into the district final. The girls popped at the final and snuck into state and then snuck into the final. They are a good group of girls that are really working hard and it call came together at the end which is how you hope it happens. “
The Marysville Pilchuck girls had very high hopes for both the 400 and the 1,600 relay, which was the last event of the day.
They tied for third place in the 400 (48.83 seconds) and were disappointed, but felt like they were set up well to compete for the title in the 1,600.
The race started slow with the Tomahawks in fifth place after the first leg. Charlee Pilon made up a spot on the second leg and they were in fourth when she handed it to Mackenzie Nolte, who made up another spot on her lap.
With 100 meters to go, there were three teams across tied for first including the Tommies. However, MP didn’t have the final burst and ended fourth in 3:57.36, which was the team’s best time for this year.
“I think that was the hardest part because we watched that and we were like, ‘We had this,’” Pilon said of the tie for first at the 100 mark. “The most important thing to us is we all gave 100 percent.”
There were tears, but the team of four seniors was not hanging its head.
“We just ran the fastest time we’ve ever in our lives run,” said Nolte, who ran a personal best 58.5 second split unofficially. “We’re all very proud of what we did but also disappointed because knowing we worked as hard as we did. Someone outworked us.
“We are the most competitive relay team you’ll ever meet, so losing to people sucks, but knowing that we were running with the fastest girls in the state makes us feel good because we can keep up with them.”
For a minute, some considered not going to the Marysville Pilchuck prom, but as they calmed down the girls felt they’d be ready to enjoy the event Saturday night.
Edmonds-Woodway’s girls 4×100 relay finished in fourth with a time of 48.90 seconds, 2.3 seconds behind Federal Way. Djenne Dickens, Claire Popke, Fatou Jatta and Ella Spillane ran for the Warriors.
Snohomish’s Kellianne Cavin entered the meet as one of the co-favorites atop the 4A high jump standings, having cleared 5-feet, 4 inches before, but she finished sixth after jumping 5-2 and watching the winning jump come in at 5-4.
Also for Snohomish, senior Madison Licther was sixth in the 100-meter dash.
4A Girls State Meet
At Mt. Tahoma H.S.
Team scores: 1. Federal Way 72, 2. Camas 48, 3. Richland 37, 4. Skyline 35, 5. Arlington 33, T-6. Inglemoor 26, T-6. Skyview 26, T-8. Bothell 25, T-8. Central Valley 25, 10. Central Kitsap 24, 21. Snohomish 12. 24. Lynnwood 10, 33. Edmonds-Woodway 5, 33. Jackson 5, 33. Monroe 5, 39. Cascade 4.
100—1. Hannah Cunliffe (Federal Way) 11.96, 6. Madison Lichter (Snohomish) 12.92; 400 relay—1. Federal Way 46.90, 4. Edmonds-Woodway (Ella Spillane, Djenne Dickens, Fatou Jatta, Claire Popke) 48.90; 400—1. Hannah Derby (Bellarmine Prep) 55.69; 300 hurdles—1. Darhian Mills (Inglemoor) 42.45, 6. Emily Bland (Monroe) 44.59, 8. Anna Pischer (Jackson) 45.71; 800—1. Alexa Efraimson (Camas) 2:04.10, 7. Mikayla Pivec (Lynnwood) 2:14.20; 200—1. Cunliffe 24.66; 3,200—1. Brenna Peloquin (Gig Harbor) 10:43.12, 8. Brooke Kingma (Jackson) 11:15.67, 10. Malia Pivec (Lynnwood) 11:17.41; 800 relay—1. Federal Way 1:40.75, 6. Snohomish (Eyonna Mason, Lauren Wheatley, Madelyn Prigmore, Lichter) 1:42.87; 1,600 relay—1. Skyline 3:53.24, 8. Lynnwood (Grace Douglas, Mikayla Pivec, Rita Sakharov, Jordyn Edwards) 4:00.76, High jump—1. Mariah Cunningham (Central Valley) 5-4, 6. Kellianne Cavin (Snohomish) 5-2, 7. Jadynn Alexander (Monroe) 5-0, 15. Anna Dominick (Lake Stevens) 4-8; Javelin—1. Lyndsay Leatherman (Arlington) 146-4, 7. Mikayla Pivec 126-7, 9. Karen Blackmer (Jackson) 115-9; Pole vault—1. Carrie Jacka (Mead) 12-0.
3A Girls State Meet
At Mt. Tahoma H.S.
Team scores: 1. Kamiakin 123, 2. Holy Names Academy 102, 3. Mountlake Terrace 51, 4. Columbia River 36, 5. North Central 34, 6. Enumclaw 30, 7. Shorecrest 25, 8. Decatur 22.5, T-9. Southridge 22, T-9. Mt. Spokane 22, 14. Stanwood 17, 21. Marysville Pilchuck 10.5, 23. Glacier Peak 9, 31. Oak Harbor 3.
100—1. Ngozi Musa (Holy Names) 12.14, 4. Wurrie Njadoe (Shorecrest) 12.40, 5. Barbara Biney (Mountlake Terrace) 12.58; 400 relay—1. Holy Names 48.19, 3. Marysville Pilchuck (Bianca Acuario, Amanda Klep, Charlee Pilon, Alexa Covert) 48.83; 400—1. Ellie Heiden (Kamiakin) 54.93, 6. Madison Yerigan (Stanwood) 57.79, 8. Ali Anderson (Stanwood) 59.22; 300 hurdles—1. Deja Svastisalee (North Central) 44.79; 800—1. Erin Ripple (Holy Names) 2:10.27; 200—1. Heiden 24.66, 6. Biney 25.44; 3,200—1. Megan Beauchene (Kamiakin) 10:34.52, 6. Alex Laiblin (Oak Harbor) 11:21.69, 8. Katherine Gustafson (Mountlake Terrace) 11:25.37, 13. Sophia Nelson (Mountlake Terrace) 11:52.08; 800 relay—1. Mount Spokane 1:42.25, 7. Shorecrest (Amanda Banks, Kate Hildahl, Kayla Holland, Gabby Lacson) 1:44.27; 1,600 relay—1. Holy Names 3:56.58, 4. Marysville Pilchuck (Bri King, Pilon, Klep, Wesley Bradley) 3:57.36, 6. Stanwood (Anderson, Natalie Wyles, Yerigan, Asia Borseth) 4:02.66; Triple jump—1. Chinne Okoronkwo (Mountlake Terrace) 40-11.25, 5. Mikayla Ingram (Glacier Peak) 36-00.25, 8. Biney 35-8; Shot put—1. KC Moulden (Enumclaw) 44-00.25, 8. Hailee Malins (Mountlake Terrace) 36-11, 10. DeeDee Free (Meadowdale) 35-11.75, 16. Ndey Sonko (Meadowdale) 30-2.
2A Girls State Meet
At Mt. Tahoma H.S.
Team Scores: 1. Sehome 70.5, 2. Tumwater 62, 3. Bellingham 45, 4. East Valley 39, 5. W.F. West 35.5, 6. Lake Washington 34, 7. West Valley 32, 8. Steilacoom 27, 9. Squalicum 24, 10. Ellensburg 19, 10. Sumner 19, 22. A. Murphy 10, 36. Cedarcrest 5, 36. Lakewood 5.
100—1. Alyssa Porter (Bellingham) 12.28; 400 relay—1. Bellingham 48.59, 7. Archbishop Murphy (Kianna Garmanian, Lis Larsen, Melissa Rivera, Katie Kelleher) 50.74; 400—1. Brooke Feldmeier (Tumwater) 55.83, 8. Cassie Collinge (Granite Falls) 59.96; 300 hurdles—1. Amanda Jaynes (Steilacoom) 44.51; 800—1. Katia Matora (Lake Washington) 2:17.00, 2. Kristi Bartz (Archbishop Murphy) 2:17.60, 4. Britney Albro (Lakewood) 2:18.16; 200—1. Feldmeier 24.96; 3,200—1. Emily Pittis (Sehome) 10:59.81, 5. Olivia Waterman (Cedarcrest) 11:32.79; 800 relay—1. Sehome 1:42.15; 1,600 relay—1. W.F. West 3:58.57; Long jump—1. Peyton Russell (Tumwater) 18-3.75; Discus—1. Elisha Allred (East Valley) 127-7, 15. Gillian Grant (Murphy) 84-2.