By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
The Class 3A state track and field championships was a meet of firsts for two Mountlake Terrace athletes.
In her debut on the big stage, freshman McKenna Hunt performed like a veteran by advancing to the finals and finishing seventh in the girls 300-meter hurdles May 26 at Mount Tahoma High School.
Teammate Beau Kennedy, a junior who only took up the javelin this season, showed he’s a quick learner by finishing eighth overall in the event.
Hunt had been running the 100 hurdles and some running events when Hawks coach Russ Vincent decided to shift her focus to the 300 hurdles in mid-April.
“She spent half the season running distances and the 100 hurdles,” Vincent said. “We saw what she could do and said get her in the 300 hurdles. It took a couple of weeks. The rest was history.”
Hunt ran a time of 45.66 seconds in the prelims, which was a school record. In the finals, she clocked in at 46.15.
“What a great job,” Vincent said. “She was the only freshman on the podium. She had a great year. She’s discovered she’s a track and field athlete. … It’s exciting to think about the future.”
Kennedy also is looking forward to next year and the possibility of moving up in the standings.
Coming into the meet, two throwers clearly stood out among the 16 who qualified for state – winner Bradly Stevens of Mount Si (205 feet, 10 inches) and second-place finisher Matt Gilbert of Bellevue (196). The rest of the field came in with relatively similar marks, which meant all that Kennedy needed to do to earn a medal was to unleash a great throw.
Kennedy responded with a personal best throw of 168-01, which was almost five feet better than his district toss a week ago.
“He’s a first-year thrower,” Vincent said. “You can’t complain at all. Beau’s excited to throw this summer.”
Mountlake Terrace senior Nina Penner wrapped up her high school career with her fourth straight appearance at state. Penner ran in the 800 but did not advance to the finals.
“She had a great four years of track and field at Mountlake Terrace,” Vincent said.
Lynnwood junior Ryan McArthur took fifth in the boys 800, finishing the race in a personal best time of 1:54.39. Teammate Jordan Chase placed 10th in the pole. His height of 13 feet was one foot higher than his previous best mark.
Lynnwood’s 1,600 boys relay did not advance to the finals.
Meadowdale’s Leah Bennett finished 10th overall in the 100 hurdles. The senior clocked at 15.79.
In the Class 4A state girls meet, Edmonds-Woodway’s Djenne Dickens took home a pair of medals, finishing sixth in the 200 (26.13) and seventh in the 100 (12.88).
The Warrior sophomore set a school record in the 100 preliminaries with a time of 12.35 and her time of 25.39 in the 200 preliminaries was just 5/100 of a second off the school record Dickens already holds.
“To be able to earn medals in the 100 and 200 is fantastic,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Rick Fillman said. “Since the two schools (Edmonds and Woodway) combined in 1991, I don’t think anyone has medaled that early in their careers.”
Dickens is the first Edmonds-Woodway female athlete to medal in the 100 and only the third female to medal in the 200.
“She’ll get a little bit stronger and faster the next couple of years,” Fillman said. “Her times already are so good you’re not going to see seconds fall off. It’ll be tenths of a second here and there.”
Edmonds-Woodway junior Wyatt Meyring took eighth place in the boys discus with a throw of 148-2. He came into the meet seeded 14th.
“We knew he’d have to have a great throw to medal,” Fillman said.
Meyring will look to break the school record next year. He’ll need to extend his throw by about five feet, something Meyring is more than capable of, Fillman said.
Dickens ran a leg on the 800 relay team that competed at last year’s state meet but this year was her first in individual events as it was for Meyring.
“It just speaks volumes about their composure and maturity,” Fillman said.
Edmonds-Woodway senior Ruby Herbert took 14th in the triple jump (33-6) and 16th in the long jump (15-9).