3A/4A PREP GIRLS STATE TRACK: Smith, Brennan champs

PASCO — One of the first things Kirsten Smith did after winning a state shot put championship Friday was call her coach, who didn’t see Smith’ victory because he had to work.

The coach, Ned Prouse, had trouble accepting Smith’s big news, Smith said after ending the phone call.

“I don’t think he really believed me at first. He was like, ‘You’re kidding, right?’” said Smith, a senior at Everett High School.

Even Smith had a difficult time grasping what she accomplished. After placing 11th last year in the Class 3A girls shot put finals, she won it all in her return trip.

Smith launched a throw of 39 feet, one-quarter inch and defeated defending champion Kjirsten Jensen of Arlington High during the 3A/4A state track and field championships at Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium. The meets conclude today.

Jensen, who came in seeded No. 1, beat Smith the past two weeks at league and district championship meets. But Smith tossed her eventual winning throw in her first of three final-round attempts, and Jensen never challenged it, finishing with a top throw of 37-10 — well below her personal record of 42-0.5.

“I thought it was a possibility but I’m still kind of shocked right now,” Smith said. “It’s always a possibility: You could have a good day and other girls could not have their best day.”

Jensen said she’s been sick all week and that had a lot to do with what, at least for her, was a sub-standard performance.

“It kind of sucks,” Jensen said. “I wish I could have powered through it a lot better than what I did, but I still have tomorrow so I’m hoping that will be better.”

Today the Arlington thrower has a chance to defend her state discus title. She’s seeded third behind Christina Johnsen of Timberline and Everett’s Smith, the No. 1 seed.

Smith’s winning put Friday was 1-3/4 inches better than her state-qualifying throw at districts and gave her confidence going into today’s discus, she said. In 2007 Smith placed fourth in discus.

“I think it’s going to help me in disc definitely to push myself a little more and realize that it is possible to win state,” said Smith, who also competed in the javelin Friday but didn’t make the finals.

Brennan wins 4A javelin

In third place entering the final round of the 4A girls javelin, Kelsey Brennan didn’t wait for someone else to motivate her. She did it herself.

“It was all mental. I just told myself, ‘You better win this. You got to get out there and throw. Suck it up,’” said Brennan.

The Monroe High senior got fired up in time to heave the javelin 135-9. Although it was almost a foot short of her personal best, the throw was enough for a state championship.

Brennan, who last year placed second in the event, threw 6 inches further than runner-up Jenna Walsh of Marysville-Pilchuck (135-3). Mountlake Terrace’s Caitlin Hovick was fourth (134-3).

There was more pressure this year because so many girls came into the meet with javelin throws of 130 feet or longer, said Brennan, who also placed eighth in the shot put.

M-P’s Welsh made an early statement by throwing 135-3 on her first attempt of the competition. Welsh’s previous season best was 130-10. She was seeded eighth based on her top throw at the district meet (120-10).

“She’s got great technique in the jav so she knew what she was doing,” M-P track coach Randy Davis said. “I always knew she was a 130-, 140-type girl.”

Other top performances in 4A finals by girls from local schools included: Cascade’s Brittany Jones (third in shot put, 38-5.5) and Snohomish’s Jessica Yates (fourth in long jump, 18-3).

In other meets

2A girls: At Tacoma, Lakewood senior Tawnya Hulslander earned the 2A girls state shot put title with a throw of 38 feet, 0.5 inches, over a foot and a half farther than the second-place throw Friday in the 2A meet at Mount Tahoma Stadium.

1A girls: At Tacoma, King’s senior Megan Crosby tied for third place in the pole vault with a mark of 9 feet, 3 inches.

1A boys: At Tacoma, Kyle King, a Coupeville senior, finished in second place in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4 minutes, 23.10 seconds. King won the event last year in 4:21.51. He is also the defending state champion in today’s 3,200.

1B girls: At Cheney, Crystal Holmes, a Grace Academy senior, finished in fifth place in the high jump with a jump of 4 feet, 2 inches.

1B boys: At Cheney, with a jump of 19 feet, 1 inch, Grace Academy’s Brian Young earned a first-place finish in the long jump. Teammate Sung-Yong Lee finished in sixth place.

Writer Mike Cane: mcane@heraldnet.com. Check out the prep sports blog Double Team at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam.

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