Mountlake Terrace’s Brynlee Dubiel reacts to her time after crossing the finish line in the girls 300-meter hurdles during the Eason Invitational at Snohomish High School on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. Dubiel placed fourth with a time of 46.85 seconds. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Mountlake Terrace’s Brynlee Dubiel reacts to her time after crossing the finish line in the girls 300-meter hurdles during the Eason Invitational at Snohomish High School on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. Dubiel placed fourth with a time of 46.85 seconds. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Big turnout for 34th annual Eason Invitational

Everett’s Ndayiraglje, Kings’s Beard and Glacier Peak’s sprinters were among the local standouts.

SNOHOMISH — This year’s Eason Invitational drew one of its largest turnouts ever in the 34th edition of the annual prep track and field meet.

Ninety-nine schools from Oregon, British Columbia and all across Washington piled into Veterans Memorial Stadium over the weekend, and the highly-anticipated event didn’t disappoint.

The 99 schools topped the 90 that registered athletes to compete in the meet in 2023, and it almost matched the participation level in 2019, which featured mote than 100 schools. Snohomish coach Dave Weller, who assists in coordinating the event, tabbed the latest invite as one of the more competitive fields in recent memory.

“Some kids came into it with some really, really good marks,” Weller said. “It was definitely one of the most competitive Easons we’ve ever had. … There’s some good invites going on this weekend, but yet people are choosing to come to the Eason, so that makes me feel pretty good.”

The Eason Invitational tends to bring out some of the best showings from athletes. But less-than-ideal weather conditions, including frequent gusts of wind throughout Saturday, made busting records a tough task.

“Usually at the Eason over the last couple years we’ve seen many records fall,” Weller said. “We didn’t quite see that this time with the windy conditions. … But the kids just dealt with it, it was awesome.”

Still, local athletes made the best out of the weekend’s festivities, as many set personal and season-best marks in Saturday’s finals.

Here’s a look into some of the weekend’s top local storylines:

Glacier Peak juniors headline 100-meter dash races

Grizzlies junior Mateo Ganje turned on the jets in the boys 100-meter dash.

Ganje sprinted the 100 in 10.63 seconds, setting a new personal-best mark as well as claiming the top recorded time in the state this season for Class 4A. Ganje took second in the race, finishing 0.05 seconds faster than third-place finisher Mason Davis of Monroe. Seattle Academy’s Reggie Witherspoon III took the first-place medal n 10.38, also placing first in the 200 (21.73).

Fellow junior Keira Fleenor added another bright spot for Glacier Peak on the girls’ side, taking sixth in both the 100 and 200. Fleenor set a personal-best time in the 100 (12.46) and finished the 200 in 26.46.

“We were really trying to kick the progression in aiming for the state meets,” Glacier Peak coach David Weed said. “We were pleased with how the sprinters did, and we brought a large team this year and we had some good success stories across a lot of different event groups.”

The Grizzlies also fared well in the field events. Junior Madison McCallum placed fourth in the girls discus with a toss of 115-feet, 1-inch, while senior Ella Seelhoof captured sixth in the girls high jump, clearing 4-10.

Everett senior sweeps jumping events

Shukurani Ndayiraglje was due for an elite showing in the boys jumping events, and the bouncy and lanky senior did just that.

Ndayiraglje collected first-place medals in the high jump (6-6), long jump (22-1 3/4) and triple jump (43-11 3/4) as he headlined strong overall performances from locals in the field portions of the event.

Ndayiraglje, who holds a 3A-leading mark of 6-8 in the high jump this season, beat out second-place finisher and Stanwood junior Elias Caniglia, who also cleared 6-6 to set a season-best. Kamiak junior Myson Jackson was also in the mix, taking third with a leap of 6-4.

Junior Theo Beua of Marysville Pilchuck gave Ndayiraglje a run for his money in the triple jump, placing third with a jump of 41-8 1/2.

King’s sophomore dominates hammer throw

Knights’ sophomore standout Kimberly Beard, a national age-group champion from Mukilteo, helped maintain her status as the top girls hammer thrower in Washington.

Beard, who found herself throwing in three different meets over the course of the week, put up a mark of 171-2 in winning the Eason’s exhibition event on Friday. In addition to setting a new Washington state sophomore record at the Eason, she moved to the No. 3 rank in the nation for the hammer throw.

Other top local placers

Stanwood senior Grace Crain captured first in the girls javelin with a toss of 125-9; Marysville Pilchuck junior Maya Velasquez tied for first in the girls high jump, recording a mark of 5-2; Meadowdale’s 400 relay group of Matthew Patterson, KeyShawn Shepard, Brian Mills and Sebastian Summers placed second with a time of 3:29.73; Marysville Pilchuck senior Gianna Frank finished second in the girls shot put with a throw of 38-3 1/4; Kamiak senior Vivian Mawudeku placed second in the girls long jump with a mark of 17-7; Snohomish senior Kelsey Nichols claimed third in the girls triple jump with a mark of 35-10; Stanwood sophomore Ryan Khoury placed fourth in the boys 800, finishing in 1:57.81; Mountlake Terrace sophomore Brynlee Dubiel took fourth in the girls 300 hurdles with a time of 46.85.

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