TACOMA — After four years of both successes and challenges, it all came down to one final jump for Hannah Hicks.
As the final competitor in the Class 3A girls long jump state finals, everything was there for the taking.
The Edmonds-Woodway senior summoned all she had and soared 17 feet, 9.75 inches to claim the state crown Friday during the second day of the track and field state championships at Mount Tahoma High School.
“It’s a culmination of four years of really hard work — blood, sweat and tears,” Hicks said. “It’s really, really, really amazing. I’ve worked very hard for this, and I’m extremely happy.”
Sitting in fourth place heading into her final jump, Hicks was determined to cap her career on a positive note.
“I was thinking, ‘This is my last jump of my senior season,’” Hicks said. “’I’ve got to give it everything I’ve got.’”
It turned out to be just enough. After some anxious moments waiting for the official measurement, her state-winning mark appeared on the screen.
Hicks finished a half-foot ahead of West Seattle junior Chloe Cunliffe, who took second place at 17-9.25. It was the second-best mark of Hicks’ career.
“Gritty,” Edmonds-Woodway jump coach Michael Richards said of her final-round winning jump. “Definitely gritty. … She’s a competitor. She’s always been that way.”
After placing seventh in the state long jump last year, Hicks battled through some rough patches this season.
“I wasn’t jumping as well as I had hoped,” Hicks said. “I think I mostly just got into my head.”
But after breaking the school record earlier this month, she excelled. Hicks jumped 17-8.25 in the district meet, then captured a state title for a perfect ending to her prep career.
“It was just joy,” she said. “I had a rough beginning to the season, so coming here and winning this was really, really cool.”
Monroe freshman earns two top-three medals
Monroe freshman phenom Hannah Ganashamoorthy claimed a pair of top-three medals in her state debut, placing second in the 4A girls long jump and third in the 100-meter hurdles.
The day began in challenging fashion for the Bearcats standout, who entered as the nation’s 11th-ranked high school girls long jumper with a personal-best mark of 20-2.
Ganashamoorthy notched her third-best jump of the season Friday, leaping 18-11.5. But it wasn’t enough to beat Tahoma junior Alisha Wilson, who claimed the state title with a personal-best 19-2.
“If you jump extraordinarily well, you’re not going to be able to do that every day,” Monroe jump coach Craig Bekins said. “You’re not going to improve every big meet that you compete at.
“And yet, that’s pretty much what she’s done up until today. And today she was a ninth grader, and she was (inches) from being a state champion.”
Ganashamoorthy said she was disappointed in her long jump performance, but that it provided added motivation during her third-place finish in the afternoon’s talent-laden 100-meter hurdles final.
The Monroe track star crossed the line in a personal-best 14.37 seconds, finishing just 0.21 seconds behind state champion and nationally ranked Tahoma sophomore Alaina Brady.
“That hurdles race was incredible,” Bearcats coach Brittany Kitts said. “She raced as hard as we’ve ever seen her race, digging and head-hunting between each of those hurdles. … It was fantastic to watch her come back at the end of a really long, hot, exhausting day.”
Lakewood throwers claim third-place medals
Lakewood senior throwers Paige Shimkus and Jon Cox each capped their prep careers with a third-place medal in their respective events.
Shimkus threw 136-9 in the 2A girls javelin to earn her fourth top-10 state finish and claim the highest state medal of her career. She placed fourth as a freshman, sixth as a sophomore and ninth as a junior.
Shimkus entered as the event’s top seed and the 13th-ranked high school girls javelin thrower in the nation after launching a personal-best 148-5 last month.
Shimkus surpassed 140 feet five times this season, but couldn’t quite reach that mark Friday. She finished just over three feet behind W.F. West senior Kendra Bottenberg, who claimed the state title at 139-11.
Shimkus’ third-place throw would’ve won the 2A state crown two of the previous three seasons.
“We were hoping for a (140), but in javelin you either hit it or you don’t,” Lakewood javelin coach Tasha Kryger said. “There’s all types of different variables, and she did great. … It was tough this year. Everyone came to compete. I’m incredibly proud of her.”
Cox took third place in the 2A boys shot put with a school-record mark of 53-9.
The Central Washington University-bound football standout credited his nearly eight-foot improvement from last year to a minor adjustment he made earlier this season.
“At practice one day, I made a little tiny adjustment with my hand placement on the shot put,” Cox said. “… The little adjustments are sometimes harder than others. But if you do them right, it’ll just add on inches. And every inch counts.”
Cascade pole vaulter places second
Cascade junior Tyrza Lamma claimed her second consecutive top-three state medal, clearing 11-6 to earn second place in the 4A girls pole vault.