TACOMA — It was a fitting end to Yukino Parle’s decorated prep distance-running career.
With another one of her devastating closing kicks, the Edmonds-Woodway senior surged to her second Class 3A girls 3,200-meter state title in three years with a winning time of 10 minutes, 40.0 seconds during Saturday’s track and field state championships at Mount Tahoma High School.
Sitting a stride or two behind a pair of North Central runners with 200 meters to go, Parle turned on the jets and burst in front. She then outlasted Allie Janke down the final straightaway, crossing the line 0.36 seconds ahead of the North Central freshman.
“She ran a very, very smart, tactical race,” said Edmonds-Woodway distance coach Al Bonney, who has coached for nearly 50 years at the collegiate and high school levels.
“There are very few people who can out-kick her, and she just played it exactly right. … She is one of the toughest competitors that I’ve ever worked with.”
It was simply the latest instance of the Boise State University-bound runner out-kicking her opposition down the final stretch of a race.
“At this point, it’s more of just the confidence that I have in my kick,” Parle said. “I just know it’s there, and so I wait until the right moment and try to use it to my advantage.”
Between cross country and track, Parle finishes her career with six top-two state medals. In addition to her two 3,200 state titles, she earned runner-up state finishes in two cross-country meets, last year’s 3,200 meters and Thursday’s 1,600 meters.
“I really wanted the 1,600 (title), because I feel like I had to kind of prove myself in the 1,600,” Parle said. “That didn’t happen, so I really wanted to come back and win this one so I could finish off on a good note.”
Parle entered Saturday’s 3,200-meter final ranked No. 46 in the nation among high school girls with a time of 10:29.77, which she ran in last month’s Eason Invitational victory. But on Saturday, all that mattered was the state crown.
“I didn’t really care too much if I PR’ed in this,” Parle said. “I just wanted to win.”
Shorecrest senior wins state crown
Shorecrest senior Ami Njadoe captured a state title in the 3A girls 300-meter hurdles with a school-record time of 43.63 seconds, finishing nearly a second ahead of her nearest competitor.
Njadoe raced to a fast start and held a commanding lead coming down the final 100 meters.
“When the gun goes, I run like (heck) all the way to the fifth (hurdle),” Njadoe said. “The fifth one is always my hardest one. I always just try and go really, really fast in the beginning, because I’m going to be tired at the end anyway.”
Njadoe also helped the Shorecrest girls 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams to second-place medals. The Scots’ 4×100 team finished in 48.69 seconds, a mere 0.02 seconds behind state champion Gig Harbor.
Shorecrest placed fourth in the 3A team standings with 40 points.
Hurdlers place second
In her first season as a hurdler, Holly Sudol earned a second-place medal in the 2A girls 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.15 seconds. She finished just 0.19 seconds behind state champion Tia Hill of Ellensburg.
Sudol entered the finals as the top seed after beating her previous personal best by more than 1.6 seconds Friday with a qualifying time of 44.92 seconds.
“It was a really good surprise,” she said.
Monroe freshman Hannah Ganashamoorthy capped an impressive state debut with her third top-three finish of the meet, claiming second place in the 4A girls 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.88 seconds.
“I had a great inside lane, and I just pushed it all the way through,” she said.
Ganashamoorthy placed second in both the long jump and 100-meter hurdles Friday.
“It sets a really high bar for me for the next few years to perform my best,” she said.
Other notable performances
Two days after winning a high jump state title, Lakewood senior Yareli Ochoa claimed a second-place medal in the 2A girls long jump with a personal-best mark of 17-7.75. She finished 0.75 inches behind state champion Maisy Williams of Black Hills.
Glacier Peak senior Elena Willems placed third in the 4A girls 800 meters, crossing the line in a personal-best 2:12.07. She also helped the Grizzlies to a third-place finish in the 4×400 relay.
Kamiak earned a third-place medal in the 4A girls 4×100 relay with a time of 48.89 seconds.