TACOMA — Jayden White wasn’t particularly pleased with his performance in last week’s Class 3A Northwest District championships.
Not only did the Everett shot-putter have one of his shorter throws of the season, but he also didn’t finish atop the podium.
“That was the first league meet I’ve lost in shot put (this season), and I was really angry about it,” he said. “But I decided to turn that into fuel for this week. … We fixed a few things at practice — fixed my hands and figured out how to put more speed on the shot.”
Those adjustments paid major dividends Thursday afternoon.
White took second place in the 3A boys shot put, launching a personal-best heave of 55 feet, 8.75 inches during the opening day of the state track and field championships at Mount Tahoma High School.
The Everett junior was one of three local athletes who earned state runner-up finishes at the meet.
“He didn’t like getting beat at district, and sometimes those are the best things for you,” Everett throws coach Mike Davis said. “He did great.”
Last year, in his first season competing in high school track and field, White didn’t make it out of district in the shot put. His best throw last spring landed just short of 46 feet.
This year, all but one of his marks was more than 50 feet. He saved his longest throw for the biggest stage, improving his previous personal best by more than 21⁄2 feet with Thursday’s runner-up mark.
“It feels really good,” White said. “I didn’t really know that there was even any potential for me in throwing until early this season, so it’s huge for me. It feels really good.”
White, who finished more than three feet behind state champion Samuel Peacock of Gig Harbor, is the third Everett shot-putter in the past four years to earn a top-two state finish. Ben Howard placed second in the event last year, and Nicholas Blair was a state champion in 2016.
“We’ve got kind of a tradition going on,” Davis said. “I think he’s probably going to be my best thrower yet.”
White has another chance for a state title Saturday, when he’s slated to compete in the discus finals. The standout Everett thrower enters as the top seed in the field.
E-W runner jets to 2nd place in 1,600 meters
Edmonds-Woodway senior Dylan Hartono used a spectacular closing kick on the final half-lap of the 3A boys 1,600-meter race to surge all the way from sixth to second place.
Hartono was in sixth place heading around the final turn when he burst past a runner into fifth. He then jetted past three runners down the closing stretch, sprinting down the inside lane for a dramatic second-place finish.
Hartono crossed the line in a personal-best 4 minutes, 16.28 seconds — just 0.03 seconds ahead of third-place Johan Correa of Kennewick.
“I’m actually at a loss of words, even hours after the event,” Hartono said. “It’s crazy how things played out to my favor at the very end of the race. … I know that Johan Correa is a fast guy, and once I started inching slowly closer to him, I got motivation to keep pushing and finish off the race as fast as I could.”
Gig Harbor’s Bradley Peloquin ran away from the pack to win the race, so a state title was out of reach for Hartono entering those final 200 meters. But then again, even a top-three medal seemed far-fetched at that point until Hartono turned on the burners for a remarkable finish.
“He’s got such a fierce kick,” Edmonds-Woodway distance coach Al Bonney said. “I was really worried about him through the first three laps. I thought, ‘He’s in trouble. He’s just not running well.’ And then all of a sudden, with 100 meters to go, he comes blowing through on the inside lane. … He’s absolutely amazing.”
Lake Stevens’ Roe places 4th in 1,600 meters
Lake Stevens distance standout Taylor Roe placed fourth in a talent-laden 4A girls 1,600-meter race, leading a group of four local runners who finished in the top seven.
Roe, a five-time state track champion, jumped in front early and led a tight pack of four runners at the race’s midway point. But Issaquah sophomore Julia David-Smith built a slight lead on the third lap before pulling away in the final 400 meters to win the state title.
Roe finished in fourth place with a time of 4:57.83, crossing the line more than seven seconds behind David-Smith. Glacier Peak senior Brooke Wallace placed fifth, followed by Glacier Peak junior Aviry Stratton in sixth and Kamiak senior Alicia Anderson in seventh.
Other notable locals
Glacier Peak senior Katherine Potts placed second in the 4A girls discus with a mark of 129-6, finishing more than 17 feet behind state champion Beatrice Asomaning of Olympia. Jackson senior Brenna Board took third place in the event.
Arlington junior Julia Parra placed third in the 3A girls discus (131-8). She was followed by Edmonds-Woodway junior Vatoria Keyes in fourth place and Stanwood junior Anna Schander in fifth.
Snohomish junior Ellie Grant took third in the 3A girls triple jump (37-1.75).