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Kingston: Seven up for state challenge
KINGSTON — Seven Buccaneer track and field athletes captured the top two places at the district meet and compete at state today in Mount Tahoma.
“It’s extremely competitive and difficult to make it in the top two spots,” said coach Karla Laubach. “So for them to perform is awesome. State is a huge deal.”
Kingston will be sending Michael Ferrell, Jack Clearman, Ruby Roberts, Jamie Schultz, Kayla Campbell, Aaron Bilbao and Alex Tweten.
At the state qualifying district meet May 16-17 all competed with courage and gusto and said making state is a dream come true.
“To make it to state was my goal the whole season,” said Schultz, a sophomore who’s competing this weekend in the long and triple jump. Her best jumps of 15 feet, 10 inches and 33 feet, 5 inches are nearly a foot short of being in the 2A top 10. “It’s a big accomplishment. To make it all the way with two years left is really cool because it’s not my like my last chance, it’s my first.”
Unlike Schultz, Ferrell, a senior triple jumper who’d never qualified for state, only had one chance left and he wasn’t going to miss out. He’s dreamed of going to state since his sophomore year. But at the state-qualifying district meet he had a pulled hamstring, which he hurt even worse during the long jump competition. His only remaining opportunity was in the triple jump.
He took to the runway with a thick wrap covering his entire upper leg.
“It was huge, it was like a tank,” Ferrell said.
He scratched his first jump. His second jump was 39 feet, 10 inches, but three others had already jumped in the 40s. His third jump was also a scratch, but it was more than 41 feet so he knew he had a winning jump in him. Ferrell took only one jump in the finals, and one jump was all it took.
“I just put the pain behind, stayed focused and I just did it,” he said.
When he landed he had a PR by more than two feet and the winning jump of 42 feet, 2.5 inches. Ferrell’s dream had come to fruition, he was going to state.
“Oh my gosh I was so happy,” he said. “I was jumping up and down and saying, ‘That’s what I’m talking about.’ I said it like 10 times I was so happy.”
Making the accomplishment even sweeter is knowing friend and teammate Clearman will be joining him on the triple jump runway.
Clearman was the No. 1 seed for triple jump at districts and he entered the competition with confidence. He said his first jump was good, good enough to advance to state.
And then he saw Ferrell’s “huge jump.”
“I was happy he (Ferrell) beat me,” Clearman said. “We’re the only kids going from our district for triple jump and it was good to see that not only Kingston was going, but me and Michael were the two.”
Ferrell’s hope today is to jump 44 feet and to place in the top eight. Clearman wants to place in the top 10 and have the best jump of his life.
Both boys face great challenges at state, as the 10th longest triple jump in the 2A division is 42 feet, 9.75 inches and the top jump is 45 feet, 9.5 inches. Ferrell’s best is 42 feet, 2.5 inches and Clearman’s PR is 41 feet, 1 inch.
As a freshman Campbell travels to state for the 100-meter and long jump. She wanted to make it to state in the 100, but thought her chances were slim because she was competing against a really fast field. Campbell ran a 13.07 and finished in second.
“It was really exciting for me because I’d just achieved my goal,” she said.
She’d like to make the finals at state and if that doesn’t happen she’ll be happy with another PR. Campbell has a difficult stretch of track ahead of her today as her 100 PR time of 12.9 is still slightly slower than the 2A No. 10 time of 12.79, and the top time of 12.33.
Roberts advances to state as the district 1600 and 3200 champion. She currently holds the 2A fifth fastest 1600 time of 5:11.09, which is nearly seven seconds behind the No.1 time. Roberts is the fourth fastest 2A 3200 runner with a time of 11:13.81 and trails the top time by 11 seconds.
Bilbao and Tweten placed first and second respectively in the pole vault at districts. Bilbao’s top jump of 14 feet, 6 inches ties him for third in the 2A state division. Tweten’s highest jump of 11 feet, 6 inches puts him two feet lower than the 2A No. 10 jump.
While the athletes have hopes of places and personal bests today, both Laubach and Coffman have different ideals for the state competitors.
Laubach wants them to exceed what they think they’re capable of and Coffman wants the competitors to be happy.
“I want them to try their hardest and be happy with their performances,” he said.