May brings warmer weather, ideal conditions and plenty of incentive for athletes to move quicker and throw farther.
Such was the case at the All-City track and field showdown at Auburn Memorial Stadium on Thursday, May 2.
A number of personal- and season-best times fell as boys and girls teams prepared for the three-week push to the state meet, the payday at the end of the month.
The Auburn Mountainview boys picked up the pace to secure another All-City championship in preparation for the North Puget Sound League meet this week.
Notably, the Lions’ 400-meter relay team sizzled. Landen Bowser, Bill Benjamin, Dhevin Pearson and anchor Chris Penn stopped the clock in 43.24 seconds, the fifth-best time among 4A schools and the 10th swiftest among all schools in the state this spring.
Penn, a senior and one of the state’s top sprinters, is optimistic about the foursome as it takes the necessary steps to get better in pursuit of another state medal.
“It felt good … it’s been looking good lately,” said Penn, who was part of the Lions’ bronze effort at state last year with a then-school-record 42.39. “We’re going to win state in the 4-by-1. … It’s going to take more practice and work.”
Penn also is focused on finding the podium in the sprints. At the All-City final, he repeated as champion in the 200 (22.58) and darted to victory in the 100 (11.12). He later joined Benjamin, Pearson and David Lysyy to take the 1,600 relay in 3:36.72.
Elsewhere, the Lions’ Anthony Gonzales dominated the javelin with a throw of 165 feet, 7 inches. His standard is 172-8, which he unleashed in March, the 10th-best toss among 4A throwers this season.
Kacey Provo, who captured silver at state a year ago, repeated as All-City king in the pole vault, climbing 14-0. Teammate Brennan Hanson was second (13-3).
Benjamin added seconds in the open 400 (53.55) and triple jump 41-8¾.
Jaron Marks, who has the eighth-best 4A mark in the shot put at 49-10, settled for second in that event (47-2) and also was second in the discus (142-3).
Auburn’s Omar Young is an imposing figure at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, yet he is pleasant and humble.
He’s also on a quiet quest for gold.
After his bronze finish at state last year, the senior is ready to be pushed by others to greater marks in the discus.
In April, Young uncorked a personal-best throw of 167-3, third best in the 4A rankings. He is 15 feet shy of front-running Braedin Dixon of Mead (Spokane).
“This time of year I feel good, I feel loose,” Young said, the defending district champion, who won the All-City discus (154-9) and shot put (personal-record 48-2¼) titles. “My goal is to take gold. … Give me a challenge. I like the competition.”
The Trojans’ senior jumper, D’Angelo Washington, pulled a hat trick at the All-City meet – claiming the high jump (5-8) where he owns the 4A’s third-best leap and the state’s 10th-best mark at 6-4. He won the long jump (20-5) and triple jump (42-3½).
Also for Auburn, Tim Rambo won the 800 (2:02.83) and Bakari Bakari took the 400 (51.76).
Leaving his legacy
Marcus Sutrick, one of Auburn Riverside’s most decorated distance runners, wants to finish with a flurry.
“I’m doing great, feeling strong,” Sutrick said after repeating as All-City champion in the 1,600 (4:34.25) and 3,200 (10:02.89). “Most definitely, my best races are in front of me.”
Sutrick, a three-time state cross country qualifier who finished eighth in the 4A finals last fall, wants to cap his career with another appearance at state. A 4:16 mile and 9:20 two-mile effort should get him there, he said.
“I just want everyone to know that I work really hard,” he said of his time at AR. “I’ve put everything I’ve had on this track and on the cross country trail.”
Other All-City champions for the Ravens were sophomore Adam Heck in the 110 hurdles (16.55, PR) and Cameron Kaku in the 300 intermediate hurdles (40.53, PR).
Auburn Mountainview freshmen Carrie Everett and Janea Robertson stole the sprint show, seizing the 100 (13.27) and 200 (28.04), respectively. Both joined Addyson Jones and Hailey Holsey, a sophomore, to win the 400 relay (51.57) and 800 relay (1:48.88).
Everett ruled the long jump with a leap of 15-6½.
Jones, a junior, doubled in the hurdles – 100 (17.43) and 300 (50.18).
The Lions’ All-City winners included Clara Ramsdell (400, 1:04.43), Josie Austin (3,200, 13:07.41), Rufina Everett (shot put 35-3½) and Maggie Ramey (pole vault, 9-0).
For Auburn Riverside, junior Stephnaie Igwala doubled in the triple jump (34-2¾) and high jump (4-8). Sophomore Jasmin Muneton ran away with the 1,600 (5:27.78) and claimed the 800 (2:25.76).
Auburn’s All-City champions were Autumn Miller (javelin, 89-0½), Tatiana Rose (discus, 113-1) and mile relay (4:26.03).
In all, Auburn Mountainview sends 27 athletes to the league showdown. … The NPSL meet is Wednesday and Thursday at Auburn. Action begins each day at 3:30 p.m. The top 10 finishers from each event at the league meet qualify for the West Central District championships, May 16 and 18 at Sumner. The top seven from there move on to state, May 23-25 at Tacoma’s Mount Tahoma High School.