Jaden Robinson and Aulane Mpouli made the most of the moment on the state high school’s big track and field stage last Saturday.
Auburn Riverside’s senior sprinters punctuated standout prep careers with strong podium finishes at the 4A championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
Attempting a rare triple on the oval with little rest between races, Robinson brought home a second in the 200-meter dash (season-best 21.89 seconds) after delivering thirds in the 100 (10.98) and 400 (personal-best 49.66).
“It’s been kind of rough, having the one (100) and the four (400), then having the two (200) after the four (400),” Robinson said. “But I did it yesterday, and I did it today … so I knew I would be OK.”
In his last race, Robinson pressed his friend, Kentridge’s pace-setting Solomon Hines, who occupied the next middle lane. Hines held a step-or-two edge to the wire, winning in 21.65. Moments later, the rivals exchanged hugs.
Robinson, a three-sport athlete bound to play defensive back for Oregon State University next fall, has enjoyed his time in track’s fast lane.
“I’d like to be remembered as the guy who doesn’t run track year around but is competitive enough to compete against the top in the state, no matter what event it is,” he said. “Just because you don’t run track year around doesn’t mean you can’t be top in the state.”
Mpouli also pulled extra duty as a versatile threat. She finished third with a personal-best 24.65 in the 200 after finishing fifth in a stout 100 field in 12.27. On Friday, she just missed the podium in the shot put with a throw of 37 feet, 5 inches.
Mpouli proved to be as resilient as she is fast.
“There’s going to be bumps in the road,” said Mpouli, who has signed with Seattle Pacific University. “My sophomore year I had an injury but I came back from it. This year I made it to the state finals … PR’d in the 200 … just never give up, even if you get hurt. You get back up … and you go get ’em.”
One of Auburn Mountainview’s best half-milers found himself in elite company last Saturday.
Carson Porter-Keese tucked in behind the leaders on the first lap but couldn’t match them on the second, fading to sixth in the 800 with a swift time of 1:55.04, a personal best and just off the school record.
“We went out really fast,” Porter-Keese said of the wicked pace, “These guys are nationally ranked, and you have some great competition in Washington. It was a good last race for high school.”
For the record, Camas’ Daniel Maton (1:51.02) and Issaquah’s Luke George (1:51.99), who own top 10 times in the country, finished one-two. Maton’s time is the 10th fastest in the nation. George entered the race with the country’s ninth-best time among high-schoolers.
Auburn Mountainview’s Kacey Provo, a junior nursing a sore hand, set a personal best and school-record 14-9 to take second in a pole vault marathon session that finished at dusk last Friday. Tahoma junior Zachary Klobutcher prevailed, clearing 15-0.
“(Kacey) was jumping better than everyone else in the competition and for about 10 minutes it looked as if he was going to win,” said coach Joel MacDougall. “It took a couple of clutch jumps by Klobutcher to beat him. Kacey was really disappointed, but that is the nature of the pole vault.”
The Lions’ 400 relay of Bill Benjamin, Christopher and Jeremiah Penn and Talan Alfrey secured a bronze with a school-record 42.39.
Alfrey was third in the long jump (personal-best 22-10¼), capping a highly decorated career at the school.
“He is such a great competitor who rises to the occasion,” MacDougall said of Alfrey, a three-sport athlete who will play football at Brigham Young University. “We knew it was going to take a jump of at least 22 and a half feet to place. He did it and broke the school record in the process. He’s just a special athlete.”
The Lions’ Lily Lavine was eighth in the 400 final (58.93) after posting a personal-best 58.70 in the prelims.
Auburn’s district champ Omar Young took third in the discus (172-5). … Teammate Jacob Kludsikofsky was sixth in the shot put (49-5¼). … The Trojans’ Rebecca Thareek was fourth in the high jump (5-4). Teammate Alaya Hill, a sophomore, was ninth (5-4). … For the boys, Auburn junior D’Angelo Washington cleared 6-3, ninth best in the 4A final. … The Ravens’ Marcus Sutrick was 13th in the 1,600 finale (4:26.51). … The Lions finished 10th and the Ravens were 11th in the final boys team standings.