Auburn Riverside’s Noah Elwell took no chances.
The senior ran up front and stayed out of traffic to capture his 800-meter heat at the North Puget Sound League track and field meet at Auburn Memorial Stadium on Thursday, May 9.
Elwell finished the two-lap adventure in 1 minute, 59.33 seconds, the second-fastest time of the meet and swift enough to qualify for this week’s West Central/Southwest District meet at Sumner. The top 10 finishers in each event at the league meet survived to compete for another day.
“It’s not my PR (personal record) but I’m moving on and that’s all you can really hope for,” said Elwell, whose personal best is 1:57.6. “The top person from each heat doesn’t necessarily move on, so I needed to still run up front for my best time.”
Elwell, seeking a return trip to state in the half-mile, can expect even faster company this week at district led by Camas’ Daniel Maton, the defending 4A state champion.
For Elwell and others, the league meet was a challenging step. Many of the district’s best runners, jumpers and throwers come from the NPSL and South Puget Sound leagues.
League meet highlights:
Auburn Mountainview’s Anthony Gonzales broke through in the javelin and broke the school record in the process.
Gonzales, in only his third year competing in the event, unleashed a throw of 185 feet to set the school record during the finals on May 8. The mark is the sixth farthest this year for all schools in the state, second best in Class 4A and No. 1 in the West Central District.
“It feels amazing with the training I’ve done … it definitely paid off,” said Gonzales, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior.
“(The wind) was definitely in my favor but I knew as soon as I threw it that it was a PR, whether the wind was blowing with or (against) me.”
Gonzales credits his coaches for his rise in the ranks. He competes for the Tahoma Track Club under Keith Eager and has worked with Denham Patricelli, a standout javelin thrower at the University of Washington.
His best throws have yet to come. He continues to grow in and out of the classroom, where he supports a 3.6 GPA and takes on AP computer science and the automotive technology class at Auburn High School.
Gonzales plans to be a walk-on forthe track team at Boise State University this fall. He wants to study criminal justice, perhaps pursue a career as a detective.
Faster and faster
Chris Penn and Auburn Mountainview continue to improve on the oval.
Penn, a senior, captured the 200 league meet win in a personal-best 22.02 seconds, the second-best time in 4A, and anchored the 400 relay – with Landen Bowser, Bill Benjamin and Dhevin Pearson – to victory in a season-best 42.72, the second-best clocking among 4A schools this spring. The school record remains 42.39 set at state last year.
Penn also was second in the 100 with a time of 10.8, a personal record and the third-best time in the 4A rankings.
Auburn’s Omar Young, defending district champion, reached a season-best 170-1 to win the discus. Young added a third in the shot put. … The Trojans’ D’Angelo Washington claimed the high jump (6-2) and settled for thirds in the long (21-8) and triple (44-11¾) jumps. … Auburn’s Bakari Bakari was second in the 400 (51.7) and anchored the 1,6oo relay with Tim Rambo, Dylan Winter and Luis Romero to third in 3:27.54. … AR’s Marcus Sutrick ran a stout 3,200 and finished second (9:45.22). He will also compete in the district 1,600. … The Ravens’ Cameron Kaku took third in the 300 hurdles (40.67). … The Lions’ Jaron Marks was second in the shot put (48-4¾). … The Lions’ Kacey Provo soared 15 feet to place third in the pole vault. …
Auburn Riverside sophomore Jasmin Muneton (11:46.07) shone with a second in the girls 3,200. … The Ravens’ Alaya Hill climbed 5-3, a PR, to claim the high jump title. … AR’s Stephanie Igwala went (35-10½), a PR, for second in the triple jump. … Auburn junior Tatiana Rose spun the discus with a PR of 114-10 to grab third.
Auburn Mountainview finished fourth and Auburn was fifth and Auburn Riverside took eighth in the boys standings. … The Ravens wound up seventh in the girls race. … Tahoma won the boys and girls team titles … The district meet is Thursday and Saturday at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium. Field events begin 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Running events begin at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 1 p.m. Saturday.