Auburn Mountainview’s Chris Penn, middle, scoots to a second-place finish in the 100-meter 4A state final at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma last Saturday. Penn would later capture the 200 title. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Auburn Mountainview’s Chris Penn, middle, scoots to a second-place finish in the 100-meter 4A state final at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma last Saturday. Penn would later capture the 200 title. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Lions’ Penn blazes to 200-meter state victory

Auburn Mountainview’s Hanson soars to fourth in the pole vault; Auburn’s Young grabs silver in the discus

Auburn Mountainview, devastated by the loss of its 400-meter boys relay team in the preliminaries, turned to catalyst Chris Penn to salvage the day at the rain-drenched 4A track and field championships last Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Penn, the school’s record-setting senior sprinter, was denied the 100-meter title when Curtis’ Marlon Jones leaned at the wire to seize the victory in 11.03 seconds to Penn’s 11.06.

“Really disappointing,” Penn said in disbelief as he walked away from the finish line at Mount Tahoma High School Stadium in Tacoma.

Three hours later, Penn found a higher gear and pulled out a race of a lifetime. He cut through the wind and driving rain to capture the 200 in 22.16. A smile replaced his frown.

“It was a very up-and-down state meet for us. Chris finishing off the meet the way he did was extremely uplifting,” said Lions coach Joel MacDougall. “He has come such a long way since his freshman year. It has not been an easy four years for him, but seeing him on the top of the podium in his last race as a Lion made everything worth it.

“We thought he had a very good chance of winning the 100. He didn’t have the best start, but he battled back and almost gutted it out at the finish line,” MacDougall said. “He was extremely focused for the 200. … I just could see that he was determined not to finish second again.

“We felt he ran a great race,” the coach added. “We wanted to really attack the first 100, to make up the stagger on the runner in Lane 4 quickly. He did it and then just relaxed and ran. Credit Chris and our sprint coach, Kent Rodseth, for executing in not only a very high-pressure situation, but in the pouring down rain and wind.”

The win came a day after the Lions’ sprint relay team, a title contender, misfired in its preliminary heat. Jeremiah Penn pulled his hamstring just before handing the baton off to Chris, his older brother, and the Lions were unable to finish the race.

“The 4-by-100 was a punch to the gut, but that’s the nature of the event,” MacDougall said. “The whole point is to get the baton around the track, and you have to be nearly flawless to do that and win against the caliber of teams we see at the state meet.”

Other highlights

Despite miserable weather, the Lions’ senior duo of Brennen Hanson and Kasey Provo made some noise in the pole vault.

Hanson capped his prep career by clearing a personal-best 14 feet to grab a share of fourth place. He attempted but missed at 14-6.

“There was a little bit of a plateau (during the season) but I hit my peak at the right time … I’m happy with that,” Hanson said of his finish.

Hanson, who plans to attend Boise State University and possibly join its track program as a walk-on, finished fifth in the 152-pound state wrestling finals three months ago.

“Brennen was as dialed in as I’ve ever seen him,” MacDougall said. “He’s a competitor, and he had it in his mind that he belonged on the podium.”

Provo, last year’s state runner-up, didn’t clear his opening height of 14 feet and became an early spectator.

“Conditions were not the greatest,” said Provo, the school’s record holder at 15 feet. “My fault. I offer no excuses. … the rain kinda got into my head a little bit.”

Provo will take his skills to Western Washington University to compete for the Vikings, who have one of the best Division II programs in the country.

“I have coached Kacey for four years, and even on his worst days he is still one of the best in the state,” MacDougall said. “But it was just not his meet. … This was one of the deepest field of pole vaulters I have ever seen at a state meet.”

Must have been the shoes

In the discus circle, Auburn’s Omar Young saved his best for last. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound senior unleashed a personal-best throw of 177-6, a school record, to take second in the finals.

“It was extremely windy,” said Young, who finished third in the event last year. “Sometimes the wind would pick (the discus) up and turn it over.”

Young slipped into his older shoes for better traction on the launch pad.

“They work in the rain,” Young said of his footing.

Young also finished eighth in the shot put (49-6¼).

Elsewhere

Auburn’s D’Angelo Washington found the podium twice, grabbing fifth in the triple jump (43-10¼) and seventh in the high jump (6-2). … Auburn sophomore Charlie Lockington was ninth in the discus (142-8, PR). … Auburn Riverside’s Marcus Sutrick finished 15th in the 1,600 final (4:24.39). … AR’s Alaya Hill, league and district champion, wound up eighth in the girls high jump (5-0). … Ravens junior Stephanie Igwala was 12th in the triple jump (34-8¾). … For the Lions, senior Anthony Gonzales was ninth in the javelin (170-10) and junior Rufina Everett was 13th in the girls shot put (35-11¼).


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Auburn Mountainview’s Brennen Hanson clears 14 feet to finish fourth in the 4A pole vault at the rain-soaked state track and field championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma last Saturday. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Auburn Mountainview’s Brennen Hanson clears 14 feet to finish fourth in the 4A pole vault at the rain-soaked state track and field championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma last Saturday. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Auburn’s Omar Young fought the elements but secured second place in the discus with a school-record toss in the 4A final last Saturday. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Auburn’s Omar Young fought the elements but secured second place in the discus with a school-record toss in the 4A final last Saturday. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

More in Sports

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

file photo
Emerald Downs had an average daily handle of $1.79 million during a shortened 2020 season that concluded Oct. 29. The average daily handle last season was $1.1 million. Fans were not allowed at the races, including during this photo from opening day.
Emerald Downs concludes season with daily wagering up 61% over last year

Off-track fans bet average of $1.79 million per day during 38-day session

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

File Photo/Kent Reporter
Emerald Downs increases horse racing purses

Betting up 67% over last year

Former Seattle Sounders Lamar Neagle to coach Federal Way Football Club
Former Seattle Sounders Lamar Neagle to coach Federal Way Football Club

Federal Way native looks forward to “giving back to the community that helped raise me.”

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices
Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

Stock photo
King County announces $600K in grants for youth sports

On July 27, King County announced the recipients of the 2020 Youth… Continue reading

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports
WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.