SPSL Championships: Day Two
The Emerald Ridge Track & Field team had a historic showing on Day 2 of the SPSL Championships, including an all-time state record, two school records, two sophomore records, two freshman records, two league champions, and several district qualifiers. Those that finished in the top-6 will travel to Kent-Meridian next Thursday and Saturday with a chance to qualify for the State Championships the following week.
Without question, the highlight of the day came in the women’s 300 hurdles. The Jags secured a 1-2 finish with Karlee Stueckle taking the league championship and Mareonna Henderson finishing second behind her teammate. For Mareonna, it was the second fastest time of her career, and for Karlee it established a NEW ALL-TIME STATE RECORD in the 300 hurdles. To put that mark into perspective, over 1,000 women across the state ran the 300 hurdles last year, and only one of them ran within two seconds of that time, once (only 4 within 3 seconds this year). Washington state has been contesting this event since 1980 (39 years of history), and this all-time state record surpasses several athletes that went on to be NCAA qualifiers collegiately and one that set the national collegiate record in the hurdles. And Karlee SHATTERED the record; of those in the top-5 in state history, 17 hundredths of a second (0.17) separated first from fifth heading into this weekend (42.06-42.23), Karlee is now 3 tenths (0.3) of a second faster than the previous record (set by her future UW teammate). Karlee’s time of 41.76 currently ranks fourth nationally, established a new state record, surpassed our school record for the first time (#4 all-time Kayla Stueckle – 42.13), and subsequently broke the Stueckle family record. Words and numbers do not do justice to this historic feat, but our staff is extremely proud of the four years that Karlee has invested to get to this point. To watch this amazing accomplishment, check out the following link (enjoy the build-up from the announcer): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNS4HCxVd0Q&t=2s. Kevin Manning also wrote a nice piece on the accomplishment: http://puyalluprivercourier.com/ers-stueckle-sets-state-record-in-hurdles-moves-to-no-in-nation-p390-176.htm
In case that wasn’t enough excitement for the day, we also crowned Jonah Mains as the new SPSL Champion in the Men’s Shot Put. His mark of 50’2.5” is a NEW SCHOOL RECORD (and sophomore record), and Mains won the competition by nearly 5’ over the nearest competitor. 5 of his 6 throws were lifetime bests, and he secures his second bid into the district meet, after having qualified in the discus with a personal best on Thursday. Mains will be the #1 seed heading into the district meet.
Also in the throws, sophomore Ellie Peterson was initially announced as our new school record holder but after a measuring error was corrected, she still ended up as the sophomore school record holder, the third Jag over 100’ in school history, #3 all-time, and a finalist at the SPSL Championships (102’1”).
The field events were not done producing district qualifiers, as KJ Saunders and Hugo Ntanda took the apron in the men’s high jump. KJ matched his lifetime best of 6’ to finish in second place and secure 8 points for the team, while Hugo Ntanda improved his previous best of 5’8” to join the 6’ club as well and secure a third place finish and birth into the West Central District Championships. A great 2-3 finish for two deserving freshman, and both now stand as our freshman school record holders.
Our freshmen were not done, as Emily Wells and Roz Slichko both secured WCD births with their 4th and 6th place finishes in the women’s 3200 meter run. In hot and dry conditions, both athletes competed intelligently and secured their first ever WCD births and will represent ER with a chance to qualify for state next weekend. Three near misses for the ladies came in the distances too, as Sophia Brown (800), Emily Wells (1600) and Hannah Scheerer (3200) missed qualifying spots by one place while running huge season bests – doing everything in their power to qualify. Also in the women’s 800, junior Sydney Colbern also ran a huge personal best to finish 9th in the 800.
Our women’s 4x400 relay team, which currently ranks fourth in the state, also secured a spot to districts. Mareonna Henderson, Sophia Brown, Carley Huber, and Roz Slichko finished in third place in a competitive field that saw two of the three best teams in the state finish ahead of them.
What a fun weekend to be a part of Emerald Ridge Athletics. Of those that secured a spot to districts in an individual event, ALL OF THEM ARE MULTIPLE SPORT ATHLETES at Emerald Ridge. In addition to their accomplishments in track and field, they collectively represent men’s basketball, women’s basketball, wrestling, football, x-country, and women’s soccer. And of those that qualified for the post-season and missed a district birth, we had representatives from swimming, water polo, gymnastics, and tennis as well.