Lakewood’s Scott takes first place in long jump at state

Andre Scott, center, receives the gold medal after winning the long jump at the State Championship, May 26 at Tahoma High School in Tacoma.      - Courtesy Photo
Andre Scott, center, receives the gold medal after winning the long jump at the State Championship, May 26 at Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

LAKEWOOD — Five months ago, Lakewood senior Andre Scott found himself lying on the side of a mountain writhing in pain following an ill-fated snowboard trick. And the only thing coursing through his mind was whether or not his final track and field season had come to a pre-mature end.

Luckily for him, it hadn’t. Scott went on to have his best year in four uncertain track and field seasons.  He capped it off  by capturing the state title in the long jump at the Class 2A State Track and Field Championships, held May 26-28, at Mount Tahoma High School.

Scott’s winning jump measured 22-feet, 5-inches, a few inches shy of his personal best of 22-10, which he set a week earlier at districts.

“It felt great to win,” Scott said. “It is unexplainable. I had people coming up to me and congratulating me. It was surreal. I just couldn’t believe it.”

As for the spill he took on that mountain, Scott would soon learn he’d need shoulder surgery sooner or later. So far, he’s chosen later.

“My doctors tell me that there is a lot of scar tissue and that means I’d need surgery eventually to remove it,” said the 6-2, 180-pound Scott.” They told me there was a 70 percent chance of the surgery going well. At the time, I knew that if I had the surgery and it did not go well, it could have messed up my senior year. Instead I just worked hard during the season to rehab and it really didn’t affect me much. It hurts, but I can live with the pain. I’ll probably have the surgery later on. But it scares me because if it messes up my track that would really hurt … Track is my life.”

But it hasn’t exactly been an easy life for Scott. After bouncing on and off academic probation his freshman season, missing his sophomore season on the advice of his coaches and parents because of poor grades, his career didn’t really get rolling until the end of his junior season.

“It’s been a learning process for Andre both on and off the track,” coach Monica Rooney said. “This is the first year he completed an entire track season where he’s been academically eligible. He competed in nearly every meet, which is an accomplishment by itself.”

The turning point for Scott came at the district meet his junior year where he performed well enough to qualify for the state meet.

“He came close to just quitting before that meet,” Rooney said. “I could see it in him, he was done. But I convinced him to stick it out and he went on to have a great meet. That was the carrot he needed to change his path for his senior season.”

He went on to finish fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump at the 2010 state meet.

“Finishing my season last year as a junior was pretty cool,” he said. “I made it to state. That was big. People said those are pretty good jumps, but for me, I felt like I could have done better. If I would have trained better and didn’t hang out with my friends so much I could have done better. I’d to learn to do the right thing.”

Aside from winning the long jump this year, Scott also placed fourth in the 200 and sixth in the 100.

Other Lakewood athletes to compete at the state meet included Chelsea Stokes, Kelsey Anderson and Skylar Cannon.

However, Stokes wasn’t supposed to be at the state meet. But, fortunately for her, a spot opened just in time.

As the first alternate, Stokes found out the night before that an injury had sidelined her counterpart who held the third and final slot.

Stokes, a senior, took advantage of her fortune and went on to place fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 11:27.15.

“I didn’t know I was going until the night before,” Stokes said. “I remember being a little scared and nervous because I didn’t know what it was going to be like. It was my first time there.”

After visiting more than 10 colleges this past season, including University of Oregon, Stokes has committed to Eastern Washington University, where she’ll continue her track career.

“I really liked their program,” she said. “I contacted their track coach and he told me they’d love for me to come out.”

Teammate Kelsey Anderson finished 12th in the 1,600-meter run with the time of 5:28.66. The week before, at the district meet, Anderson set a personal best in the event with a time of 5:12.00

“It wasn’t my best run at state,” said Anderson, who is headed to Northwest College in Kirkland. “I died early and ended up with that time. But I felt like I gave it my best, but it was just an off day.”

As for freshman Cannon, just making it to state was a victory. After taking up the javelin midway through the season, Cannon took first place in the event at district meet, and earned her way to state. She finished sixth in the javelin throw with a distance of  117-08.

“I really wasn’t expecting to be there,” she said. “I took up the javelin at the middle of the season and I really like it.”

Cannon will continue to throw the javelin next year as a sophomore.


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