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Tomahawk track brings home hardware
PASCO After going to state last year and just competing, M-P track came this year to win.
While the Tomahawks produced no event champions during the two-day meet over Memorial Day weekend, they consistently qualified for the second-day finals and produced several high-placing athletes.
"I think everyone came here just ready to compete," said senior pole vaulter Robin Mueller, who took sixth in the event at state, just leading teammates Michaela Caldwell and Sarah Clark by a best mark of 10-9. All three girls emerged out of districts in the event, and by going 6-7-8, all three earned points toward the team standings.
After running a 56-second split in the state 4x400 relay last year, the 400 would have seemed a natural event for Tomahawk sprinter Alisha Oden, but the sophomore only went out for the event at leagues a couple of weeks earlier. She qualified for state as a district champion with an uncommonly good time under a minute, but she shattered that time by three seconds in state preliminaries breaking the school record in the process to enter finals with the second seed. Oden pushed hard in the 400 finals, finishing second to Eleanor Siler of Lewis and Clark.
The sophomore plans to train through the offseason to build the strength to compete in both the 200 and 400 next season.
"I got a good time and felt good running it," Oden said, explaining her instinct to jump into the 400 after a season of the shorter 100 and 200 sprints.
While Monroe's Kelsey Brennan was the favorite to win the girls javelin, M-P junior Jenna Welsh gave the Bearcat a run for her money, improving almost 15 feet from her state-qualifying throw to a best mark of 135-3 just six inches behind Brennan to earn the event's silver on the meet's first day. Welsh, who transferred to M-P this season from Oregon, catapulted through the seeding, passing six girls who entered with higher qualifying marks.
All three Tomahawk relays had impressive days in the prelims, with the girls 4x400 saving some of the best for the last event of the day. Though seeded in a heat with three faster relays, the girls a team of Nicolette Runyan, Cali Cull, Oden and Haley Nemra dropped seconds from their time to win their heat. In the finals, they led for stretches, but fell behind ultimate victors Shadle Park and finished third.
The boys and girls 4x100 relays both qualified for the finals as well, each placing fifth overall.
Sophomore Mark Pangilinan, who ran the second leg of the boys 400 relay, emerged from the meet a dual medalist after qualifying for finals in the boys 110 high hurdles as well.
The result left him "very surprised," he said. "I didn't even know I was going to be here at state. It wasn't my goal at the beginning of the season."
But with Marysville's first event of the meet, Pangilinan helped do at state what he did at previous meets help start a winning streak.
"Initially, I was ranked last in the (hurdling) prelims," he said. "My goal was not to be last. And I made finals."
Pangilinan's relay teammate Andy Abadam didn't have too shabby a weekend either he walked away with medals in all three events for which he qualified to state. Abadam, a junior, returned this season as the only veteran member of the boys 400 relay. In prelims, he kicked off the first leg of a relay that broke the school record his state-qualifying team had set the year before.
"We really wanted to get Cascade," Abadam said, referring to the team that had possessed the state's fastest time for much of the season. "We haven't beaten them since I don't know when. We just had a perfect race."
Additionally, Abadam medaled in the long jump and the boys 100.
"We did great," said M-P track coach Randy Davis. "We have never had a Tomahawk meet so fast. We had kids in finals we didn't expect. From the first event when Jenna Welsh popped that throw, to the last (the girls 4x400 relay), the kids just competed for two solid days."
M-P complete results
Andy Abadam sixth place in the boys 100 (11.18), seventh place in the boys long jump (21-11 1/2).
Taylor Gibson sixth place in the boys pole vault (13-6).
Brandon Greene 14th place in the boys high jump (6-0).
Alexandra McDonald 11th place in the girls 100 hurdles (16.03).
Haley Nemra fifth place in the girls 800 (2:17.30), sixth place in the girls 1,600 (5:00.62).
Alisha Oden second place in the girls 400 (56.67).
Mark Pangilinan eighth place in the boys 110 hurdles (15.56).
Nicolette Runyan 13th place in the girls 200 (25.93), 15th place in the girls 100 (12.99).
Travis Sanderson 14th place in the boys 300 hurdles (41.09).
Boys 4x100 relay, fifth place (43.35).
Girls 4x100 relay, fifth place (49.34).
Girls 4x400 relay, third place (3:58.70).