M-P girls repeat as district track champions

SHORELINE — As team places were announced at the district track meet in Shoreline Stadium, Marysville-Pilchuck coach Randy Davis listened for his team.

As the Stanwood girls were announced the second-place finishers, he asked in the pause, “Did we win this? I’m a little shocked.”

Last year, with a loaded senior class, the Tomahawks won their first district championship in almost 30 years. The repeat came as more of a surprise.

Spread out across the stadium and the bleachers, the Tomahawk girls trickled onto the field as they realized what they had accomplished.

“This year, it was a lot harder. We had to scrape for things,” Davis added.

Thanks to talented upperclassmen who qualified the Tomahawks for state in multiple events, supported by strong performances in finals that fell just short of the meet at Mount Tahoma High School May 28-30, M-P returns to state defending its district championship.

Junior Alisha Oden fought off cramping to qualify in the girls 200-meter dash, the 400, the 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay. Senior Alexandra McDonald, who ran the first leg of the 4x400 relay, was a district champion in the girls 300 hurdles and will go on to state in the 100 hurdles as well. Freshman Summer Cull and sophomore Dacia Heckendorf rounded out the district champion 4x400 relay.

Cull and Heckendorf will also compete on the state-qualifying 4x100 relay, where they’ll be joined by junior Cali Cull, who earned an individual state berth in the triple jump, where she placed second.

Junior Sarah Clark gave the Tommies a third event championship at districts, winning the pole vault and earning her second trip to state in the pole vault with a mark of 10-0.

Senior Jenna Welsh returns to state and comes out of districts in second place. Her best throw tied Stanwood freshman Kaci Jones, with the championship going to the Spartan on the girls’ second throw.

The boys suffered some disappointment along with their highlights.

While junior Mark Pangilinan returns to state in the 110 hurdles, where he made finals last year, the Tomahawk finished just a couple of places from qualifying in the 100 and 200 as well.

Senior Travis Sanderson, a state veteran in the 300 hurdles, was on pace in prelims to return but stumbled in the finals. He’ll still return to state though, running a blistering anchor leg of the boys 4x400, where the boys placed third. He’ll be joined by teammates Dylan Knudson, J.J. Cartas and Cody House.

Additionally, the Tomahawks — along with 12 other district schools — watched their hopes for their male distance runners evaporate as Jackson swept eight of the nine state berths in the distance events.

“That’s track and field,” Davis said. “You go out there and lay it out there.”

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