Blaine pole vaulter Olivia Adams soared her way to the Class 1A State Track and Field Championship title, narrowly overcoming early rounds to eventually seal the win on her first try at 11'.
At the May 25 meet, Adams missed her first two attempts at both 10' and 10'9", forcing all-or-nothing third attempts.
“She had her back against the wall twice, but she’s tough and she’s a big competitor,” said Blaine vaulting coach Rob Ridnour. “She got it done.”
Adams’ opponent Nicole Talcott from Rainier cleared 10'9" in her first try, putting pressure on Adams to make the height.
Adams missed twice, forcing a difficult third try.
“It’s a tough event, especially on your third attempt,” Ridnour said. “I was probably more nervous than she was.”
With thousands of people watching and the championship on the line, Adams cleared the height to move the bar up to 11'.
After three attempts, Talcott couldn’t clear 11', giving Adams the opportunity to take the win. Adams executed the vault on her first try, which isn’t surprising considering she was clearing 11'3" at tri-districts a week earlier.
“It wasn’t unexpected because she was ranked number one going in, but it was an exciting way to win state,” Ridnour said. “It was fun to watch.”
Adams’ first place trophy helped the girls track team earn 17th overall in the meet at Eastern Washington University. Teammate Rachael McKinstry had a career day, clearing 10’ in the pole vault to improve her personal record by six inches and earn fifth place in 1A. Malie Laolagi placed ninth in the shot put with a throw of 35'9.5".
The boys track team earned ninth overall based on strong performances from Eddie Fontes, Tom Bradley and Gordie Kordas.
Fontes placed in all three of his track events, taking second in the 1600 (4:26.65), third in the 800 (1:59.48) and eighth in the 3200 (9:55.03). It’s been an impressive senior year for Fontes, said Blaine track and field coach Carey Bacon, who also coached Fontes to an eighth place finish in cross country.
“He would have liked to have won something, but he performed well and he had a great meet. He was pretty upset after the 800, because he’s run a faster time than he ran it there, but it was still a fast time. He was right in it, and it wasn’t like he gave it away or something, he just got beat,” Bacon said. “Eddie’s been a great leader, and his partner Tom Bradley has as well.”
Bradley struggled with injuries all season but still placed sixth in the 800 with a time of 1:59.48.
Pole vaulter Gordie Kordas placed sixth in his event, clearing 13'.
“He didn’t have his best day, but I thought he performed well,” Ridnour said. Kordas’ personal record is 13'6", which he cleared at the 1A district meet May 10.
Bacon said he was more than satisfied with the outcome of the state meet.
“We took eight people and five of them placed, so I was really happy with that,” he said. “As a team, we had a great day.”