Blaine’s 4x100 relay team and sophomore Josiah Weeda will travel to Yakima this week to compete at the state championship meet, after both took second in their events at the 1A district 1/2 meet at Lynden Christian High School May 18 and 20.
Weeda, who is also a member of the relay team, finished second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.73 seconds. University Prep junior Max Seitz beat Weeda with a personal record of 15.29 seconds. Meridian had three athletes finish third, fourth and fifth, two of which ran personal records. The top six athletes qualified from the event.
Blaine track and field head coach Mark Schultz said Weeda had strong runs throughout the season that showed he would be in contention of qualifying for the state meet. “I believe he’s in solid contention to be a state finalist,” he said about Weeda.
Schultz said the relay team qualifying was a surprise.
The sprint relay team, composed of sophomore Colby Shipp, Weeda, junior Justin Minjarez and sophomore AJ Bennett, ran 400 meters in 45.21 seconds to claim the runner-up spot. Seattle Academy won with a time of 43.23 seconds. The top four teams qualified for state, and second through fifth place were separated by nearly a half of a second.
“The relays were pretty wild and crazy,” Schultz said.
Blaine beat two teams – Lynden Christian and Mount Baker – it lost to at the district championships on May 12, which Schultz said was largely due to clean exchanges from the Borderites. Meridian’s relay team, which won at districts, didn’t make it out of the preliminary round.
The last time Blaine had a 4x100 relay team qualify for state was in 1994.
The WIAA 1B, 2B, 1A Track and Field Championships will be held Thursday, May 25 through Saturday, May 27 at Zaepfel Stadium at Eisenhower High School in Yakima.
Other Blaine athletes narrowly missed qualifying spots. Senior Madeleine Ernst threw a personal record of 107 feet, 9 inches to take fifth in the women’s javelin. Schultz said a Sultan athlete threw a 10-foot personal record to beat Ernst and, unfortunately, only four athletes qualify for state. Ernst was a foot off a qualifying spot.
This was Schultz’s first year as head track coach. He said the team struggled with low participation and injuries throughout the season, but having Weeda and the relay team qualify for state in his first year with the program is promising.
“It’s great to have an individual athlete, but I think there’s an added element to having a relay team qualify for state,” Schultz said. “I think it lays the groundwork for the team to continue to be successful.”
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