Comets Chapman, Condon soar at track state in Cheney

<p> Naselle’s Chandler Chapman clears 5-feet-10 at the state track meet, tying for third place by topping 6-feet.</p>

CHENEY — Chandler Chapman cleared 6 feet in the high jump on an injured hamstring, Kyler Wulf went over the bar at a personal best 11-feet-6 and Jake Condon placed in the pole vault at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association 2B track meet May 24 and 25 at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

Chapman earned a third-place tie in the high jump and was 12th in the triple jump despite having re-injured a hamstring at the District IV track meet a week earlier. Condon had fewer misses so earned a seventh-place medal in the pole vault as five athletes tied at 11-feet-6, including Wolf, who placed 10th because of more misses. Katie Green battled a cold all week and gamely came in 14th in the 1,600-meter race with a time of 6:01.43.

“For a distance runner, having a cold is about the worst thing that can happen. Katie’s time was 5:37 just a week earlier,” coach Debbie Denny said.

Green had no excuses and said her goal at state was the same as every other competitive track or cross country meet, “I want to always get a better time than before. Unfortunately my cold hampered me as early as Thursday when we worked out at Cheney. On Saturday I still couldn’t breathe very well. I was hoping the drier air would help, but I felt exactly like I did on Thursday during the race,” she said.

Chapman cleared 5-feet-4, 5-feet-6 and 5-feet-8 without a miss. “I went over the bar each time by quite a bit so I was feeling pretty confident even though I wasn’t 100 percent physically because of my hamstring. I missed once at 5-10, but then cleared it in the cold and windy weather,” Chapman explained. He missed twice at 6 feet.

“My first two jumps at 6 feet weren’t very good. On my last try I was over the bar, but brushed it on the way down. It jiggled, but stayed on. I was happy because I knew I had a medal when I got out of the pit. I was hoping to clear 6-2, but on my last jump I hit the bar on the way down just enough to tick it off this time,” Chapman stated.

“I was glad Chandler could compete in the high jump on Friday while his hamstring still held up. He had to triple jump off his wrong foot and each time he tried to push off with his injured leg I cringed. Still he jumped 38-3, which is amazing,” coach Denny said.

“It was pretty cool to get this far in the pole vault and to get a medal. I cleared 10-6 and then 11-6 on my first tries. I had three misses at 12 feet. Coach (Scott) Smith said each time I cleared the bar by a good margin, but I always hit it on my way down. My first jump at 12 feet I barely missed it. I was confident going into the meet, but wanted to finish a bit higher up. You never know how state will turn out,” Condon explained.

“I enjoy the pole vault because you have to make adjustments to the pole you use, learn the technique and be in physical shape. The mental aspect of the pole vault may be the most difficult part of the event. I have no fear of pole vaulting and I really enjoy the ride when I do it right. I like the individual accomplishment of the pole vault, but going to state in football is pretty cool because of the teamwork involved,” Condon said.

“I like being able to compete against the best in track as an individual, but I also really like football and basketball and the team concept,” Chapman agreed. “Kyler really did great by getting a PR (personal record) in the pole vault. He is a good teammate and has two more years to improve,” Chapman praised.

“The pole vault was a grueling event with some very good athletes. It lasted three hours and the mental part of it was the biggest challenge. Most years Kyler and Jake would have earned medals with jumps of 11-6,” coach Denny said.

Chapman is heading to Washington State University next fall to study engineering and Condon will receive his degree from Clatsop College through the Running Start program this summer.

“It is unfortunate that Chandler and Katie couldn’t practice last week due to injury and illness. Both persevered and tried their hardest and they both worked hard all season,” Denny praised. “The weather was cold and wet on Friday and the kids were amazingly competitive under those conditions. District IV dominated the 2B meet and we did well, even though we are a 1B school (who opted up),” coach Denny said.

“When we got home Sunday at about 5 p.m. I went for a run because we had been sitting in the van for so long,” Green said. “I want to keep running this summer and see how I do next year,” she related. Green, a junior, has been to three cross country and three state track meets.

“Most years Chad Andring’s 42-feet-2 throw in the shot put and Levi Wasmundt’s run in the 1,600 at district would have gotten them to state, too. It was a good trip, my 30th in 31 years, but it’s going to take me a little time to recover,” Denny said with a satisfied smile Monday noon.

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