CHENEY - Tylor Nortrup cleared 12 feet in the pole vault to finish in third place Friday in Cheney in the 2B state track meet for Naselle and Nicole Laney sailed over the bar at eight feet to earn eighth place and garner her first state medal on Saturday on the campus of Eastern Washington University.
It was Nortrup's third consecutive third place medal in the pole vault. "It just was one of those days," a disappointed Nortrup stated after he had cleared 13 feet the week before at district and nearly vaulted over 13-feet-6 at that meet. "At state I didn't miss a jump until 12-feet-6 and on my first attempt I didn't get my foot under me. On my second vault I kicked the bar on the way up or I would have made it. On my third and final try I knew I had to make it, but something went wrong and I didn't."
Nortrup explained, "I am proud of getting another third place medal, but I know I could have done better and right now that is what is sticking with me." On the lighter side he and teammate Alex Bennett and Comets coaches Debbie Denny and Scott Smith celebrated Nortrup's eighteenth birthday twice Saturday-once at dinner and then later by going out for dessert in Spokane.
The versatile Laney finished twelfth in the 400 meter race on Friday with a time of 64.49, but was about four seconds off the pace from qualifying for the finals. In the pole vault on Saturday she cleared eight feet to medal. About being on the podium to receive her medal she said, "I felt really excited and there sure were a lot of people watching. I was a little disappointed in the 400, but I was in a very difficult heat. It was so hot (95 degrees) that my mouth was dry and I couldn't quite qualify for the finals."
She said, "This was my third state track meet and even though there was just Tylor and I, we had a great time. We got to hang out with Mr. Smith and Ms. Denny, took a skyline over Spokane Falls and did some special things like that." When Laney got home she got a heroine's welcome from her four year old brother Jerred. "He's always asking if I won and when he saw the medal he was really excited."
Coach Denny said, "There were some amazing times, throws and jumps this year at the state track meet. Tylor has been so meticulous in his training for the pole vault and he deserves to have three medals in three years, even though I know he wanted to do better. Nicole also works hard and both kids are very coachable. They did their best and they both have medals to show for their efforts."