CHENEY — Rob Baker of Naselle finished seventh in the 110-meter high hurdles at the 2B state track and field championships at Eastern Washington University in Cheney with a time of 16.36, after tying his career best of 16.34 in the preliminary race. He was 1/100th of a second from sixth place and 1/10th of a second from fifth. 

In the 1A division of the state meet, Ilwaco placed three athletes on the medal podium. 

Leticia Cervantes won a seventh place medal in the javelin with a toss of 110-feet-1 and Kenzi Wirkkala just missed making the podium by seven inches with a throw of 108-feet-10. Wirkkala however finished eighth to medal in the shot put with a throw of 34-feet-9.

Josh Berteaux for the Fishermen placed sixth in the boys pole vault by clearing 12-feet-6. Finishing out of the medals race but setting a personal best, Ben Ahlin vaulted 11-feet-6 — topping his previous best by a whopping nine inches — and tied for 11th in the event.

Naselle’s Nathan Reitz finished 12th in the 1,600-meter race at the 2B level in a time of 4:47.36 and Baker was 10th in the high jump, clearing 5-feet-6. Freshman Katie Green for the Comets was 11th in the 3,200 race in 12:53.37. Cramer Smith came in 14th in the 3,200 in 11:05.01.

Owen Sutherland for Ilwaco claimed 16th in the 1,600 in a time of 4:48.03. The Fishermen 4x100 relay team of Brandon Malmstadt, Josh Berteaux, Justice and Josh Schenk finished 12th with a time of 45.13. Josh Schenk finished 14th in the long jump, going 19-feet-11.5 inches. Schenk’s jump was his career best, but 13 other 1A athletes reached more than 20 feet in the competition. The Fishermen 4x100 relay squad’s time was also their best of the season. Justice Schenk was cleared to run the day before the race after battling an injury the last two weeks.

“It felt great to finally be on the podium my senior year. Getting a track medal was something I have wanted to accomplish throughout high school,” Wirkkala said. “I was so close in the javelin that it got me fired up to do well in the shot put. My best throw was my first one in prelims. I’m on cloud nine.”

Cervantes said, “I am really excited. It was windy when we were throwing and I think I could have done better, but I can’t complain because I made it to the podium. Next year I want to throw at least 126 (feet), but getting a medal this year is special.”

Berteaux said, “It was cool to get a medal. I’m not into personal medals and I’m more of a team guy, but the weather was good and I’m happy I placed. I was bummed because I think I could have gone higher in the pole vault. I’m proud of Ben for him getting his personal best. Next year we want to do better.”

Baker related, “This is my first medal ever in anything and I’m really proud of the achievement. Next year I won’t be as nervous and I hope I’ll do better. I was very disappointed in my high jump performance. I cleared the bar without touching it, but it was very windy and the judges didn’t see the bar blow off. The high jump is my main event and I think I deserved to place in that event, but there is always next year.” 

Cervantes, Berteaux, Malmstadt, Eli and Justice Schenk, and Ahlin from Ilwaco and Baker and Smith are all juniors and are hopeful of placing even higher at the state track meets in 2012, while Green is a freshman. Ilwaco’s Wirkkala, Josh Schenk and Sutherland and Naselle’s Reitz completed their track careers at the state meet.

Northwest Christian of Lacey, won the boys 2B state meet and Pe Ell repeated as girls champ by one point over NWC of Olympia. South Bend was third and Valley fifth for the boys and Raymond girls were ninth. King’s for the 1A boys and Bellevue Christian for the 1A girls were champions and Kalama was 10th for the boys and LaCenter 10th for the girls from the Trico League.

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