RAYMOND – At the Pacific League track championship last Wednesday and Friday, Eliza Bannister, Tristan Trudell, Ebby McMuellen and Cahlabe Whelden all qualified for Districts in two individual events. Marcus Connor won the discus, while Ilwaco’s relay teams won the girls’ 4x200, and boys 4x400. Carli Kemmer, Kaytlenn Whelden, Daniel Whiting, Parker Kaech, Ethan Personius, Estella Sheldon and Chandelle Thomas all qualified in an individual event. They will compete with other top finishers from the Pacific and Central Leagues at the District championships in Chehalis this Wednesday and Friday the 16th and 18th.
Marcus Conner gave Ilwaco its only individual first-place finish with a 128-foot discus throw. Conner has the second-highest distance of anyone in Washington 2B this year with his 147’9” back on April 9. Rainier’s Ian Russell, who has regularly been in the 150s, is the state favorite.
In the boys’ 4x400 relay, Adam Rutherford, Brandon Kuhn, Parker Kaech and Ethan Personius squeaked past Northwest Christian by four-hundredths of a second at 3:44.22.
In the girls’ 4x2, Ebby McMullen stretched forward to complete her handoff just in time to Tiana Ramsey, who took off aggressively and made it pay off, putting Ilwaco near the lead. Eliza Bannister took Kaytlenn Whelden’s handoff for the anchor lap, with Ilwaco in a near tie with Life Christian. Bannister opened up a lead and held it, giving Ilwaco a win by .61 seconds over the Eagles at 1:53.58.
Cahlabe Whelden launched a personal-record 40’7” shot put, good for fourth place in the event. Whelden’s previous record came the previous week at 39’7.5”; before that, he had hoverd around 35 feet most of this year and last. Whelden’s 118’9” javelin throw also qualified, taking fifth place.
McMullen advanced in the javelin with a third-place throw of 102’10”, and had a season-best 100-meter hurdles to qualify in that event. Toward the end of 2016 she routinely got 100 hurdle times below 16.5 seconds, bottoming out at a school-record 15.83. After sitting out the event last year, her season low this year heading into last week was 16.52. Last week, she took first in Wednesday’s preliminary round at 16.26, then beat that with a 16.18 in finals. Willapa Valley’s Hannah Cook (15.89) and Northwest Christian’s Megan McSheffrey (15.98) each shattered personal records to edge McMullen in finals.
Mollie Olson of Napavine is the state favorite in the 100 hurdles, with an average time this year of 15.62 and a low of 15.28. Cook’s, McSheffrey’s and McMullen’s times in Raymond were the fastest of anyone in Washington 2B, besides Olson, all year.
In the 300-meters, Kaytlenn Whelden advanced with a 50.14 time, edging McSheffrey for third place.
Tristan Trudell had made a big push near the end of the 800-meter finals, passing Northwest Christian’s Joseph Chung with around 10 seconds remaining to clinch fourth-place by about a second and guarantee himself a spot at Districts. His time of 2:10.67 was a personal best.
Trudell also took fourth in the 1600 at 4:49.95, earning a return to Chehalis, where last year he came six-hundredths of a second short of making State. His time that day was 4:50.03, his first time breaking the five-minute barrier. This year, he has regularly broken five minutes.
Daniel Whiting made it in the 3200 with a fourth-place time of 10:46.15. Carli Kemmer took fourth in the girls’ 3200 at 13:18.25.
Bannister had by far her best triple jump of the season at 32’2”, working her way into sixth place to qualify for Districts. Bannister was twelfth at State last year with a 31’1.75” triple-jump. Her personal best is 32’7.25” from 2016. Bannister also qualified in the 1600, taking third at 6:02.61.
Ethan Personius ran the 400 meters in 54.45 to finish second and qualify for Districts. Estella Sheldon and Chandelle Thomas each qualified in the high jump at 4’4”. Parker Kaech triple-jumped 39’3” for fourth place, good enough to advance to Chehalis.
Sophia Marsh was nine inches behind the final qualifier in the javelin throw with a seventh-place 94-foot mark.
All Ilwaco’s relay teams advanced. Along with the first-place 4x200 team, Ilwaco’s girls had the second-place 4x4 team (Tiana Ramsey, Kaytlenn Whelden, Estella Sheldon, Eliza Bannister, 4:27.88), and the third-place 4x1 team (Nisa Mendoza, Elle Personius, Sophia Marsh, Ramsey, 54.69 seconds.) Along with the winning 4x4 team, the Ilwaco boys had the fifth-place 4x1 team, with Brandon Duke, Trent Ramsey, Colton McNabb and Ethan Personius finishing in 47.93 seconds.