Mercer Island fourth, fifth at KingCo championships | Track & Field results

Mercer Island
Mercer Island's Sarah Bjarnson took second in the girls 800 meter race to advance to the SeaKing district meet.
— image credit: Brian Mayer/Contributed photo

By Heidi Seaborn

Special to the Reporter

After a season marked with extraordinary rain during every meet since their first, the Mercer Island track and field KingCo finalists finally had sun when they took to the Juanita track on Friday, May 11.

With 40 athletes qualifying, the Islanders finished fourth for the girls and fifth for the boys.

One of the meet’s highlights was sophomore Eric Schulz’s 800-meter win. Schulz ran in the pack for the first 400 meters, before making his move and finally pulling ahead in the final stretch to win in 1:55.13 — a personal record. In the pouring rain on Wednesday, sophomore Sarah Bjarnson elbowed out her competition in the preliminary to win and advance to the finals. Two days later, she ran a personal best of 2:22.10 to take second. Sophomore Alida Scalzo also ran a personal best of 5:17.93 to finish second in the 1,600 meters and went on to claim second in the 3,200 with a time of 11:30.44.

“We have some of the most talented middle distance runners in the state and they are only sophomores,” said head coach Lezley Smith.

The individual sprinters faced extremely fast competition with only senior Nicky Sinclair qualifying for the district meet next week, having placed fourth in the 200 with a time of 23.28.

The 4x400 relay of Daniel Mayer, Shulz, Risley and Dylan Lesko made the grade to qualify with a fourth-place time of 3:36.13. The 4x100 relay race proved exciting with junior Risley Lesko starting it off from an inside lane back position. He handed it off to Sinclair, who made up a great deal of the stagger start, before handing off to senior Josh Wong. Wong held onto that pace, but when it came to the hand-off to anchor senior Jeff Lindquist, they didn’t connect right away.

“It was a horrible handoff,” Lindquist conceded. Lindquist easily made up for it, despite being up against some of the best sprinting talent in the state, coming in third with a time of 44.39.

“Three of us were running with colds or flu, and the hand-off definitely cost us. We know if we are healthy and work on our handoffs over the next couple days, we can shave a lot of time off that and make it to state. We’ve got one more shot,” said Sinclair.

In the field events, senior Carly Andersen turned in a personal best in the discus with a throw of 106’05 for second in KingCo. Andersen took the first place medal in javelin with a throw of 125’05. In the boys’ javelin, Peter Brockway placed fourth with a throw of 165’01 to advance to districts. Also advancing to the districts in field events are long jumpers Sinclair and junior Lorial Yeadon, who both captured fourth. Sinclair jumped 20’10, and Yeadon jumped 15’5.5.

“I am really proud of the team and all that has been accomplished in terms of personal records for each athlete this year,” said coach Smith.

The SeaKing district meet begins Wednesday, May 15, at 4 p.m. at the Southwest Complex in West Seattle.

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