Sports

Only nine Islanders advance: Track and field thinned out at KingCo meet

Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Islander sophomore Haley Piper pushes to the finish during the 1,600 meters at the 3A KingCo Championship meet at Liberty High School. Piper placed third with a time of 5:20.19 to advance to districts. -
Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Islander sophomore Haley Piper pushes to the finish during the 1,600 meters at the 3A KingCo Championship meet at Liberty High School. Piper placed third with a time of 5:20.19 to advance to districts.
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While the 3A KingCo track and field championships were good to nine Islanders who advanced to districts, the meet as a whole was a step backward for the boys team.

Injuries held both teams back, bringing on a last-place finish for the boys. The team scored just 37 team points, a far cry from last year’s shocking second-place finish. The girls finished the meet fifth out of nine teams, with 56 points.

The Mercer Island track and field teams will send nine athletes to districts, including 2005 400-meter state champion Laura Vogel.

“There were a lot of really good athletes out there,” said Vogel. “At districts you just have to go out there and try not to worry about the competition.”

Vogel, who has been battling an Achilles injury all season, placed third overall in the long jump with a distance of 16-feet, 5-inches.

Vogel also finished fifth in the 400-meters with a time of 59.20 seconds to advance to districts. The injury to her heel affects her running more than jumping, but she said she’s still confident that she has a shot at competing at state in both events.

“It is hard because I am not 100 percent healthy,” said Vogel, who is a senior and just missed the cut, placing seventh, in the 200-meter run.

Teammate Janelle Chow placed second overall in the triple jump with a distance of 34-feet, 91/2-inches, to advance to districts. Chow also narrowly missed the cut in the 100 meters, placing sixth overall.

Islander Haley Piper completed the 1,600-meters in a time of 5:20.19 for third overall , while Islander Gabi Goyette placed fifth with a time of 5:35.00 in the 3,200-meters. Both earned a place at districts. Islander Phoebe Merritt also qualified for districts by taking third in the 800-meters (2:21.32). The Mercer Island 4-by-400 meter relay team was the only relay for the Islanders to place in the top five and advance to districts (fourth place, 4:07.16).

The Islander boys qualified four athletes for the district meet. Ethan Spiro qualified in two separate events, including the triple jump (third place, 42-83/4) and the long jump (fourth place, 19-111/4).

Tyler Benster placed fourth in the 3,200-meters with a time of 9:47.94 and came into the meet seeded No. 4. He will go into districts seeded No. 6.

“I knew I had a good shot at making [the cut],” said Benster. “It was a really good race. My goal was to stick with the two front runners and I was pretty successful. I am excited for districts, but I am going to need a pretty spectacular race.”

Islander Bryce Borer took fourth overall in the pole vault with a height of 12-feet, 6-inches, while Trevor Powell took fifth place by throwing the javelin 161-feet, 4-inches. Both athletes advance to districts.

Islander Quinn Chasan finished the 1,600-meter run in sixth place, but will advance to districts with the No. 5 seed thanks to a disqualification. Chasan ran the race in a time of 4:28.68.

The district meet is being held today starting at 3:45 p.m. at the Southwest Complex located in West Seattle and will continue on Friday.

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