Track athlete off to state

James Spencer - Courtesy photo
James Spencer
— image credit: Courtesy photo

King’s High School in Shoreline was the location for the 1A Tri-District Championship Finals on May 23; the sunny Saturday provided one shining moment for the Pirate track team before giving way to heartbreak and controversy.

James Spencer took on the role of “light at the beginning of the tunnel” with his performance in the 400-meter dash. Needing to finish in the top five to qualify for state, he proved up to the task by placing fourth in 52.42 seconds.

Spencer’s qualifying run came less than a half hour after he teamed with Nathan Betz, Tyler Stoffer and Nick Fox-Edele in the 4-by-100 meter relay. The team ran its most cohesive race of the season, but their time of 46.27 seconds was only good enough for sixth place.

Unfortunately, the relay turned out to be a precursor of the rest of the day for the Pirates.

Sophomores Colin Andrus and Savannah Krug both ran their hearts out in their respective 800 meter races, but fell short of qualifying. Andrus finished eighth, with a respectable time of 2:06.42, in a final loaded with top-tier talent. Krug fought valiantly to the end, running an all-time best of 2:30.44, but fell one place short of making the cut.

The boys 4-by-400 meter relay team, fresh off their league championship and a strong showing in the prelims, looked to end the day on a positive note. Betz got things off to a good start with his best split of the season (53.16), but the three remaining Pirate sprinters (Andrus, Fox-Edele and Spencer) encountered infringements from other competitors in the exchange zone and could not overcome the interference. Despite an inquiry to the meet officials by head coach Rick Sassara, the team had to settle for a time of 3:37.72 and another sixth-place finish.

This weekend, Spencer makes the long trek to Eastern Washington University in Cheney to take on the best 1A one-lappers the state has to offer.

— Aaron Calhoun is the Pirate track team’s distance coach.

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