On May 25-27, the Vashon Pirates Track & Field team sent ten athletes to Zaepfel Stadium, in Yakima, to compete in the 1A State Championships.
The Pirates were able to blaze a trail and make several trips to the awards podium to receive medals.
Freshman Bodie Thomas found his way to the top of the podium by winning the state championship in the boys 3200-meter race and setting a new 1A state meet record that had stood since 2004.
His record time was 9 minutes, 13 seconds. In this eight-lap endurance race, Thomas tucked in behind Reid Headrick from Medical Lake and both runners pushed the pace and each other and put a little distance between them and Andrew Luce, the third-place finisher from Lynden Christian.
However, Thomas was very calculated with his strategy as he stayed right with Headrick, and waited for the right opportunity to make his move into the top position. That opportunity came in the seventh lap, as Thomas made a move to get around Headrick to take the lead.
Headrick wasn’t ready to give up and regained the lead momentarily, but then, Thomas with less than a lap to go, hit the throttle and went around Headrick by creating a two-second gap between the two, and confidently crossing the finish line to claim the gold medal.
On the previous day, in the boys 1600 meters, Thomas broke a VHS school record that was held by Owen Farcy since 2001. Thomas ran a personal best time of 4:19 and received the fourth-place medal.
Junior Alana Bass set a personal record and finished third in the girls 400 meters with a time of 59.37, which is the second-fastest time in this event at VHS. Bass hit the throttle early and got out to a fast start to set the pace and push the competition surrounding her.
Bass wasn’t satisfied with just one trip to the podium — she added to her collection of medals with a fifth-place finish in the girls long jump with a mark of 16 feet, 9.5 inches. Bass made a final trip to the podium with an eighth-place finish with a time of 27.14.
Bass had minimal recovery time between her 400-meter and 200-meter events due to a lightning delay where once the competition resumed, the meet was sped up to try and get back on schedule. Freshman Lena Puz made her inaugural trip to the podium by placing eighth in the girls 100-meter hurdles in a time of 16.91, earning her a medal.
Puz also competed and represented the Pirates in the girls 100-meter dash and in the triple jump. Other Pirate participants at the state meet included junior Amelia Medeiros, who finished ninth in girls discus with a mark of 108 feet, 11 inches, just one place short of a medal.
Senior Alec Pottinger participated in the boys shot put contest. Junior Christian Kincade participated in the boys 300-meter hurdles. Freshman Cecelia Guenther competed in the girls high jump. Freshman Emily Harrington represented VHS in the girls 400 meters. Junior Madeline Yarkin competed in the girls pole vault.
The girls 4×1 relay team consisting of Lena Puz, Annabel Moeckel, Emily Harrington and Alana Bass gave it their best, navigating through a very competitive field but were unable to make it out of the preliminary heat.
The future is looking bright for the VHS Track & Field team as most of the athletes who competed this season will be back to keep building on their success. The four graduating seniors that contributed and were an asset to our program were Hank McSheehy, Holland Moore, Alec Pottinger and Catherine Montano.