TACOMA — Going to state with high expectations, the Walla Walla High School track team wasted no time establishing new personal records and gathering medals here at Mount Tahoma High on Thursday.
The first of three days here saw Wa-Hi sophomore Ella Nelson place second in the girls 1,600-meter race with a personal best 4:52.52, barely two seconds behind champion Julia David Smith, of Issaquah.
Nelson beat her previous lifetime best of 5:00.93, which she ran at Wa-Hi in the Blue Devil Legends Invite on April 20.
The boys 1,600 had Wa-Hi junior Cooper Cortinas running his second PR in less than a week as he placed sixth with a time of 4:12.8.
Cortinas had bested regionals on Saturday with a 4:13.98.
Daniel Maton, of Camas, was clocked at 4:06.07 for the state title, edging runnerup Joe Waskom, of Mount Si, by less than a second.
In boys javelin, Wa-Hi teammates Jahmal Mangarero and Dash Sirmon place fourth and sixth, respectively.
Mangarero took fourth as he PRed with his throw of 187-11, more than a foot beyond his previous high from last year at state.
The old Mangarero PR was the fifth-best throw in school history.
Sirmon, a freshman, placed sixth at state with a 177-03.
Gabriel Shouman, of Tahoma, threw a 199-02 for the title.
Meanwhile, Madi Knight had a busy first day of state for the Wa-Hi girls.
Knight placed 11th out of 16 in the long jump as Sativa Rogers, of Lewis and Clark, was first.
The Wa-Hi senior also ran a couple of preliminary races on Thursday, qualifying to run finals in both the 100 hurdles as well as the 4x400 relay.
Nelson, Sariah Hepworth and Jennifer Huntsman joined Knight in running the fastest 4x400 yet this season by the Wa-Hi girls with a 4:02.8 that placed them sixth.
Finals for the 4A girls 4x400 are scheduled for Saturday at 5:35 p.m., the last event at state.
But today, Knight will run finals of the 100 hurdles after placing sixth in her prelim on Thursday.
Finals for the boys 110 hurdles, scheduled just ahead of the girls today, will include Wa-Hi senior Jared McAlvey,
The Mid-Columbia Conference champ placed second in his prelim here on Thursday with a 14.5 that missed his PR from last week by a hundreth of a second.
The Wa-Hi boys finished the first day of state tied with Tahoma the lead in team scoring, both having 11 points, as Ferris and Camas each had 10.
Glacier Peak topped girls teams with 15 points, while Wa-Hi had eight for sixth place.