Wednesday, July 26, 2017 This Week's Paper

Off the starting blocks and into a new season

// Wilson athletes cruise over Mount Tahoma in opener

Led by an impressive performance from their sprinters, hurdlers and distance runners, Wilson got off to a quick start to the track season against Mount Tahoma on March 14 at Mount Tahoma Stadium. The Rams’ boys topped the Thunderbirds 137-34, while the girls won 135-38 as the Rams' squads combined for seven individual multiple-event winners.

Devon Phillips won both the 100-meter dash in 11.87 seconds and added a win in the 200-meter dash, serving as a good starting point for his goal of making it to state in the events.

“Going into it I felt a little nervous because it’s the first meet of the season,” Phillips said. “Once I came out of the blocks I felt pretty confident.”

Teammate James Sivonen won the 110-meter hurdles in a personal best 18.23 seconds, and added a win in the 300-meter hurdles later. Both Phillips and Sivonen also took part in the 4X400-meter relay after advancing to the state meet in the event last spring. Returning state participant Matthew Newman had a solid first showing in the shot put, winning with a toss of 43 feet and 10.5 inches while placing third in the discus. The Rams’ Connor Patterson won the discus with a toss of 125 feet and 10 inches. Mount Tahoma’s Gregory Williams impressed in the field meets, winning both the long jump and triple jump.

Senior Sydney Stuckey helped the Rams girls’ effort with wins in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, as she is another Ram eyeing the postseason.

“I’ve been training in the offseason a lot,” Stuckey said. “It’s nice to have a good starting point, and hopefully by the end of the season I’ll improve a lot more since it’s my last year.”

Fellow senior Bethany Montgomery won the 100-meter dash along with the long jump and triple jump, and sophomore Shelby Alongi won the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter runs for the Rams. Aujanique Doss won the 400-meter dash and high jump while also placing second in the 200-meter dash, won by teammate Violet Morrow.

The highlight for the Rams girls in the field events was junior Jemila Leppard, who had impressive tosses of 33 feet and 8.25 inches in the shot put and 103 feet and three inches in the discus. Both distances would have been in the top 15 at the state meet last year.

The Thunderbirds’ girls, led by Leah Brooke and Schronna Vong, scored wins in the 4X200- and 4X400-meter relays.

The young track season starts to pick up steam as Wilson competes at Lincoln on March 21 at 3:30 p.m. and later hosts North Thurston at Lincoln bowl on March 27 at 3:30 p.m. Mount Tahoma next hosts Shelton on March 28 at 3:30 p.m.