Deyondre Davis of South Kitsap adds first 4A championship to his resume and is seeded third in Saturday’s 300 hurdles final
TACOMA — South Kitsap’s Deyondre Davis knocked over not one but two hurdles during the finals of the 4A 110-meter hurdles race at the state track and field championships.
The mistakes didn’t even slow the junior down as Davis pulled ahead in the final few meters to win his first state championship Friday at Mount Tahoma High School.
“I’m so happy,” a smiling Davis said while still trying to catch his breath after crossing the line in 14.37 seconds. “I was so nervous before the race. I just started hitting hurdles, I didn’t even care. I just wanted to get to the end.”
Davis knew he had the race one after clearing the final hurdle and let out a scream of exultation as he crossed the finish. Davis said the only thing he had on his mind was to not fall.
“Yeah that’s exactly what I was thinking,” he said, “‘just don’t fall, you’re right there!’ I’m so happy.”
Davis will add another medal to his resume after qualifying for the 300 hurdles final. He won his prelim heat earlier in the day in 38.33. He is seeded third.
“I couldn’t find a rhythm early on,” he said of his 300 prelim race, “and so I didn’t start getting it until the second half of the race and then it was too late.”
The wind was a factor during the morning sessions for both track and field events. Instead of 80 degrees and sunshine, athletes had to contend with gusting wind, intermittent rain and much colder temperatures.
Olympic’s Adam Johnson succinctly described what it was like running against a strong headwind.
“Sick,” he said after qualifying for the finals of the 2A 100-meter dash in 11.47.
The girls also had to deal with the constant wind as Central Kitsap freshman Kymeal Gaulden said after her 3A race. Gaulden said she felt a big difference when she fully came up during the race and with about 50 meters to go had to push hard for the win in her heat. Gaulden is seeded second with a time of 12.72. She’s also the second seed in the 200 after qualifying in 25.44.
Alyssa Cullen of North Kitsap, T’Caela Wilcher of Bremerton and Hanna Troy of Olympic all qualified for the finals of the 100 in 2A. Cullen is seeded fifth, 12.64, Troy sixth, 12.78, and Wilcher seventh, 12.85. Cullen is also seeded fifth in the 200.
Cullen said she felt pretty good in her race, but knew it would be a tough go when she saw the slow times.
“You feel every single difference,” she said. “It’s like you’re standing there and it’s not that windy, then you start running and it’s like ‘oh (no).’”
Bremerton’s Lauryn Chandler was unable to defend her 100 hurdles title. The senior was neck-and-neck with Ephrata’s McCall DeChenne the entire race as the two pulled away from the field late. DeChenne and Chandler each stretched for the line and crossed in 14.77 seconds, drawing a loud gasp from the crowd. DeChenne was declared the winner by hundredths of a second, 14.761 to Chandler’s 14.766.
The Knights 4×100 relay, which includes Chandler, Wilcher, Tyishea McWhorter and Njaiyah Johnson, will look to repeat as state champs after earning the top seed in the prelims in 48.92.
North Kitsap’s Maddie Pruden and Raelee Moore and Olympic’s Hanna Troy all made the podium in the long jump. Pruden placed fourth with a jump of 17 feet, 1.5 inches. Moore finished seventh, 16-11, and Troy was sixth, 16-11.5.
“I’m happy about it,” Moore said. “Can’t be mad about it. A couple, two or three fouls obviously was a little frustrating but I got the last jump in and I can’t beat that.”
Moore and Troy were glad the Olympic League did so well in the event, citing the camaraderie as one reason why the jumping events are fun.
Pruden had a challenging day. Not only was she competing in the long jump finals but she also ran in the prelims of the 4×100 relay and the 400 race at the same time. Pruden said it was hard to concentrate on the long jump and prepare for two other events.
“I was so nervous, especially with the 400,” she said. “I was running and I felt fine. And then I hit that 300 mark and I was dying.”
Central Kitsap’s Po’no Fuiava had a shot at becoming a double state champion but, like she did to her competitors in Thursday’s discus final, Kiana Lino of Shorecrest ripped off a huge throw in the finals to win it with a mark of 44 feet, 10 inches. Fuiava finished third with a throw of 42-5.5, a personal record.
Fuiava said even though she hit a PR, she knew she could have done better.
“I think I tried too hard,” she said.
Fuiava, who competes during the club season for the Bremerton Jaguars, plans on hitting the weight room often.
“This year I was supposed to be on a weight program but I wasn’t because I started the season off injured,” she said. “But, next year, for sure.”
In the 3A girls high jump, Allie Wildsmith of Bainbridge placed fifth with a mark of 5-2 while Christaysha McDowell tied for sixth with a jump of 5-0. McDowell was also part of the Cougars 4×100 relay that qualified for Saturday’s finals.