Alexandra Payne, a sophomore at North Kitsap, hit a personal record in winning the hammer throw in Spokane
After competing in the 2A state track and field championships last Friday in Tacoma, Alexandra Payne hightailed it across the state to Spokane for the Washington State High School Hammer Throw Championships at Central Valley High School Sunday.
Payne, a sophomore at North Kitsap, launched the hammer 153 feet, 5 inches to win the competition.
“I was more shocked than ever,” Payne said. “I was coming in (as the) fourth (seed), and I knew I had it in me, but the result was crazy.”
Payne, who competes for the Kitsap Fliers during the club season, fouled her first two throws before hitting a mark of 135 feet to make it to the finals. Her previous best was 141-3. That’s where she thought her winning-hammer throw landed, initially, and it would be close to her record.
“But I didn’t believe them when they announced the mark,” Payne said. “It took until they repeated it three times for me to realize what I had thrown. The throw felt effortless, and that’s what the best throws are.”
At the state meet, Payne was disappointed in not making the finals of the discus after suffering a second-grade groin strain. She said it was important for to do well at the hammer championships.
“I truly wish hammer was a WIAA-approved event,” she said, “but championships like this are what brings it into the spotlight and is a great transition into Junior Olympic season.”
The USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships are July 22-28 in Sacramento, Calif.