Kentridge High School senior Saydi Orange wasn’t scheduled to compete Thursday on the first day of the Class 4A/3A/2A track and field state championships in Tacoma.
But, Orange, set to make her first appearance at the state meet later in the weekend after its return from a two-season hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, still wanted to catch the early action.
“I didn’t compete yesterday, I just came to see what it was about and see all the people,” she said Friday, after completing the first of two throwing events she is set to appear in this weekend.
“It made me even more excited to come out today. I woke up super early, like 6 a.m., just naturally because I was just so excited.”
Friday afternoon, Orange’s turn to shine at the state level finally arrived.
She entered the meet as the top-ranked javelin thrower in the state this season — and No. 3 in the nation — and bested the wind and rain on the grass field outside Mount Tahoma Stadium to post a winning throw of 153 feet, 9 inches in the 4A girls competition.
“It feels really good,” she said of winning her first title. “It kind of feels like a weight has been lifted.”
Orange opened with a throw of 136-10 that also would have been enough to secure the title, and later topped that mark with 137-8, despite throwing against windy conditions.
By her fifth attempt, an adjustment made to help manage the wind resistance added more than 16 feet to her previous best toss of the competition.
“My first four throws, it was kind of tough because of the rain and the wind, but when I finally hit the 153, I could kind of relax and kind of get into my groove a little bit,” she said.
Orange — who posted her personal-best and nationally-ranked throw of 157-0 at last week’s 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict championships — has added more than 50 feet to her personal-best javelin toss since her first high school season in 2019.
She is set to wrap up the state meet Saturday in the 4A girls shot put final — she is the No. 3 seed in the event, and posted a personal-best 40-4 at the Shelton Invitational in April — and plans to continue her throwing career after high school.
“I’m just excited to keep progressing like I have been,” she said.
SOUTH SOUND CHAMPIONS
Seven South Sound athletes won individual state championships Friday, bringing the tally for local titles to 15 after seven athletes also won titles on Thursday’s first day.
▪ Capital junior Amanda Moll won the 3A girls pole vault at 14-6, which rewrote the overall meet record.
▪ Kentridge senior Saydi Orange won the 4A girls javelin at 153-9.
▪ Emerald Ridge freshman JaiCieonna Gero-Holt won the 4A girls long jump with a personal-best 18-4 1/4, and later the 4A girls 100 hurdles at 14.71.
▪ Silas senior Jaylen McCabe won the 3A boys 110 hurdles at 14.24.
▪ Emerald Ridge senior Asher Ogden won the 4A boys 110 hurdles at 14.77.
▪ Enumclaw senior Ellie DeGroot won the 2A girls 100 hurdles with a personal-best 15.02.
▪ Capital junior Hana Moll won the 3A girls 100 hurdles with a personal-best 14.66.
MEET RECORDS FALL
Eight state meet records have been reset the first two days in Tacoma, including five more Friday.
Capital junior Amanda Moll ended the morning field events session by besting the overall meet record with a winning vault of 14-6 in the 3A girls pole vault.
Former West Seattle pole vaulter Chloe Cunliffe held the previous record with a 14-0 jump in 2019.
Moll’s twin sister, Hana, was the runner-up in Friday morning’s event, and matched the previous record at 14-0.
Amanda Moll’s personal-best vault of 14-9 1/2 at the Texas Clyde Littlefield Relays back in March is the top mark in the nation this spring, while Hana Moll’s personal-best 14-5 1/4 at Oregon Relays last month ranks second.
Both vaults bested the previous national record in the event of 14-4, set by Anaheim Canyon’s Rachel Baxter in 2017.
Later on, Newport of Bellevue senior Isabella Nilsen bested the 4A state meet record in the event with a personal-best 13-1 1/2. That topped the previous mark set by another Newport of Bellevue vaulter in Ashleigh Helms, who cleared 13-0 in 2019.
Walla Walla senior Dash Sirmon was quick to rewrite history in the 3A boys javelin during the morning session, unleashing a record throw of 216-3 on his first attempt to secure his first state title.
“I’ve been working this week at staying back, really hitting the block and it worked out,” he said. “I was battling a little bit of a headwind, but so was everyone. It felt really good.”
The toss bested the previous 3A meet record throw of 211-0, set more than a decade ago by Bellevue’s Robert Hintz in 2009, and was the top distance of Friday’s event by nearly 15 feet.
Sirmon, a Washington commit, also holds the third-ranked mark in the event in the nation this spring after throwing a personal-best 219-4 in a league meet last month.
Foster senior Lyricc Lopez broke the 2A meet record in the boys 300 hurdles early Friday afternoon, posting a 36.77 in his preliminary heat win. North Mason’s Craig Allen set the previous best of 37.33 in 2013.
Lopez, an Arizona signee, also holds the top time statewide in the race this season following his personal-best 36.26 at his league championship meet two weeks ago. That time is also tied for the fifth-best in the nation this spring.
The final record of the day fell in the afternoon as steady rain started to fall over Mount Tahoma Stadium, when Squalicum junior Andre Korbmacher posted a 13.83 in the 2A boys 110 hurdles.
“I think that might have been one of my best races,” Korbmacher said. “We got a headwind, it felt like. I came out, I performed. I am really happy with my performance.”
Korbmacher not only rewrote his 2A meet record set during Thursday’s prelims, but also set the overall meet record previously set by Rainier Beach’s Cecil Bowie in 1987 at 13.86.
Korbmacher’s personal-best 13.63 in the race at his district championship meet last week ranks seventh nationally this spring.
Contributing writer Doug Drowley contributed to this report.