Although she still had five more attempts, Jordan Spradlin already had the state shot put championship basically all but wrapped up following her first throw.
The Montesano High School junior’s initial heave at the Class 1A state track and field championships at Eastern Washington University measured 45 feet, 3.5 inches or by historical measurements, 2 1/2 feet farther than the distance she posted last year to win the state title.
As it turned out, only one other competitor, Chewelah’s Kyrstan Miller, would crack the 40-foot mark at the event, and her best throw would fall some five feet shy of what Spradlin did with her first attempt.
The first throw was certainly impressive, but Spradlin was far from finished.
A second state championship was already a given. Just where would Spradlin top out became the only lingering question.
The answer came on Spradlin’s fifth throw – a Herculean effort which measured 48-04.
The distance was special because it not only made Spradlin a two-time champion in the shot put, it also surpassed former Bulldog Tera Novy’s throw of 48-0 set in 2012, which was not only a school record, but also the top WIAA state meet record for all classifications.
With one season remaining, Spradlin, who also successfully defended her state discus title, can now focus on the all-time state record of 51-4 set by Shorecrest’s Lynette Matthews in 1971. Spradlin’s state title-winning throw places her third on the all-time list, trailing only Matthews and Cascade of Everett’s Whitney Hooks, who is second with a throw of 49-2.
The national record is 54-10.75 set in 2003 by Michelle Carter of Red Oak, Texas.
Spradlin will also attempt to become the first to win three straight 1A state shot put titles next year and the second to win three championships in the discus. Novy is currently the only one to accomplish the feat in the discus, winning the event three times between 2010 and 2012.
Spradlin, however, wasn’t the only Montesano athlete or local thrower to secure a state championship.
Montesano senior Connor Lovell won the 1A boys’ 800 with a time of 1:56.68 – trimming more than 3 seconds off his previous personal record to dramatically edge Deer Park’s Cody Bollum (1:56.80) at the wire.
Lovell also teamed up with Donovan Albert, Keegan Darst and Logan Truax to take first place in the 4×400 relay (3:27.33).
North Beach once again flexed its muscle in the 2B shot put event, claiming four out of the top five spots. The dominance comes one year after the Hyaks had three out of the top four finishers in the shot put.
Senior Tim Poplin, who finished second in 2015, came away with the title this time around as his throw of 53-05.5 bettered the mark of 52-11.5 set by teammate and defending state champion Jonny Law.
Seth Bridge became the third North Beach athlete to surpass 50 feet. The junior’s throw of 50-10 placed his fourth overall. Alex Horn finished fifth to complete the Hyak’s overwhelming performance in the event.
Bridge kept the 2B state boys’ discus title in the family by winning the event with a throw of 167-00. Older brother, Caleb, had won the last two state javelin titles.
The throwers strong showing helped the North Beach boys finish fifth overall in the team standings. The Hyaks also received placings from Alex McAra (fifth, boys’ 300 hurdles), Nannette Fruh (third, girls’ discus) and Tawni Blankenship (third, girls’ pole vault).
Montesano junior Shayla Floch placed twice at the girls’ 1A meet, finishing fifth in both the high jump and long jump.
Fellow Bulldog Truax claimed seventh in the boys’ 1A triple jump. Montesano finished ninth in the boys’ standings and 10th overall on the girls’ side.
Hoquiam’s Anthony Nash finished sixth in the 100 and 200 and helped the Grizzlies’ 4×100 boys’ team pick up an eighth-place finish. Joining Nash on the team was Chris Smith, Artimus Johnson and Trystan Skorzewski.
Also placing at the 1A boys’ meet was Hoquiam’s Ryan Espedal (sixth, javelin) and Elma’s Brandon Butcher, who finished third in the 400, while Elma’s Megan Peterson placed fourth in the 1A girls shot put.
At the 2A state meet at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Aberdeen’s Miles Devine finished eighth in the boys 200.