By Oliver Lazenby
In just his third time competing in the individual 400 meter race this year, Blaine sprinter Dalton Mouw took first place at the 2A bi-district championships in Bellingham last week.
Mouw’s effort – a personal best time of 50.59 seconds – earned him a place in the state tournament this weekend in that event, along with the 200 meters. He’ll join Blaine girls Rani Prasad and Josie Deming, who also qualified for state at the bi-districts – Prasad in shot put and Deming in javelin. They both finished second in their events.
Mouw’s lack of competition experience in the individual 400 is strategic; in addition to the 200 and 400 meters, he runs the 100 meters and is on Blaine’s 4×400 relay team. Four events are a lot for one meet, he said.
Though he may have surprised some, Mouw had a feeling he could take first place in the 400 meters.
“I knew my split times in the 4×400, so I thought I had it in me,” Mouw said. “It ended up working out pretty well.”
That Deming and Prasad are going to state may be more impressive than Mouw’s first place finish. Both are new to throwing events. Deming played softball last year and is in track and field for the first time. Prasad sprinted last year and only tried out throwing after a knee injury.
“Going to state was a big dream of mine since I was little kid. It feels great to make it in something that I never thought I would try,” Prasad said. “It has definitely been a couple of years since Blaine girls have gone to state for throwing, and me and Josie are really good friends so we’re just stoked to be able to go together.”
Three other Blaine athletes came up just short of qualifying for state, which requires a third place or better at bi-districts: Tucker Jensen placed fourth in javelin and missed a state berth by two feet; Porter Schmidt placed fifth with a two-foot personal best in shot put and Alfonso Dermendziev came in 5th in the 400 meters.
Deming tied for fourth in high jump with five other girls, clearing four feet, 10 inches. Mouw missed qualifying for the 100 meters by two places. The 4×400 relay team, despite running its fastest race of the season, missed qualifying by three spots.
“Competition can be cruel,” head coach Carey Bacon said. “It makes you appreciate the level of excellence necessary to be a state participant.”
The state tournament is on May 25 and 26 at Mt. Tahoma High School, in Tacoma.