The midseason expectations that Blaine would dominate the 2A state track and field meet in the pole vault events for both boys and girls, took a bitter blow at the sub-district meet May 14 at Civic Field. Brett Mattson, holder of the best jump in his classification and still nursing a second-degree ankle sprain incurred at the Oregon Relays last week, was unable to qualify for the district tournament that is the route to the state tournament.
Mattson and two-time defending pole vault champion Robin Taylor were the prohibitive favorites to win titles in the event. Taylor won the sub-district title with a jump of 11-6.
Mattson believed he could jump well enough to just qualify and then retire to let his ankle heal for a week before the district meet in Sultan next week, but scratched in his final jump unable to get a good take off with his injured ankle.
“It is what it is,” said a somber Mattson, “I knew my season was over when I sprained my ankle.” “It was unfortunate,” commented Blaine coach Mike Grambo, “He is an outstanding vaulter. I’m glad he will be back for next year.” There was an unexpected surprise for Blaine, as two vaulters will be joining Taylor in Sultan next week. Sophomores Shaypher Hendricks and Andrew Dahl both qualified for districts with personal records. Hendricks qualified at 11 feet and Dahl, who has shown steady improvement all season, posted a jump of 12-6 besting his previous high of 12 feet. “I’m excited. Fourth place qualifies me for districts,” gushed Dahl, “I think I can get 13 feet if I just practice this week.” Blaine’s other area of domination, girl’s sprints were not without drama and injury. Cherish Morrison, who set records in the preliminary heats this week in the 100 and 200, struggled with painful cramps in her calf. After winning the 400m run, Morrison could be seen in visible pain as she was being attended to on the infield by trainers. Despite limping visibly between races, Morrison went out and easily won the 200 with a time of 25.27, only a tenth off the meet record she set Thursday. Other individual qualifiers were Penina Laolagi in the shot put and discus, Tucker Morgan, who finished second in the triple jump, Caleb Statham in the sprints, Tom Bradley in the 3200, Ephraim Westbrook in the 300m hurdles and Kiersten Sigfusson in the 400. The girls 4x200 relay team of Taylor, Sigfusson, Rachel McKinstry, and Morrison finished 2nd to sprint rivals Sehome with a time of 1:46.67. The 4x100 girls team of Sigfusson, McKinstry, Taylor and Libby Moore qualified despite finishing a distant fifth behind Sehome’s winning time of 50.49 The boy’s 4x400 relay team trimmed seven seconds off their previous best and now has the third best time in the state. The boys team will be attempting to return to state and try to match their state runner-up finish from last year though the injury to Mattson will be a setback. “We don’t really have stars like Cherish (Morrison) on our boys team,” said Grambo, “however, we still are a strong team. I’m very proud of their 10-0 record this year.”