Mountaineers make strides in penultimate regular season meet

Rainier combines to win 16 titles


With the postseason approaching, the Rainier High School track and field team is hitting its stride and improving at the right time. The Mountaineers wrapped up their final home meet of the season with a whopping 16 titles between the boys and girls on Tuesday, April 30.

The girls finished with 216.5 points — 104.5 points more than second-place Kalama’s 112 — while the boys tied for second with Kalama with 123 points, only trailing Napavine’s 132 points.

Many Mountaineers went home happy, including Jazzlyn Shumate, who led all Rainier athletes with shares of four titles, as well as Josh Meldrum, Madison Ingram and Anika Plowman, who each earned three. Shumate set a personal record in the 400-meter dash with 1 minute and 4 seconds in her second-ever race, while Meldrum shattered his personal best in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet and 9 inches.

Ingram, who has racked up victories in the distance events, keeps improving as she established her best times in both the 800- and 1,600-meter events. Angelica Askey, who finished second to Ingram in both races, set a personal best of 5 minutes and 55 seconds in the 1,600-meter dash, as did Kinsley Barlow in fourth place with 6 minutes and 23 seconds. Barlow’s 3,200-meter time of 13 minutes and 56 seconds was good for a personal record and second place.

Rainier girls head coach Rob Henry praised Askey for her selflessness in the distance events and her improvement after beginning as a sprinter. Assistant coach Robert Ingram, Madison’s father, concurred, adding that the distance runners have practiced on weekends when they didn’t have to, leading to their steady improvement over the course of the season.

“We had some really good marks. Madison had a season record in the mile and Angelica was right behind her, so they’re coming along,” Henry said. “Last year, Angelica was pretty much a sprinter, but this year she’s really bought into the distance and she’s pushing Madison, which is fantastic. She’s willing to step up and go. She’s really versatile, which is great.”

Rainier’s reigning 2B state champions, high jumper Acacia Murphy and pole vaulter Ella Marvin, each earned titles in their respective events. Marvin dominated the pole vault with a 10-foot jump, nearly 2 ½ feet higher than the second-place finisher. 

Senior Matthew Kenney was another standout for Rainier, as he blew past his personal record in discus, as well as the competition, with a throw of 154 feet and 10 inches. He also set a personal best in shot put at 44 feet, 3 inches, narrowly behind Mossyrock’s Marshall Brockway at 45 feet, 1 inch for first place.

The Napavine boys got a win from Case Van Kooten in the 110 hurdles (16.75 seconds), who also finished fourth in the 100. Austin Lyons won the 300 hurdles in 45.31.

Winlock’s Ricky Thompson won the 400 (52.61) and took second in the 100. Chase Trodahl took the 1600 (4:45.68) and the 3200 (10:18.81), and ran a leg of the winning 4x400 (3:54) with Thompson, Mason Ruiz and Xavier Sancho-Carrillo.

On the girls side, Winlock’s Victoria Sancho won the 100 (13.25 seconds), the 200 (28.08), and the long jump (14-6), with a third-place finish in the triple jump.

Mossyrock’s 4x200 relay team (Bailey Gross, Renzy Marshall, Leah Contreras and Saydi Mendoza) picked up a win in 1:56. Miley Sanders added a win in the javelin at 98-0.

While the Central 2B League Championships are more than two weeks away, the Mountaineers are hungry as ever to represent their school in the postseason. According to Henry and boys head coach Josh Frunz, Rainier is peaking at the perfect time.

“They’re putting the time in. At this point in the season, we’re seeing their hard work paying off. They’re really putting in a lot of extra time, and they’re seeing the fruits of their labor,” Frunz said. “It’s fun to watch.”

With one regular season meet to go on Friday, May 3 at the Spudder Track & Field Classic in Ridgefield, the Mountaineers’ athletes who will likely be competing for trophies at state in Yakima are becoming clearer. Rainier’s postseason journey will begin in Kalama on Friday, May 10 at the Central 2B League Championships.