DISTRICT CHAMPS: Rainier girls track and field claims 2B District 4 championship

Mountaineers win first such title in three years


Even though four of its athletes had just won the 4x400 relay moments prior, the Rainier High School girls track and field team still had enough energy to jog around the track with the 2B District 4 championship trophy.

The district title is the first for the program since 2021, as Rainier’s throwers helped the team build an early lead and its runners closed it out with 156 points, ahead of second-place Adna’s 114, at W.F. West High School on Friday, May 17. The Mountaineer girls took home six event wins and finished in the top three in eight more.

“It’s fun. It’s something we’ve been working for all year. It’s a great group of kids, and there were a lot of good performances today,” girls head coach Rob Henry said. “It’s a good feeling.”

It was the day of the sophomores during the district championships as Jazzlyn Shumate narrowly clinched the 400-meter victory, and she finished off Rainier’s 4x400 relay win. In both events, she inched out Toledo’s Onica Chase by less than a second. Fellow sophomore Anika Plowman also was a member of the 4x400 relay-winning team — along with Shumate, Emma Mathson and Madison Ingram — and she set a season record in the long jump with a 15-foot, 0.5-inch leap to take the district title.

“I could feel that she was behind me, and I could hear the team cheering me on. I wanted it,” Shumate said of her 4x400 relay finish. “At the end of the day, it’s just whoever wants it. You just gotta push for it no matter what.”

Shumate, who also took third in the 100-meter hurdles with a new personal record, said her desire to win for her team and her school pushed her in both first-place finishes. She was also motivated to show out on the big stage for the first time, as she did not qualify for districts as a freshman last year.

“Honestly, it takes dedication and wanting to prove it to yourself and to your teammates around you,” she said. “You can’t stop once you go into it, no matter how bad it hurts.”

Madison Ingram was a part of three district crowns, including the 4x400 relay, the 800-meter and 3,200-meter races. She also took second in the 1,600-meter event. Freshman Kinsley Barlow finished behind Ingram for second place in the 3,200-meter race, setting a personal best time in the process.

Ella Marvin, Rainier’s reigning state pole vault champion, took home first place with a 10-6 leap, and she also placed fourth in javelin. Senior Haleigh Hanson earned third in both shot put and discus, while Janess Blackburn and Zaylee Bravo set personal bests in shot put and discus, respectively.

“It feels really good. We’ve worked pretty hard for this, and we’re like a family. Being able to experience this all together is amazing,” Bravo said of the team’s victory.

The theme of the day for the Mountaineer girls was perseverance through injuries and mental toughness. Plowman, whom Henry said was dealing with pain, said she was driven to finally hit a 15-foot long jump this season after setting a personal best with 15-3 at state last year. She did so by half an inch for the district title.

“I have not been able to hit 15 feet at all this whole year, and so I went into my long jump thinking it could possibly be my last day. I jumped 15 feet on my first jump and ended up as a district champion,” Plowman said.

In total, 11 girls qualified for the state championships, with all but one athlete set to compete in multiple events in Yakima. Acacia Murphy, Shumate and Ingram punched their ticket in four different events, while Plowman will compete in three.

On the boys side, the Mountaineers finished sixth with 50 team points. Zander Peck took second in javelin with a 153-4 throw, and the junior also launched his best discus toss yet at 133-3. Josh Meldrum was .06 seconds away from taking the 100–meter crown but settled for second place. Zach Hamilton was Rainier’s top distance runner, finishing fourth in the 1,600-meter event with a personal best time and second in the 3,200-meter event.

Peck (javelin), Hamilton (1,600 meters, 3,200 meters), Josh Meldrum (100 meters and long jump) and Matthew Kenney (discus) each qualified for state while Josh Meldrum, Jake Meldrum, Kenney and Chris Grey qualified in the 4x100 relay, where they took third at districts.

The 2B State Championship Meet begins on Thursday, May 23 at Zaepfel Stadium in Yakima.