After four Tornados claimed individual state championships at the 2A/3A/4A state championship track meet at Mount Tahoma High School last month, helping the boys team earn a state title, members of the boys track and field team reflected on their victory and performances.
At the three-day meet in Tacoma, Trevontay Smith, in triple jump, and Brayden Platt, in shot put, repeated as state champions, while Jordan Lasher, in the pole vault, and Isaiah Patterson, in the discus, were first time state champions in track and field.
“As a coach, to have a group of athletes as dedicated as they were was amazing,” head boys track coach Chris Stovall said. “It’s difficult to keep kids that are driven toward the football field and our guys decided to step back from their dreams a little to perfect their track goals this season. They deserve an applause for that. All the work our coaches did to prepare them was second to none as well.”
It’s worth noting that Smith, Platt, Patterson and Lasher play various sports and their recent wins secured them the titles of multi-sport state champions. The four were members of the 2022 3A state championship football team at Yelm High School.
Smith won the triple jump event with a leap of 50 feet and 4.5 inches, which Stovall believes is the second farthest jump in the state’s history. He earned more points for his team with a second place finish in the long jump, after he leapt 22 feet and 4 inches.
He also was the 3A triple jump state champion in 2022, after leaping 44 feet and 5.25 inches to win the title last year.
It was redeeming for Smith to come out and win his second state championship in the triple jump event, as he said it was a pre-season goal of his. He obtained another pre-season goal by jumping beyond 50 feet.
“It meant a lot to me to contribute to the team championship,” Smith said. “We took third place last year, and this year going in, we knew we’d have the opportunity to win a team championship as well, so to be able to contribute in both of my events to the state title is amazing.”
Following his 3A state championship performance, Smith earned an offer to join the track and field team at the University of Washington. He also has offers from Grand Canyon University, Eastern Washington University, and is drawing interest from the University of Arizona and the University of Nebraska.
“It feels really good not only to be getting recognition from everyone, and then being also recognized by a Pac-12 school, and receiving an offer,” Smith said. “It’s everything that I’ve worked so hard for since I was little. I didn’t necessarily know it would be a track opportunity, but at any level, I feel blessed.”
Smith said he hopes to announce his commitment within the next several weeks.
“With Tre being new to triple jump in these last two years, he’s just excelled. He took to the coaching he got from Coach Phil Lonborg and he really took off with it,” Stovall said. “He dedicated himself and took time away from his hoop dreams to better himself at events and it’s paid off by the school interest he’s getting now. The success we knew he’d have as a jumper has brought opportunity to his horizon.”
Platt was another point earner for the track and field team during the 3A state championship meet, as he placed first in discus and second in javelin.
Platt won his second consecutive shot put championship with a throw of 61 feet and 10 inches. He won the title in 2022 with a launch of 61 feet and 6 inches.
Platt finished the javelin event in second place with a throw of 216 feet, after the “best javelin series of his life,” according to Stovall. Platt launched five of his six throws over 200 feet. In 2022, he also finished in second place, but with a throw of 191 feet and 9 inches.
Platt also competed in the discus event and registered a throw of 126 feet and 8 inches.
“It feels really good to be a two-time state champ for shot put. I’m very thankful for my coaches,” Platt said. “It feels really great to be able to help contribute to the team because I knew that my teammates were going to do their best to do the same.”
Platt said it feels amazing to bring a team state championship home to Yelm. He said the accomplishment was “really cool” because there were only four boys that scored in events.
Stovall said Platt has been “completely consistent” as an athlete for the boys track team.
“He’s been a hard worker and he’s been dedicated to improving his skillset,” Stovall said. “He sacrificed some of his outside football activities to make sure he was improving for us, and that says a lot about his attitude and character.”
Lasher won his state championship in pole vault after he vaulted 15 feet and 6 inches. He said it’s awesome to know that his work up to this point has paid off. He finished in fifth place in pole vault at the 3A state championship meet in 2022 with a vault of 13 feet and 6 inches.
“This is my biggest accomplishment so far, so I’m beyond happy to not let myself or anyone else down,” Lasher said. “The longer the season went on, winning pole vault became more and more realistic. That definitely gave me some motivation on the slower days.”
Lasher added he put in extra time leading up to the state championship meet alongside his teammates who had qualified. He said the trophy made all of their efforts “worth it.”
“It feels amazing to know that I played my part and was one of the few that contributed to bringing home the second state championship win this year,” Lasher said.
Lasher will be a senior next school year. He set a goal of pole vaulting 17 feet in his final high school season. He also set a goal of successfully defending his 3A pole vault championship.
“Senior year still feels so far away, but all I can ask for is improvement,” Lasher said. “I know that lots of the hurdlers are returning next year, so top three will be the goal.”
Lasher finished the 110-meter hurdle competition in sixth place with a time of 15.04 seconds.
Coach Stovall said Lasher will continue to add to his pole vault legacy during his last year of high school.
“He’s starting to get some college interest now as a decathlete,” Stovall said. “He’s constantly working on his craft with both Gabe Cadero and another pole vault coach. He works to be the most well rounded athlete he can be.”
Patterson, a recent football commit to the University of California Los Angeles, broke the Yelm High School record with a state championship winning discus throw of 177 feet and 4 inches.
Stovall described Patterson as a grinder and as someone that’s always looking to improve himself.
“He’s worked so hard for us, and while he was with us, he was 100% in,” Stovall said. “He dedicated himself to perfecting his craft in discus. He wanted to build a legacy and leave something behind with his name on it, and he accomplished that this season.”
The coach added Patterson’s record will be difficult to break.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here