Columbia High senior Alondra Cazares and sophomore Stanley Hylton won individual championships and both CHS teams finished in the Top 4 in team standings last Thursday at the Southwest District 1A track and field state qualifier in Woodland.
Cazares hurdled her way to victory in the girls 100-meter high hurdles, while Hylton led a 1-2 Bruins finish, with senior Declan Liddiard, in the boy's javelin. Liddiard’s runner-up throw marked a season’s best.
All told, eight Columbia High athletes (in 10 events) and two relays earned Top 3 finishes and guaranteed spots in this weekend’s WIAA 1A state championships at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
Cazares qualified in the 300 hurdles, too, with a second-place finish (and personal-record time, or PR, of 48.43 seconds), and will be going to state as part of the Bruins’ district-winning 4x200 relay.
Freshman Margo Mayo also qualified in two individual events: long jump and triple jump. She placed second in triple jump with a PR of 34 feet even.
Junior Serenity Barbour-Harrell and sophomore Makayla Fies secured berths to state in the girls 200 and 400, respectively. Fies ran a PR of 1 minutes, 1.76 seconds to finish second (in a race in which the top 3 tallied PRs).
Both, moreover, helped the 4x200 relay (with sophomore Lillian Nelson and anchor runner Cazares) pull away to victory in a time of 1:50.40. Their margin of victory over runner-up Seton Prep was .81 seconds.
Junior Chandlor Bucklin led the CHS boys by qualifying for the state meet in three events: 100, 400, and 4x400 relay.
Bucklin posted a PR of 51.66 in finishing third in the 400; classmate Stryder Kane also ran a PR (51.73) but placed fifth.
Sophomore Alarick Blankenship captured a state berth with a third-place showing in the boys 200. It marked his first state qualification in an open event.
Bucklin ran the same race (which he went to state for in 2017) but held back and came in eighth to save himself for the 4x400. For boys, the 4x400 was the last of 17 events. The 200 was 15th, buffered slightly by the boys 3200 run at No. 16.
In any event, the 4x400 relay of Kane, junior Ethan Andrews, exchange student Jann Priesemuth, and Bucklin (in that order) won a district title in a PR time of 3:32.69. They were .70 seconds faster than the second-place crew from Montesano.
This year’s hard-luck story belonged to senior Alex Medina.
Medina qualified for district finals in three events. At the end of the day, he had placed fourth in the discus and fifth in the shot put and javelin; he was unable to meet the state 1A qualifying standard in any of the three.