Sports

B-Town’s fastest foursome seeks state title

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School record already in books, 400-meter relay now looks higher.

TACOMA — Seven Bremerton track and field athletes outlasted the best-of-the-best at the 3A West Central District III Track and Field Championships May 16 and 17, earning spots in this weekend’s 3A WIAA State Track and Field Championships at Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium in Pasco.

With 12 athletes competing at districts, and seven advancing to state, BHS track and field coach Lloyd Pugh is happy with his team’s standing as state looms.

“For us, it went pretty well,” he said of districts. “We have to be pleased with our effort.”

As expected, senior Alex Griffin advanced to state in the 100-meter run, racing to a second-place time of 11.01 seconds, just behind sophomore Kinsley Ojukwu of Union (10.78). Griffin also advanced in the 200, though he figures to do more damage in the 100, entering his heat with the second-fastest time.

Missing practice Tuesday with a migraine, Griffin will anchor the boys 400 relay, joining seniors Jamiere Abney and Jamaree Wells and junior Chris Flemming, on the fastest relay team BHS has ever seen.

The foursome posted a school-record time of 42.74 seconds at districts, held at Mount Tahoma High School, nearly upsetting favored Lakes (42.58).

“Any time you can get under 43 (seconds) and break a school record, you’ve got to be pretty pleased with the overall outcome,” Pugh said.

Griffin being Griffin — he’s undeniably the fastest of the relay’s four — Pugh complimented each member of the 100 relay.

“Jamaree (Wells) does a really nice job leading off,” he said. “Chris (Flemming), even though he’s not our fastest guy, runs a nice second leg. And Jamiere (Abney), he’s come a long way since last year.”

Scarier yet, Pugh believes the foursome can be faster.

“They could probably run under 42.5 (seconds),” he said, explaining that the baton handoffs need to be perfect.

In the record run at districts, Flemming and Wells mistimed a handoff, slowing the team’s time.

“If we get smooth handoffs this week, I believe we can make it a really, really close race,” Flemming said.

Of the 3A 400 relay teams to reach state, Lakes and West Seattle (42.54) hold the top times.

Freshman Kyle Kennedy, already the BHS javelin record holder, also will make the trek to Pasco in search of a state medal.

He made a 177-foot-6-inch toss at

districts, good for fourth place and a spot in state.

“It feels good,” Kennedy said. “(Sometimes) people don’t think freshmen can make it this far.”

Adding more than 50 feet to his distance since the season opener, Kennedy figures only to improve, having three more years to compete at the high school level.

“You can only get better with practice,” he said.

Seniors Jacki Hill and Angela Anderson will compete on the girls side.

Hill notched first in the 400 (58.72), third in the 200 (25.66) and tenth in 100 (12.64) at districts, reaching state in the 200 and 400.

“I wish I could have run faster,” she said, explaining that she forgot her uniform at home and had to wear Griffin’s gear.

“Beforehand, I was really stressed out,” she said. “I had difficulty getting warm.”

And with temperatures nearing 90 degrees, Hill said hot weather conditions also posed a challenge.

“It was really hot,” she said. “I felt more tired, more energy drained.”

Going into state however, Hill appears ready to contend for a medal in the 400.

“I want to shave off at least two seconds off my (400) time,” she said. “If I really get mentally prepared, I can do it.”

State action began yesterday and continues today. Results from yesterday’s events were not available at press time.

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