Ten times the success for King’s West

King’s West pole vaulter Colin Mange, shown here at districts two weeks ago, was one of several Warriors to carry on all the way to the state tournament last weekend . - Photo courtesy of Emil Heinze
King’s West pole vaulter Colin Mange, shown here at districts two weeks ago, was one of several Warriors to carry on all the way to the state tournament last weekend .
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Emil Heinze

KW track and field brings home 10 state medals.

CHENEY — The King’s West tracksters brought home not one, two nor three, but 10 medals from last weekend’s 1B/2B WIAA State Track & Field Championships held at Eastern Washington University, a monumental performance by Warrior athletes.

“It was the best weekend we’ve ever had,” KW track and field coach and athletic director Dan Dittmer said. “It was a happy bus ride home.”

Trekking east to compete against the state’s top 2B track and field athletes, 11 Warriors competed in 16 total events, setting four school records in the process.

“There were just so many great performances,” Dittmer said, complimenting the entire team’s effort. “It’s hard to pick one.”

Senior Carlie Rouse, juniors Drew McCullough and Irene Moore and sophomore Chase Estes set school records.

Rouse competed in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, placing sixth and fourth respectively. She broke the school record in the 1,600 with a 5-minute, 39.71-second run, while running a 12:31:51 in the 3,200.

“That’s a tough double at state,” Dittmer said of Rouse’s two long-distance events.

Meanwhile, Moore, who competed in four events within a two-hour timeframe, broke the school record in the 100 high hurdles, finishing sixth at 16:83. She also competed in the 300 low hurdles, 100 relay and pole vault.

“She was going all over the place,” Dittmer said. “What a tough competitor.”

Moore earned fifth in the 300 low (47.81) and sixth in the pole vault (7-06), while joining the 100 relay en route to seventh (53.97).

On the boys side McCullough came out of nowhere to break the KW javelin record, throwing a sixth-place 158-03.

Adding to Moore’s list of achievements this season, she took honors as the SeaTac League’s Track and Field Athlete of the Year, an award voted on by the league’s coaches.

A newcomer to track and field — he’d never thrown the javelin before this year — McCullough’s success proved a pleasant surprise.

“He just picked up the javelin,” Dittmer said. “He went from throwing 110 feet (on April 12) to sixth-best in the state.”

Adding more than 55 feet to his distance in just six weeks, McCullough’s success went unparalleled.

“That’s incredible,” Dittmer added. “That one really sticks out.”

The fourth and final KW record-setter, Estes leapt 19-04 in the long jump, good for eighth and another medal.

And while Rouse, Moore, McCullough and Estes highlighted the Warrior scorecard, the additional seven KW athletes also added solid performances.

Seniors Lakiesha Nilles, Megan Morris and Michelle Webster and sophomore Jill Morris also competed in girls action, while seniors Jeff Mitchell, junior Colin Mange and sophomore Nick Olson represented the boys.

Webster, Nilles, Rouse, Mitchell, Eric Jeong and Mange were all named to the all-league track team.

Dittmer said his athletes’ versatility — 10 of the 11 state competitors also participated in a fall or winter sport — drove the team to success.

“We have so many two-to-three sport athletes,” he said. “That just makes you better athletically.”

And with stars like McCullough, Moore, Estes, Olson and others all returning, the prospects are high for the 2009 Warrior track and field squad.

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