Ragsdale takes the bronze in state 400

PASCO — Anthony Ragsdale tried for the third-straight finals race to put Stadium’s Calvin Horton behind him at the finish line.

Horton passed him up at the Narrows League meet in the final 50 meters in their 400-meter finals three weeks ago, winning in 49.62 seconds to Ragsdale’s 49.99. Then two weeks ago, Ragsdale was again leading the finals of the 400 at the West Central District meet when Horton and Kentridge’s Alex Harcourt each surged down the final straightaway to put the Bremerton senior in third place.

So at Edgar Brown Stadium on Saturday, May 31, with the temperatures in the Tri-Cities in the mid-80s, Ragsdale gave it all he had as he once again surged to the front of the pack in the finals by the final turn. But like the previous events, a state championship slipped away as Harcourt and Horton put on a final burst of speed to put the Knights’ best hope for a state title in third place in 49.34. Harcourt’s winning time was 48.97 with Horton taking second a breath ahead of Ragsdale at 49.27.

“Those long strides caught me at the end every time,” Ragsdale said. “I’ll take it, third’s not that bad.

“I’m really proud of myself. It was a close race.”

Bremerton coach Lloyd Pugh praised his team leader’s final preps performance.

“He has great courage,” Pugh said. “He did exactly what he had to do. He went out and took the race and let them catch him if they could. He deserves it.”

The Knights’ other senior sprinter, Dominique Bryant, was a victim of the draw in the 100 prelims Friday where he had to face a stacked field where only the top four in each heat qualified for Saturday’s finals.

“Dom was seventh in his heat, but if he had been in the other one he would’ve been fourth (and qualified for the finals),” Pugh said. “His time (of 11.35) was faster than three others in the first heat. It’s all in the luck of the draw in the way they get seeded.”

In Bryant’s heat, the slowest qualifier was Stanwood’s Jace Baker at 11.25. In the earlier heat, Emmanuel Lawson of Rogers (Spokane) was fourth in 11.37.

Joe Miller, Bremerton’s senior distance qualifier, had troubles keeping up with the front-runners in the 3,200 race as they surged in the final 1,600 meters after a slow first four laps. After staying tucked in with a trio of runners from Mead, he slowly fell by the wayside. He finished in 11th in 9 minutes, 31.05 seconds.

“Joe got caught in a tactical battle he wasn’t ready for when those guys started as slowly as they did in the first mile,” Pugh said. “He didn’t have the speed he needed in the end. If they’re going to play that sit back and wait game he needs to get out and take charge. He played the game with them and lost.”

Junior Monica Anderson nearly made it over the bar at 10 feet in the pole vault for a new personal record, but instead tied her best height of 9 feet, 6 inches in her first trip to state.

“She did a great job,” Pugh said of the home-schooled student who just started vaulting this year. “She gave 10 feet a good try.”

He added that Anderson is going to continue improving her skills by competing in events throughout the summer.

Senior Tomitka McMurrin just missed medaling in the javelin, taking ninth with a throw of 115-8.

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