CHENEY, Wash. — Ilwaco began the WIAA state track meet with some successes Thursday.

Three Fisherman athletes stepped up the podium at Eastern Washington University to receive medals.

Senior Ebby McMullen landed a triple jump of 36 feet, 4¾ inches for third and sophomore Erika Glenn increased her personal best by two feet to place fourth with 36-0. The winner was last year’s champion, Matty Lagerwey of La Conner, with 37-1 ¾.

The two Ilwaco competitors found their groove in the field of 16 as Lagerwey appeared dissatisfied with her early jumps and Raymond’s strong Kyra Gardner had mixed success.

Both Ilwaco athletes qualified for the final cut and the battle began in earnest. When Glenn’s personal record 36-foot jump was put on the scoreboard she and McMullen jumped aloft and double high-fived, an action that made even the officials smile.

“I don’t think any school in the state has had two 36-foot jumps this year,” said a beaming coach, Dan Schenck, once the result was known. He said McMullen’s third place was a delight, especially in view of surgery that coaches feared may end the three-sport athlete’s final season in an Ilwaco uniform.

“I didn’t expect to be here,” said McMullen, who credits her coaches, school leaders and the community for outstanding support. “I had shoulder surgery in April, but then I had a chance to do triple jump and I said, ‘why not?’”

McMullen is also participating at state in long jump, hurdles and a relay.

For Glenn, who has qualified in two sprints and relay, Thursday’s pleasure was evident. “It was great to beat my PR by two feet. I had never done track before, so it is good.”

For the boys, Daniel Quintana placed fourth in the 1,600 meters.

The freshman ran a canny race. With two front runners challenging for supremacy, and a third a short distance behind, the other contest was for fourth.

Quintana made sure he was in fourth during the final two laps as the pack thinned. He appeared to be tiring as he and Gavin Merritt from Tekoa-Rosalia disappeared behind some movable bleachers that block the grandstand’s visibility on the home turn.

Seconds later, as the runners came back into view, Quintana was still holding on. He sprinted the last 100 and held off the senior’s challenge to finish in 4 minutes, 31.30 seconds. The winner, Justin Roosma, from Walla Walla Valley, was timed at 4:15.07.

“This is the best feeling,” said Quintana, still breathless several minutes after crossing the finish line. “It was in the last 100 meters — I just took off! This is the best run I have ever had.”

Alex Kaino began his defense of the state 300 meter hurdles title with a smooth win in his heat. His time of 40.17 was slightly slower than his district qualifying time of 39.41, but he eased up slightly as he approached the tape. Will Lane from Northwest Christian won another heat in 40.09. They and the other six qualifiers will run Saturday.

Kaino’s 100 meter heat was the fastest of the three, with the winner Brandon Montoya of Lyle-Wishram clocked at 11.02. Kaino was second in 11.28 and will for the championship Saturday.

Naselle has 20 athletes at the 1B state meet, also being held at Cheney.

Thursday, sprinter Faaoso Tutu’u was second in his heat in the 100 meters in 11.53, making him the tie-fourth fastest qualifier for Saturday’s final.

In the 1,600 final, first and second were brothers from Pope John Paul II High School. Sophomore Kobe Deutscher finished in 4.29.69 to beat senior Caden by just over one second.

Naselle’s Kolby Glenn and Monte Schell did not place.

Corey Gregory and Ian Fontanilla ran in 300 hurdles heats but did not advance.

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