Juanita shows well against Kangs and Islanders at home track meet | Slideshow
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
April 15, 2012 · Updated 8:34 AM
Juanita hosted Lake Washington and Mercer Island Thursday for a KingCo meet and the friendly cross-town rivalry added a little more to some of the athlete’s competitive spirits.
"It is always fun to be able to compete against your cross town rival, but when it comes to track and field, it is less of a rival and more of a friendly get together," said Rebels coach Neil Kells. "... A lot of the athletes from both schools know each other and have fun competing."
Juanita defeated Lake Washington 104-41 in the boys competition and 93-53 in the girls team scoring. The Rebels also beat the Islanders in both the boys (90-55) and girls (81-68) competitions, while Mercer Island held off the Kangs (boys 79-66, girls 95.5-52.5).
The Juanita boys had 10 first-place finishes, while Lake Washington had four. One of the biggest events of the day pit Juanita’s 400-meter relay team of Travis Marshall, Alec Martin, Kendrick Murphy and Besser Rios against Mercer Island.
The two teams came into the meet separated by just a few tenths of a second in their best runs of the year. The Rebels got the best of the head-to-head race with a time of 43.30 seconds to the Islander’s 44.20.
Murphy, Martin, Marshall and Alex Wallin earned a victory in the 800-meter relay with a time of 3:39.50 for the Rebels. Lake Washington’s Michael Smith, Kenyon Butler, Sean Whaley and Blake Owen finished second (3:45.20) during the race.
Lake Washington had a good day in the running events led by Butler with victories in the 200 meters (22.90) and 400 meters (51.60 meters).
“I am working on form and conditioning mostly,” said Butler, who downplayed the cross-town rivalry. “We come (to Juanita High School) a lot. We just want to run hard and that is that.”
The Rebels’ depth played a big part as Matt Nilson took first in the shot put (44-feet, 8-inches) and the discus (111-feet, 8-inches), while Murphy took first in the high jump (six-feet) for the Rebels. Wallin won the triple jump with a distance of 40-feet, 6.5-inches) and the 110-meter hurdles (15.80 seconds), while Marshall won the 100 meters (10.90).
Vincent Ly took first in the 300-meter hurdles (42.90) while teammate Santos Zaid won the 800 meters (2:09.00) for the Rebels.
Devon Grove won the 3,200 meters for the Kangs (9:55.20), while Chris Nordlie won the 300-meter hurdles (52.80).
"(Lake Washington coach) Neil Hanson has done a great job with his athletes and it was evident," said Kells. "Grove is a great runner who managed to push himself to a sub 10-minute two mile all by himself. He is an athlete to watch."
Rebel Mikayla Jones helped Juanita to four of the teams nine first-place finishes. Jones, Kaila Bass, Kathryn Wuchter and Regi Lammers took first in the 800-meter relay (1:49.70) and the 400-meter relay (51.30). Lammers, Molly Grager, Bass and Jones also took first in the 1,600-meter relay (4:26.40). Jones won the triple jump with a distance of 34-feet, 9-inches.
Rebel Lilja Jonsson won the long jump with a distance of 14-feet, 11.25-inches and the pole vault with 8-feet, 6-inches.
Alanna Coker raced to a 200-meter win in 25.10 seconds and the 100 meters (12.20).
Grager took first in the high jump (5-feet, 2-inches), while teammate Kate Cryderman won the shot put with 33-feet, 5.25-inches.
“We are really critiquing our technique,” said Cryderman. “Just trying to make sure the run through is good.”
Cryderman said her goal is to place at state in two or three events this year and to help her team win KingCo. Cryderman said facing Lake Washington adds a bit more competition to the meet.
“Everyone is a little more focused,” said Cryderman, who will play basketball in college.
Sophomore Sydney Gildersleeve stepped up for Juanita, taking second to an Islander senior in the discus with a personal best distance of 79-feet, 11-inches after Cryderman defaulted.
“We are doing well today. Everyone is getting (personal records),” said Gildersleeve. “We are all just trying to get better.”
Anneke Kniestedt was the only Lake Washington female to take first place during the meet, winning the 400 meters with a time of 1:02.50.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at email@example.com or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.