TACOMA - Two years ago, Sehome's Riley Fraser never thought of competing in track and field, but he had a knack for jumping high - he'd been practicing dunking a basketball since he was in sixth grade.
Sehome's jumps coach Nic Castona noticed Fraser's potential, and after placing fourth in 2A state in 2011, Fraser leaped over a mark of 6 feet, 6 inches to win the Class 2A state title Friday, May 25, during the 2A-3A-4A Washington State Track and Field Championships, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
"It's the feeling I've always dreamed of," Fraser said. "I came out here and got the job done. There's not a better feeling."
Lakewood's Justin Peterson cleared a mark of 6-05.00, but Fraser out did him with a jump of 6-06.00 to add a new personal record to go along with his first-place medal. After Fraser cleared the bar, he pumped his fist in celebration.
"When I cleared it I was like, 'OK, I have to take advantage now and keep going,'" Fraser said.
After Peterson failed to clear 6-06.00, Fraser told the judge he wanted to try for 6-07.00, but after three attempts, Fraser settled for his top mark.
"I've always been tall, and I went through a growth spurt when I was in sixth grade," Fraser said. "Ever since (I was in sixth grade), I've always tried to work on dunking."
Next year, Fraser said he is attending Boise State University, where he plans on walking on as a track and field athlete.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.