TACOMA - With events spread over three days, the Class 2A State Track and Field Championships are more of a marathon than a sprint. By the time the 4x400 relay rolls around, everyone is pretty well gassed.
"I was talking to my coach a little bit, and he wanted us all to be holding back just a little bit, trying to save as much energy as we could for this race," Sehome senior Hanna Tarleton said. "It's our last race of the day - last race of the season - so you just give it everything you've got."
Tarleton needed every ounce of energy she could muster on Saturday, May 25, as she got the baton for the anchor leg of the race with Bellingham less than a step behind. But she immediately increased the margin and brought it home to help the Mariners win their fifth state title of the day with a time of 3 minutes, 57.50 seconds. Bellingham finished second in 4:02.68.
"Last time it was even closer," said Elsa Sandeno, who ran the third leg for Sehome. "I knew I had to push it even harder so we would be in a good spot."
For freshman Dana Ringler, who led off the race, giving everything she had meant finding a way to put her nervous energy to the track and get the Mariners an early lead.
"I was really nervous, but once I started running it felt great being out there," Ringler said.
And she helped the Mariners find a nice way to cap off their run to the 2A team title.
"She (Ringler) got some good experience, so now she can hopefully do it again her senior year," said Brianna Keane, who stretched the Sehome's lead during the second leg.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.