Meridian’s girls’ 4x200 relay team won the state title in the Class 1A State Championships on Saturday, May 30, at Eastern Washington University.
The Trojans’ team consisting of Payton Lunde, Katelyne Zucati, Emily Brackinreed and Janessa Murphy ran a winning time of 1 minute, 45.95 seconds.
“We brought three of our legs back this year,” Meridian coach Patrick Ames said in a phone interview. “We didn’t even run the fastest time in prelims.”
The main strategy heading into the race for Meridian was to have the lead for anchor Janessa Murphy to secure the win. Lunde got off to a good start for the Trojans.
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But what was more unexpected was the superb running of the team’s middle legs.
“Payton (Lunde) gave a great first leg, like she did the past two years,” Ames said. “The performance of the year was Emily (Brackinreed) running the best third leg she has ever done.”
“Katelyn (Zucati) kept us up and Emily (Brackinreed) pulled through to get me the baton and all I had to do was finish. That was awesome,” Murphy said in a phone interview.”
Meridian was able to hold off second-place Hoquiam, the team that beat the Trojans in the state championships last season.
Murphy got the baton just ahead of Hoquiam’s anchor and then it was a sprint to the finish between two of the top sprinters in the state and Murphy held on as expected from the team.
“I knew they were going to be fast,” she said.
For Murphy, a senior, this was her last meet as a Trojan.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Murphy said. “I’m really happy with how my senior year played out and getting to compete at my best is an awesome feeling.”