Local athletes take to the podium at state track championships

June 6, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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By Greg Farrar Liberty High School teammates (from left) Ashby Brown, Hiron Redman, Romney Noel and Alex Olobia link arms and display their 4×400-meter relay medals after winning second place with a time of 3 minutes, 20.42 seconds during the 3A state track and field championships May 25 in Tacoma.

By Greg Farrar
Liberty High School teammates (from left) Ashby Brown, Hiron Redman, Romney Noel and Alex Olobia link arms and display their 4×400-meter relay medals after winning second place with a time of 3 minutes, 20.42 seconds during the 3A state track and field championships May 25 in Tacoma.

Immediately after Liberty track stars Alex Olobia and Hiron Redman competed in the last race of their high school careers, the seniors embraced as they shook off the disappointment of a second place finish in the 4×400-meter relay at the state track and field championship.

“Bellevue had just that much more, just a little bit more,” Redman said. “He just got me by a 30th of a second. That’s it.”

The Liberty relay team of Olobia, Redman, Romney Noel and Ashby Brown took second with a time of 3 minutes, 20.42 seconds, good enough to break the school record, but just short of conference foe, Bellevue.

That’s quite an accomplishment considering that there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the 1600 relay team at the start of the season, Redman said.

“We came into the beginning of the season just scared. We didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I mean we had a sophomore on the relay team and we all just dug really deep and we did it.”

That sophomore is promising underclassmen Noel, who, like his teammates, sported an impressive mohawk during the May 23-25 championship at Mount Tahoma.

The Liberty boys track and field team placed fifth in overall scoring at the state meet, thanks to impressive performances from both Olobia and Redman.

Olobia took home three medals, including the one he secured with the Liberty relay team. He earned second place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.85, just short of Bellevue’s Budda Baker who won with a mark of 10.77. He also took third in the 200 meter, finishing that race in 22.29.

“I’ve had to go through a lot of adversity with injuries, but I think overall, even though I didn’t come in first, I enjoyed the journey, and that’s what it’s mainly about,” Olobia said. “I’m just really proud that I got here.”

Redman, a standout on the school’s cross country team, reached the podium for the third consecutive year in the 800-meter event, placing sixth with a time of 1:55.02. Aaron Bowe broke the school record in the 3200 with a time of 9:21.87, good for seventh place.

Senior Sean Campbell captured Liberty’s first medal of the meet with his sixth place toss in the javelin, at 165 feet, 10 inches. Campbell took up the sport for the first time this season, along with his twin brother, Matt.

The Liberty girls did not fare quite as well, narrowly missing the podium in several events.

Megan Chucka took ninth in the 1,600-meter; Sarah Bliesner placed 11th in the 3,200-meter; and Anna Frodsham finished ninth in the javelin.

 

Hazen boys place 20th

After three long days of competition, Hazen High School junior Mason Jacobs felt fatigued as he prepared to compete in the 4×400-meter relay.

It was hard to notice, though, as Jacobs, Devin Nguyen, David Phan and Travis Lilly ran the race in 3:23.85 to capture fourth place.

“It felt good. I thought I had a good start. I was just so tired from all the day’s other events,” Jacobs said. “It was tough, but we pulled it through and I was happy about that.”

The chemistry on this year’s team was particularly good, leading to what the teammates consider a successful season, Phan said.

“We run for each other. We are family,” he said. “That’s what got us here.”

In addition to his relay medal, Nguyen earned an individual honor when he ran the 400-meter in 51.43 to take eighth place.

Hazen senior Spencer Shear was the school’s top finisher, taking third place in the pole vault.

The Highlanders had several athletes make the finals, only to miss the podium.

Bahari Watkins and Jacobs each competed in the long jump, while Michelle Lilly did the same on the girls’ side. Emma Tuschhoff battled in the triple jump and Daniel Karpman came up short in the 1,600.

“We did pretty good, not super spectacular,” Jacobs said. “I’m just a junior, so hopefully next year we can pull out more medals.”

 

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