Second in state…fifth best finish ever. How can that be? The state championship track meets started 90 years ago and this is the best finish in 86 years for the Panthers. One may not know it, but the local school captured all four of the first ever state meets from 1924 to 1927. Since those glory days the best Wenatchee had done until his weekend was three third-place finishes…1956, 2010 and 2011.
The Panthers piled up 51 points to tie their total from last year when they finished fourth. The 51 are the most for WHS since the WIAA began awarding points to eight places in 1989…prior to that they were awarded through six places. The top eight finishers in each event earn 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point respectively.
With a second, two thirds and a fourth the last four seasons, Wenatchee has been one of the dominant programs in the state. In terms of highest finishes only Mead as done better…nine points (a 1st, 2nd, 2nd and 4th add up to nine). Wenatchee has 12 (2nd, 3rd, 3rd and 4th). In terms of points scored at state the local tracksters are third. Mead has 214, Federal Way 196 and Wenatchee 174 (35 in 2010 followed by 37, 51 and 51).
The Purple and Gold’s 51 points came on four firsts and fifth and a sixth. The initial gold medal came Friday when Cody O’Connell won the shot put with a heave of 59' 9¾". O’Connell’s win was the first at state for a Panther in the shot. This was followed by Evan Britt with a victory in the pole vault when he cleared 14’ 3”. Britt joins Clint Tackitt (1993) as state pole champs from WHS. O’Connell and Britt are both seniors.
Both relay teams brought home medals. The 4x100 foursome of Chris Rodriquez, T.J. Harris, Spencer Smith and Isaiah Brandt-Sims recorded a 42.43 for fourth. The meet ended with the 4x400 and a third place from Christian Brandt-Sims, Reid Lovercamp, Jack Dunley and Isaiah Brandt-Sims in 3:20.69.
And then there is Isaiah Brandt-Sims. This young man is in history setting territory. He won state championships in both the 100 and 200 meters for the third year in a row…and is only a junior. With his two victories he has tied two state records and owns a another all by himself. He is only the second sprinter in 4A state history to win the 100 three straight years, and, in addition, is also only the second to take the 200 three times in a row. Brandt-Sims is the only runner to win both sprints in three consecutive championship meets.
The last time the 100 was won by the same runner three times in succession was in 1926 to ’28 when Bob Bernard of Pullman did it. It was nearly as long ago in the 200 when Lee Orr of Monroe raced to wins in 1933- ’35. Note, in the days when these records were set it was 100 yards and 220 yards.
Brandt-Sims time in the 100 was 10.71. When he won as a freshman it was 10.74 and last spring 10.82. He won the 200 with a time of 21.48 compared to 21.29 in 2011 and 21.74 a year ago.
For the team, winning four gold medals in one state meet is the most since the heydays of the titles in the ‘20s. The Panthers won four firsts in both ’24 and ’26, and five in ’25.
State track tidbits:
Cody O’Connell and Evan Britt are the 25th and 26th Panthers to win state championships.
Wenatchee has 39 first place medals…37 individual, 2 relay teams.
Multiple gold medal winners: Wes Foster 7, Isaiah Brandt-Sims 6, Rufus Kiser 3, Jacob Sealby 3, Jack Mooberry 2,Chester McNeil 2, Larry Richardson 2 and Bill Pratt 2.
WHS has had at least one person place (earn points) in 52 of the 88 state meets (no meet in 1943).
Senior Christie Adams completed her track career Saturday with a third place in the 200-meter dash in the state championship meet. Her time was 25.43. This was Adams’ third state medal. Last spring she was a member of the 4x200 meter relay team that placed sixth, and two years ago she was on the 800 meter relay who finished seventh. The Panthers tied for 37th in the team standings with the six points earned from Adams third place.
State track tidbits:
Wenatchee has 12 first place medals…10 individual, 2 relays
Multiple gold medal winners: Anita Nygard 3, Audrey Ketcham 3 and Kristen Ballinger 2.
WHS has had at least one person place (earn points) in 36 of the 44 state meets since 1970 (the initial year the Purple and Gold had anyone place). In fact since 1992 Wenatchee has scored at least one point in every meet…that’s 22 in a row.
The Panthers tied for 11th in the state championship tournament in Richland. The doubles team of Sohail Qazi and Nathaniel Noyd opened Friday with a win over a team from Curtis (University Place). In the quarterfinals Saturday they dropped a 3-set match to Newport (Bellevue) and were eliminated in two sets by a pair from Jackson (Mill Creek). The Newport duo when on to finish second and Jackson placed seventh.
In singles Lucas Tilly lost in two sets to an opponent from Kentlake and then came back to take a 3-set match from an opponent from Stadium (Tacoma) Friday. On the second day Tilly bowed out in two sets to a player from Cascade (Everett). The Kentlake foe placed eighth.
This is the 16th time in the past17 years Wenatchee has earned team points at the state title event. Only one other school has done the same, Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma. WHS earned four points this year. Newport with 19 points repeated at state champion.
Last week I had the incorrect place for Carly Bozett in state golf tournament. I’m sorry. When I “went to press” Wednesday afternoon the WIAA site had her 38th and no team scores listed. A couple hours later I checked back and there were the team scores and Bozett’s place was changed to 40th.
Final ScoreCzar computer poll rankings for 67 4A schools.
Baseball, Wenatchee 9th.
Softball, Wenatchee 44th.
Boys Soccer, Wenatchee 36th.