YAKIMA — When he’s on the mat, Rainier’s Zander Peck is trying to manhandle his opponent. Whenever he’s at the track, he’s holding a literal weapon.
But his mind is anything but violent.
“I’m always just trying to be relaxed,” the sophomore Mountaineer said. “My dad always tells me to be relaxed — whenever I’m throwing just be relaxed, whenever I’m wrestling just be relaxed. So I’m always in a calm mindset.”
Thursday, that mindset helped Peck — who took fifth in State at 160 pounds in Tacoma at the Mat Classic this past February — get back onto a podium with a third-place finish in the boys javelin at the 2B state track and field championships in Yakima with a throw of 146 feet, 3 inches.
“Just going out there was surreal,” he said. “It was really nice because whenever I went out there, I just felt good. I had a little shoulder injury a couple of days ago, but I got that stretched out.”
After two rounds in his flight, Peck sat at 136 feet, 1 inch, good enough to make the final eight, but not by a ton. With one more guaranteed throw, the sophomore let loose, improving by a good 10 feet for the mark that ended up holding up as his final result.
Northwest Christian’s Colby Shamblin won the event at 166 feet, 3 inches, with Kittitas’ Doug Varnum taking second at 160 feet, 2 inches. Then came Peck, with Cle Elum Roslyn’s Mac Williams coming a solitary inch behind him at 146 feet, 2 inches for fourth.
It’s not the top spot on the podium, but for a first trip to States, it’s a heck of a start.
“In wrestling, I got fifth place, but going out there just felt really good,” Peck said. “It was just a really uplifting feeling, so coming here and being able to get here again and get into that position feels really good.”
Other Local Placers
Peck was one of two third-place finishers for the area. On the track, Adna’s Jordan Stout took third in the 2B 1,600 meters, finishing in 4:26 just behind a photo finish for first place between St. George’s Benjamin Morales and Chewelah’s Cole Foster that went down to eight one-thousandths of a second. Toledo’s Treyton Marty took seventh in 4:35.74, with Onalaska’s Ben Russon missing out on the podium by two-and-a-half seconds at 4:43.66.
In the 1B race at 1,600 meters, Mossyrock’s Christian Paz Tapia finished fourth with a time of 4:42.79.
On the field, Rainier’s Chase MacFarland finished sixth in the 2B triple jump with a hop, a skip, and a jump of 41 feet, 0.5 inches.
Onalaska’s Melissa Reiman finished seventh in the 2B girls 1,600 at 6:12.04. In the girls field events, Charlie Carper was seventh in the 1B long jump (14 feet, 10.5 inches) and Rainier’s Haleigh Hansen was eighth in the 2B shot put (32 feet, 6.5 inches).
Thursday also saw a whole load of prelim races, to qualify for finals later in the weekend.
The busiest crops of local runners came at the end, in the 100-meter dash. On the boys’ side, Napavine’s Max O’Neill won the first heat and led the field with a time of 11.10, while Rainier’s Josh Meldrum won the third heat to qualify for Saturday’s finals with a time of 11.39. Also qualifying was Winlock’s Payton Sickles with a time of 11.49.
On the girls’ side, Rainier’s Acacia Murphy won her heat with a time of 13.02, while Winlock’s Victoria Sancho also made the cut with a time of 13.28.
Elsewhere, Onalaska’s Riley Carter qualified for the finals of the 2B 300-meter hurdles at 42.76. Pe Ell’s Carter Phelps won his heat in the 1B 300-meter hurdles (42.02), and Carper qualified on the girls side at 51.33.