State Boys Track and Field: Koser triumphs in 1B discus for first ever state title


Lewis Koser knows just the basics when it comes to discus. The Oakville High School sophomore is a newbie when it comes to track and field, this spring being his first year out for the sport.

Beginner’s luck?

Koser uncorked a throw of 136 feet, 7 inches to clear the rest of the Class 1B field and win his first career state title on Friday afternoon at Zaepfel Stadium on the campus of Eisenhower High School.

“I did expect to win, but I’m still pretty happy,” Koser said. “Just not being too nervous. At districts, I got nervous and stiff. I was looser (Friday).”

Koser is the first Acorn to win a state discus championship since Alex Fletcher in 2009. Fletcher also holds the school record at 164 feet, a mark Koser has his eyes on.

“I’m pretty confident I can reach it,” Koser said. “Next year will be the main year I have competition.”

Koser went to a throwing clinic a month ago led by Todd Bridge, the throwing coach at Aberdeen High School. There, Bridge showed Koser more advanced skills to harness his natural power.

It paid off in more ways than one.

“I didn’t know a lot of stuff he showed me,” Koser stated. “Twisting my body that I didn’t understand before. The way to hold your body was the main thing he taught me to do.”

The last three meets have all been victories. The right-hander set a new PR at the District 4B meet in Naselle, then triumphed in the crossover district meet a week later.

Koser’s best throw came on his last throw of the prelims before three finals throws. No one else came close to his mark in the last three tosses.

“I definitely felt like my best throws were ahead of me,” he said. “Onalaska meet (On May 2) was like ‘I can win state.’”

Tenino’s Ashton Moore placed second in the long jump with a new PR leap of 21-01.25, one-half inch behind Cedar Park Christian’s Jeshua Singletary. Moore was the leader with his jump after two attempts, but Singletary made his best mark on his third jump.

Moore landed in the pit over 20 feet in his final three jumps.

Napavine’s Colin Shields picked up two medals with a third place finish in the javelin and an eighth place performance in the shot put, the latter a new PR.

A year after qualifying for three events and leaving Yakima empty-handed, the junior is double-fisting hardware.

“I wasn’t expecting to get third,” Shields said. “Towards the middle of the season, I started to climb. Everyone was really close in the finals.”

Until the last two throws, the gap was just over a foot. Then Colby Shamblin (NW Christian Colbert) and Grant Baker (Brewster) broke away from the field.

Shields’ best toss came on his fourth throw after his three prelim throws were under 160.

“Wasn't able to warm-up as much as I wanted to,” Shields admitted. “Just wanted to make it into (the) finals.”

He described the best marked toss as “Everything went right.” Shields also revealed his weakness previously was long, track-style runways, yet those days are long gone.

“Throwing good there definitely gave me a confidence boost,” Shields said.

Luke Barrick of Onalaska cleared the pole vault bar at a new lifetime best of 11-03 to place fourth and leave with his first ever medal. It is his first season doing pole vault.

“I thought it looked dangerous and fun,” Barrick said with a chuckle. “Once I cleared bars and (made) accomplishments, I liked it. I always begged to do one more bar at practice.”

Barrick made a steady increase in his clearances, consistently reaching over 10 feet over the last four meets. He cleared 11 flat on his last attempt and 11-3 on his second.

“That made me very happy,” Barrick said. “I switched to a longer pole and backed up six inches (on the 11-3 clearance). I never cleared 11 at practice before.

The sophomore will turn his attention to the school record that has sat since the 1980s and 12-9.

“It's been a long time since (Onalaska) had a good pole vaulter,” Barrick said. “I got the drive for it.”

Napavine’s Austin Lyons (triple jump) and Rainier’s Zander Peck (javelin) each took sixth while Pe Ell’s Carter Phelps (long jump) finished eighth.