STAET TRACK AND FIELD: Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt finally gets another shot at state meet

TACOMA – Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt walked into Mount Tahoma Stadium this weekend wanting to make up for lost time.

And boy, did she ever.

Pyeatt had a great freshman year for the Wolves track team, finishing fifth in the 400 meters at the 2A State Track and Field Championships.

Then COVID-19 hit, wiping out the entire 2020 track season. The pandemic continued to persist through 2021, canceling all spring state championships. Pyeatt had a chance to race on the track in 2021, winning 16 of 20 races at varying distances, but she didn’t have a chance to compete with the best in the state.

This year, she finally got her chance to return to the state, three years after bursting onto the scene as a freshman. She did not disappoint.

Pyeatt finished fourth in the 1,600 meters and third in the 400, improving her ranking from 2019. Then, she finally won a state championship, in the difficult 800 meter race. The 800 is neither a sprint nor a distance race and is hated by many trail runners. Pyeatt started out in college specializing in the 400, but became more dominant this year in the 800. “It’s growing on me,” she said.

Finally, Pyeatt raced the anchor leg of the Sequim Women’s 4×400 team, winning her second state championship with teammates Hi’ilei Robinson, Kaitlyn Bloomenrader and Eve Mavy.

“I still can’t get the smile off my face,” Pyeatt said. “I wish I could come back at that time.

“This season meant so much to me. I felt like I had a lot to make up for those missing years, she said.

Sequim trainer Bradley Moore said that normally Sequim track girls are talkers. He said on the way back to Sequim from Tacoma they were almost silent because they were so tired.

“We were all very exhausted,” Pyeatt admitted.

Pyeatt’s state championship time in the 800 was 2 minutes, 14.23 seconds, a personal best.

“She probably could have run the 800 a little faster. She had a big lead and rolled in the end, Moore said.

The 4×400 team time was 4:03.82, winning a Lynden team by just 0.09 seconds.

Moore said it was an exciting ending. Lynden’s lead runner was actually catching Pyeatt on the stretch, he said. Then Pyeatt turned it on.

“Riley has the heart of a lion,” Moore said. “She felt the girl on her and walked away. She had equipment that the other girl didn’t. I lost my voice during this race.

Moore said he’s been telling the 4×400 girls all season that they’re good enough to have a chance at winning at state. Over the course of the season, as they won race after race, “they started to believe it,” he said. The team managed to break the Sequim 4×400 women’s record twice, once in the preliminaries and the second time in the finals.

“At the end of the race, all four girls were on the ground,” Moore said. “It meant a lot to them. It really was. It was a super awesome way to end their career.

Pyeatt will continue to train through the summer and will compete at the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Eugene, Oregon on June 18, then move onto the running track at Abeline Christian University in Texas.

Other Sequim results

Sequim’s Jolene Vaara was also third in the high jump and Rileagh VanDyken was eighth in the pole vault. Overall, the Sequim girls finished fifth with 38 team points. Tumwater won the Women’s State Championship with 78 points.

Vaara’s high jump was 5-foot-1, while VanDyken’s pole vault was 8-6.

Sequim’s Mirek Skov finished third in the pole vault with a height of 13-0, a personal best. Adrian Brown also placed in the 110 meter hurdles and 300 hurdles. He was sixth in the 300m (40.43 seconds) and seventh in the 110m (16.17). Andrew Brown finished 11th in the high jump (5-8).

The Sequim boys finished 20th statewide with 11 points.

Port Angeles

Port Angeles had a pair of athletes who ranked. Jack Gladfelter was fifth in the 1,600 (4:17.98, a personal best) and fifth in the 3,200 (9:20.46, a personal best). Blake Peterson finished 15th in the shot put (41-1¾).

Gladfelter broke a 50-year-old Port Angeles record in the 3200m. His time beat Ken Bradford’s 9:24.8 set in 1972.

In the 1600m, Gladfelter’s time was the second-fastest ever in Port Angeles history. The record of 4:17.78 was set in 2003 by Brett Galloway.

On the girls’ side, Jayde Gedelman finished fifth in the javelin (108-8, a personal best). Kennedy Bruch finished 12th in the shot put at 32-1½.

The Port Angeles Boys finished 26th statewide with eight points. The Port Angeles girls were 34th. Sehome won the boys’ championship with 88 points.

East Jefferson at Dating 1A

CHENEY — East Jefferson’s Tusker Behrenfeld placed third in the state in the javelin, while teammate Sebastian Manza was fourth in the 3,200m and seventh in the 1,600m.

Behrenfeld threw the javelin 163-4. Manza’s time at 3,200 was 9:52.50 and his time at 1,600 was 4:30.56.

Behrenfeld also finished 13th in discus (121-2).

Anson Jones also finished 11th in the shot put (43-10¾).

The East Jefferson girls had three athletes who placed. The highest result was Lia Poore in the triple jump, who finished fifth with a distance of 33-11.

Aliyah Yearian was sixth in the 3,200m (11:35.12) and Ellise Gardner was eighth in the javelin (101-8).

Addy Asbell was 10th in the shot put (32-7½) and Camryn Hines was 14th in the 1600m (5:32.11).

The East Jefferson boys were 19th in the state with 13 points, while the girls were 24th with 11 points. Connell won the 1A Boys Championship with 59 points, while King’s won the Girls Championship with 51 points.

Forks at the 2B encounter

CHENEY — Forks sprinter Ashton Doyle finished third in the 2B championships in the 100 meters (11.68) and seventh in the 200 (24.01).

Sloan Tumaua was fourth in the discus throw (147-8), while Nate Dahlgren was 10th in the shot put (40-1½).

Among the Forks girls, Peyton Johnson finished 10th in the javelin (93-7).

The Forks boys finished 18th in the state with 13 points. Rainier won the men’s championship with 67 points while St. George’s won the women’s title with 113 points.

Crescent, Neah Bay at Meet 1B

CHENEY – Conner Ferro-May of Crescent had a strong 1B encounter, finishing sixth in the discus (117-1) and eighth in the shot put (39-0½). His teammate Titus White finished ninth in the shot put (38-3¾).

The Neah Bay Boys 4×100 team of Leonardo Ruiz-Santana, Jaden Halttunen, Devon Halttunen and Mahamadou Traore finished seventh (47.75).

Neah Bay’s Ryana Moss placed in the 300-metre hurdles and the 1,600-metres. She was sixth in the 300m (52.63) and eighth in 5:58.37.

The Neah Bay women’s 4×400 team of Danika Perry, Wiinuk Martin, Cerise Moss and Ryana Moss finished eighth (4:54.57).

Crescent’s Katelyn Dunavent finished 10th in discus (80-3).

The Crescent boys finished 25th as a team and Neah Bay 28th. Mount Vernon Christian won the state championship with 87 points. The Neah Bay girls finished 25th. Pope John Paul II won the state championship with 73 points.

Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt narrowly beats Lynden’s Kiki York at the finish line as the Sequim Women’s 4×400 team won a gold medal at the state track and field championships Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma . (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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