Jazlyn Romero knew from her first throw that Saturday would be a good day at the 3A State Track and Field Championships.
The Hermiston junior opened the javelin competition with a throw of 135 feet, 3 inches, and finished the event with a toss of 144-11 to win the state title by more than 15 feet at Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
“My body felt really good, and once I got warmed up, I was fine,” Romero said. “I was really excited. Madi (Wilson) was like, ‘It’s go time. Are you ready?’”
Romero is the first Hermiston athlete to win an individual state title since the Bulldogs moved into the WIAA at the start of the school year.
The Hermiston dance team won a state title in Show in March.
“It’s a big day for her,” Hermiston coach Emilee Strot said. “When she got her award, they announced she was from Hermiston, Oregon. People were excited, and others had no idea why we were there.”
Romero scratched her second throw in the finals, but any one of her other five throws would have won her the title.
“She had a great series,” Strot said. “Her best of the year.”
Kennewick’s Madeline Gebers finished second with a toss of 128-8.
“I actually didn’t pay too much attention to the other throwers,” Romero said. “I just made sure my mark was at the top. The medal is pretty cool. At Hayward (Field), they let us bring our javelins on the podium, so I brought mine up.”
Romero, who finished third at the Oregon 5A state championships last year as a sophomore with a throw of 134-3, has put in the work to be competitive in Washington.
She threw her PR of 151-9 at the Mid-Columbia Conference district meet in Hermiston, then threw 143 feet at the District 8 meet in Richland to earn the top seed to state.
Also competing Saturday was Kaylee Young in the long jump.
Young, who has jumped more than 17 feet this season, finished 13th with a mark of 16-0½ in the prelims. She did not make the finals.
Camille Duckett of Roosevelt won the event with a leap of 18-0½.
The competitors jumped in the pouring rain, but Young said she didn’t mind.
“It was very cold and rainy, but I enjoyed every second of it,” Young said. “The environment was very positive. I got so many questions about where Hermiston was. The officials wondered if they were going to take my marks and report them to Oregon.”
Just a sophomore, Young hopes to make a return visit next year.
“I hope next year to get a spot on the podium,” she said. “I’m ready to step back on the track now.”