Hermiston got its first taste of the Pasco Invite on Saturday, and it was a learning experience for the Bulldogs, who had just one athlete reach the podium at Edgar Brown Stadium.
Junior Jazlyn Romero placed sixth in the javelin with a throw of 130 feet, 5 inches, which she hit on her second throw of the finals.
“I told them you can’t go in there and think you own the place,” Hermiston coach Emilee Strot said. “You need watch and learn.”
The meet, in its 58th year, featured more than 1,500 athletes from 108 schools.
“I’m kind of excited to see all the competition in Washington,” Strot said. “This is the kind of meet that prepares us for state. It’s a step early in the season to show us what state could be like.”
Romero went into the finals in sixth place, and dropped to eighth after the first round. She jumped back up to sixth with her best throw.
“The competition is better when all throwers are close to each other (distance of throws),” Romero said. “It gives me an idea of what I need to do if I want to qualify for state. It’s better than last week. Every day is a learning experience.”
Romero also finished 16th in the discus (102-2).
In the triple jump, sophomore Paige Palzinski finished third in her flight with a leap of 31-5½, and finished 28th overall. Her mark was one-half inch off her season best.
“It was pouring down rain when Paige was jumping,” Strot said “She was a stud. It’s moments like that that drive her.”
MaKaylee Young went 15-9¾ to finish second in her flight of the long jump, and finished 13th overall. Alisha Wilson of Tahoma won the event with a mark of 19-0½.
Young also was 18th in the 100 (13.35) and ran on the 4x100 relay team — along with Elsa Torres, Kamryn Aldred and Jayden Ray — which finished 15th (52.20).
The Bulldogs’ 4x400 relay team (Ray, Amanda Nygard, Torres, Abigail Sharon) was fifth in its heat, and finished 29th overall in a time of 4:22.38.
In the hurdle events, Jennifer Fuentes finished 40th in the 100 (18.44) and 37th in the 300 (53.77).
Tahoma won the girls team title for the fourth year in a row with 82 points. Jesuit was second (59), followed by Lake Stevens (34), North Central (31) and Kamiakin (30).
On the boys side, Hermiston’s 4x100 relay team of Benjamin Wicks, Thomas Reagan, Garrett Walchli and Donovan Wilson finished fifth in its heat and 13th overall in a time of 45.01, less than 2 seconds behind Kamiakin’s winning time of 43.43. It was the Bulldogs’ best time this spring.
The 4x400 relay team (Koi Mikami, Donovan Wilson, Simon Headings, Freddy Mendoza) finished seventh in their heat and 27th overall with a time of 3:46.91. Jesuit (Portland) turned in a winning time of 3:22.19, with Chiawana second with a 3:34.65 — the top time this spring among Washington schools.
Freddy Mendoza finished 26th in the 800 meters for the Bulldogs with a time of 2:04.13. He was 7 seconds back of the winner, but the field was stacked with talent.
In the 100, Walchli ran an 11.64 to finish fourth in his heat and 16th overall. He also finished third in his heat of the 200 (23.73) and finished 13th overall.
In the boys shot put, Sean Stewart threw 41-2¾, which put him 36th on the day.
Walla Walla won the team title for the first time with 55.86 points, with Mid-Columbia Conference foe Kamiakin second (46). Rounding out the top five were Jesuit (44), Rocky Mountain (43) and Glacier Peak (34).
Walla Walla was led by Jared McAlvey, who was named the boys Athlete of the Meet. He won the 300 hurdles, was second in the 110 hurdles, ran a leg on the winning distance medley relay team, and was part of the 4x100 relay team that was third.
Also bolstering the Blue Devils’ win was Patrick Utschinski, who won the shot put (59-4) and was second in the discus (155-1).