After the sun welcomed athletes and fans to the Kiwanis Twilight Invitational on Friday, the rain began to fall on the meet at Kennison Field for the first time in recent memory.
Event sheets were soggy, as were the athletes, but the rain did not put a damper on the event.
Kamiakin ran away with the boys title with 233 points, while Hanford and Kamiakin fought to the bitter end for the girls team title.
The Braves, who had a 1.5-point lead over the Falcons heading into the 4x400 relay, came away with the title (160.5 points) because Hanford (156) did not field a mile relay team. Hermiston finished third.
Jaxson Nichols of Kamiakin, who won the high jump and long jump, and was second in the triple jump, was the boys high-point athlete of the meet.
For the girls, the honor was shared by Hanford teammates Amanda Fraga and Katelynn Gelatin.
The Pendleton boys finished fourth in the team standings behind a stellar day from junior Lane Maher, who won the 300 hurdles (39.58), and was second in the 110 hurdles (14.74) behind Parker Morgan of Kamiakin (14.72). Both times were personal bests for Maher.
Maher was seeded sixth entering the 110 hurdle race.
“I knew they had faster times than me coming in, and getting higher than that (sixth) is joyful,” Maher said. “It feels good to compete against faster people.”
Morgan said he didn’t know anything about Maher coming into the race.
“I was more worried about Beau (Franklin of Hanford),” Morgan said. “My goal was to break 15 (seconds), and meets like this push me.”
In the 300 hurdles, Maher pulled away from Morgan just before the last hurdle.
“I was trying to go as fast as I could,” Maher said. “He was right next to me, then I pulled away at the end. This and the Willamette meet are the best I’ve been to this year. Maybe I should join Washington conference.”
Pendleton coach Larry Brizendine said Maher’s times rank in the top four in each event on the school’s record board.
“He’s just a junior,” Brizendine said. “I see him breaking those. This is why we go to these meets. They help us get prepared for state.”
Also for the Bucks, Sam Jennings was third in the javelin (150-9 1/4).
For the Pendleton girls, Elisabeth House finished second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 50 seconds. Kamiakin’s Britney Donais won with a 47.06.
“That is a new event for her this year,” Brizendine said, “but she did really well.”
Paige Palzinski had a productive day for the host Bulldogs, winning the shot put with a heave of 38 feet, placing fourth in the triple jump (31-5), fifth in the long jump (15-5) and seventh in the discus (98-4 3/4). She also ran the anchor leg on the winning throwers relay, but that event was nonscoring.
The Hermiston girls 4x400 relay of Jayden Ray, Amanda Nygard, Sydney Seavert and Abigail Sharon crossed the finish line first in a time of 4:19.29.
The Bulldogs’ 4x100 relay team of Sharon, MaKaylee Young, Kamryn Aldred and Ray finished third (51.77).
Young added a second-place finish in the long jump (16-4), while Ray was second in the 400 with a time of 1:03.37, and Aldred was sixth in the 200 (28.42).
Junior Jazlyn Romero won the javelin with a toss of 136-7 1/2. She also was fourth in the discus (107-3 1/2).
“We had side wind, so I had to run at an angle,” Romero said. “There was some good competition, but not like at the Pasco Invite.”
Freddy Mendoza led the Hermiston boys with a third-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:02.23.
Stanfield-Echo had one winner on the day — Devan Craig in the javelin, with a toss of 157-8.
Craig’s winning throw, which also is a personal best, came on his second attempt in the prelims.
“I was a little timid at first,” Craig said of throwing against guys from bigger schools. “I was a bit frightened. I scratched my first throw, but I knew I’d be able to get my steps right. Once I got my first throw in, I knew I’d be OK.”
Rebecca Reynolds was fourth in the high jump for the Tigers with a PR of 4-10.