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Arlington’s Sarver places second at state
ARLINGTON — Arlington junior Alexis Sarver has been a competitor ever since she was born — there were no other options.
Sarver was diagnosed with cancer at birth, which had penetrated her stomach and filled nearly 90 percent of her spinal cord.
But after six grueling years, one surgery and several bouts of chemotherapy, Sarver beat the life-threatening illness and has been in remission for more than a decade.
“You know, I don’t really remember it that much, I was really young,” Sarver said. “But I do remember a few times when I was very sick due to the chemotherapy. But I’m very fortunate. In fact, I’d like to become a doctor and help others.”
Doctors performed surgery to remove the softball-sized mass from her stomach, leaving a 13-inch scar vertically across her stomach, while chemotherapy took care of the remaining cancer in her spinal cord.
“I don’t really get checked for it coming back,” she said. “Once a person is in remission for five or more years, I guess it’s unlikely that it will return.”
Sarver’s innate ability to compete at such a high level has helped her become the highly sought after athlete she is today. Sarver placed second in the discus throw at the Class 4A State Track and Field Championship held May 26-28, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma. Her final throw sailed 134 feet, .05 inches, setting a personal best and earning her a prominent spot on the podium.
“It had been more than a year since she posted a personal best,” Arlington coach Judd Hunter said. “She threw it on her last throw, so that was very cool.”
Letters of interest from colleges around the country are already reaching her doorstep. So far, she’s received letters from Penn State University, the University of Washington and the University of Idaho, as well as a flood of letters from other smaller schools. College recruiters, however, cannot officially speak to her until after July 1, preceding her senior year.
“I know I want to stay in the northwest,” Sarver said. “But we’ll have to wait and see.”
Arlington took 20 athletes to the meet, including Max Bryson, who placed fourth in the high jump (6-04.00) and 11th in the javelin throw (164-03). Sophomore Dan Boyden placed fifth in the discus (155-11) and eighth in the shot put (52-00.50).
“This was the highest quality group of athletes we’ve taken (to state),” said Hunter, who completed his ninth season as the Arlington track and field coach. “We didn’t run as well on the track as I’d hoped, but on the field events we did really well.”
Blake McPherson earned sixth place in the javelin throw (186-03), and Teresa Wadey finished ninth in the 800-meter run (2:20.32).
Lucas Revelle, in just his first season competing in track and field, finished 11th in the triple jump (40-03.25), Melissa Webb grabbed 10th in the triple jump (35-06), Melissa Swegle finished 15th in the discus throw (100-05) and Andrew Bosket took 14th place in the 800 (2:00.80).