Arlington boys win Randall Relays — Freshman Bryson breaks school high jump record

Arlington senior Shelby Townsend looks back for the handoff from freshman Sadie Hitsky in the girls 4x100 relay. - Danielle Szulczewski
Arlington senior Shelby Townsend looks back for the handoff from freshman Sadie Hitsky in the girls 4x100 relay.
— image credit: Danielle Szulczewski

ARLINGTON — The Arlington boys eked out a narrow win over Burlington-Edison while the girls took a more spacious second to the Tigers as Arlington track hosted nine teams for the annual Chuck Randall Relays.

The meet has been an Arlington tradition since 2004 honoring the high school biology teacher and longtime track supporter, serving as an early glimpse of the Eagles’ track talent.

The limelight shone brightly on several Arlington athletes at the March 21 meet.

Two Arlington freshmen delivered early on their preseason promise, winning their first varsity competition in a big way. Freshman high jumper Max Bryson shattered a 19-year-old school record in the event at the earliest opportunity, clearing 6-7 and besting a record of 6-3 by Arlington alum Rick Ballard in 1990. His jump was nine inches higher than the second-place finisher. Meanwhile, freshman thrower Blake McPherson won the javelin with a mark of 162-0, besting the runner-up from Mount Vernon by almost 25 feet.

Senior Sean Gregory gave the boys a third win in the meet, taking first place in the mile by two seconds in 4:33.77, an improvement of about 12 seconds over his time at the same meet last year and not far behind his state-qualifying mile time last year.

On the girls’ side, junior Ginny Wilson had a pair of victories to help the squad place comfortably in second, ahead of Issaquah. With a mark of 15-11 1/2, Wilson won the long jump by two inches and improved on her personal best by eight inches. She also earned points for Arlington with a three-way tie in the high jump. Her mark of 4-10 was matched by Cascade’s Katy Gross and Sedro-Woolley’s Brittney Grandy.

Arlington’s top athletes didn’t guarantee their teams a first-place finish though. A relay meet, a Randall Relay victory required depth in each event as even field events were scored as a team. Teams earned points for field events based on a combined score of each school’s best three marks. Likewise, except for the boys and girls’ 1,600 and the boys and girls’ 100-meter dash, all of the running events were based on a team’s fastest four runners.

While Arlington track and field coach Judd Hunter was pleased with his team’s top marks, he is focused on preparing athletes for the late season as regular season meets are just a tune-up for leagues and districts.

“We have a bunch of young talent this year,” he said. “We just have to make sure they are ready for the meets in May.”

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