Eight Tornados compete in WIAA’s 3A state track and field championships


Eight Tornados competed with the best athletes in the state of Washington, Thursday, May 23, through Saturday, May 25, at Mount Tahoma High School during the WIAA’s 2A/3A/4A track and field state championships.

Yelm’s boys who competed in the annual state championship competitions included seniors Jordan Lasher and Hewitt Smith, junior Aaron Culler and freshman Mister Rabang-Davis. Tornado girls who competed in the event included seniors Kiana Neir and Shay-Lah Squally, sophomore Eliana Lewis and freshman Alissa Alvarado-Young.

Culler opened the state competition on Thursday, May 23, by competing in the 3A high jump finals. The junior earned eighth place after leaping 6 feet, 2 inches. Lasher later competed in the 110-meter hurdles preliminary race, where he finished in second place in heat two with a time of 15.06 seconds. He narrowly qualified for the championship race on Saturday.

Lewis also competed on Thursday, as she raced in the 100-meter hurdles preliminary contest. She finished in fifth place in heat three, with a time of 17.22.

On Friday, May 24, five Tornados competed at Mount Tahoma High School, beginning with Neir. She tied for ninth place in the 3A pole vault finals after she recorded a mark of 10-6.

Rabang-Davis made his WIAA 3A state championship debut in the 300-meter hurdles preliminary race. He ran in the third heat and finished with a time of 42.76 seconds.

Squally competed twice on May 24, beginning with the 100-meter dash preliminary race. She recorded a time of 13.4 in heat three. In her second event of the day, Squally tied for sixth place in the 3A high jump finals with a measure of 5-0.

Alvarado-Young also competed in the 3A high jump finals and recorded a mark of 5-0, earning the freshman fifth place in her state championship debut.

Lasher, competing for the second day in a row, earned fourth place in the 110-meter hurdles finals. He finished the championship race with a time of 14.71, improving from his preliminary time by over .3 seconds.

On Saturday, May 25, two Tornados competed in their respective finals competitions. Lasher, Yelm’s workhorse at the WIAA’s 2024 2A/3A/4A state championship track and field competition, began the day for the Tornados by competing in and winning the 3A pole vault competition.

Lasher won the competition in 2023 as a junior with a vault of 15-6. He repeated as champion in 2024 by posting a WIAA 3A state championship meet record pole vault of 16-6. He initially clinched his second-consecutive championship with a mark of 16-0 but intended on posting a higher vault measurement.

Lasher eventually met his goal before attempting 16-9 three times, but did not meet the measurement. He finishes his high school track career as a two-time individual state champion and a one-time track team champion. Smith was the final Tornado athlete to compete in the 3A state championship competition. He ran in the 3,200-meter race finals, or the two-mile run, and finished with a time of 10:08.06.

Overall, Yelm’s boys track and field team finished tied for 16th place with Arlington and Mountain View, with each school posting 16 team points. Yelm’s girls track and field team earned 1.5 points at the 3A state competition, with Squally as the lone point scorer for the program.