Yelm track and field is stacked with some quality throwing talent this year, from upperclassmen down to the tenderfoots, and they flexed that prowess Friday hosting North Thurston in the first meet of a shortened six-week season.
Brayden Platt off the bat broke the school’s freshman shot put record by nearly 5 feet with a 48-foot, 3-inch throw. He also took first in the javelin with a 142-08 throw and second in discus with 108-02.
Platt leads a talented core of underclassmen throwers including freshman Landen Barger and sophomore William Snodgrass.
Slade Edwards, Dylan Jemtegaard and Josh Piland round out a talented senior core that should have successful performances this season. Jemtegaard had a good first day in the pit, throwing a personal best 137-11 in discus and taking the top spot in that event.
Piland took third to Platt and Jemtegaard in the shot and discus, throwing 38-07 and 102-11, respectively.
Sophomore Tatiyanna Wadley had a standout performance, placing first in both girls shot put and discus. She threw 31-09 in shot put and 76-08 in discus.
“We just have a really young group, and we have these three seniors who are leaders that are just really helping,” said Yelm throwing coach Cami Krise, who came over to the high school last year after coaching at Ridgeline Middle School. “They’re just an exciting group.”
Krise said they’re excited to have such a strong group of leaders, especially as she coaches roughly 35 athletes this season. Platt is a utility athlete and will likely show up on a relay team with his speed.
“He’s just an all-around kid,” Krise said.
Platt, a Ridgeline product, said it felt good to get the first throws of the season out of the way, adding that there’s been some nerves around developing his javelin and discus skills.
“By the end of the season, I want about 52 for shot and for discus, I don’t even know a number for discus. Just keep gaining,” Platt said. “It’s been pretty positive.”
The competition between Platt and his fellow throwers has been really substantive, and he said he hopes to keep building off the gains he and his friends make.
Last year, before the pandemic hit, Jemtegaard told the NVN during preseason practice he was looking to make substantial gains after a highly competitive South Sound Conference championship meet where he placed seventh in shot put and 10th in discus.
This time around, Jemtegaard said he’s looking to make strides — be they small or substantial.
“Having a two-year pause like that, we don’t expect a lot of ourselves. But just showing some improvements, having a good time as a team. It’s our last season, it’s the spring season, so it’s pretty much the last thing we do, and so we’re just trying to end strong,” Jemtegaard said.
Jemtegaard is looking to end his senior season with a discus best of 140 feet, which would be a substantial 29-foot improvement over what he ended his sophomore season with. On shot, he’s hoping to make a 5-foot improvement from his season opener 40-08.
More Results from Yelm’s Meet Against North Thurston
Yelm sophomore Meridee Hill took first in the girls 100-meter dash with a time of 14.04 seconds and junior Owen Fife took first in the boys 100 meter with 11.95 seconds. Both were personal records.
Junior Ryan Lange overtook senior Bryce Cerkowniak in the final lap of the boys 800 meter to take first with a time of 2:02.47. Cerkowniak in the 1,600 took first with 4:29 flat, and Lange took second with 4:35.85.
Yelm senior Kelan Herness had the boys 3,200-meter race in the bag with a first-place finish of 10:19.35.
Senior Kya Ramirez took first in the girls 1,600 meter at 6:07.92.
The Tornados’ 4-by-100 relay team won out against the Rams by a 10-second margin. The team of Shawn Bankston, Fife, Kristopher Simas and Kristopher Hernandez finished at 47:44.
On the girls side, Yelm’s 4-by-400 relay team outpaced two of North Thurston’s to take the top spot at 4:55.03.
Yelm junior Josh McCracken dominated in the boys high jump and pole vault, placing first with a 6-foot jump and an 11-foot, 6-inch vault.
Sophomore Kyler Ronquillo took a personal record in the long jump with 19-07, placing him first. That jump placed him third in the longest jumps ever for Yelm’s sophomore class.
Senior Abigail Carlson took first and a personal best record in the 100-meter hurdles at 18:45.