4A track: McQuivey running in memory of friend

Skyview hurdler second in 100 final, first in 300 qualies

By Greg Jayne, Columbian Opinion Editor

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TACOMA — Friday was the fastest day of Rachel McQuivey’s life. It also was one of the longest.

Setting personal records in both hurdles events, the Skyview senior found inspiration from sadness — the suicide earlier this week of a childhood friend.

“This weekend, I’m just doing everything in memory of her,” McQuivey said. “We ran track together as kids. I really looked up to her.”

McQuivey turned that into a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles at the Class 4A state track and field meet at Mount Tahoma High School. With a time of 14.99 seconds, she finished behind only the 14.77 posted by Sadie Sparks from Chiawana of Pasco.

Not only did McQuivey bludgeon her previous best of 15.26, she did it in the weakest of her events. She entered the meet as the No. 5 seed in the 100 hurdles.

It is in the 300 hurdles where McQuivey was expected to contend for a state title, and it is in the 300 hurdles where she delivered her most impressive performance Friday. She set a PR and easily recorded the best qualifying time, 43.36 seconds. Her previous best was 43.60.

“I know I can go faster,” McQuivey said. “Right now the goal that’s in the front of my mind is 43-flat.”

McQuivey’s qualifying mark added some intrigue to the meet. She was the runner-up in the event last year, with a time that was far ahead of this year’s returnees. But Erin Allen of Inglemoor posted the state’s best time during the season, and ran a strong 44.18 in Friday’s first qualifying heat.

Was McQuivey trying to send a message with her time in the second heat?

“Definitely,” she said.

In other highlights from the Class 4A meet:

• Evergreen senior Nehemiah Beavers this year decided to add the triple jump to his track and field repertoire.

Good decision.

Beavers finished seventh in the event, jumping a PR of 44 feet, 9¼ inches.

“It’s my first year doing this,” he said. “So being on the podium is pretty nice.”

Beavers said his goal was to finish in the top eight, earning a medal and a spot in the awards ceremony. He entered the competition with the 13th-best qualifying mark from regionals.

Any hopes of pulling off a surprise victory were dashed by the presence of Kasen Williams from Skyline of Snohomish. Williams, a five-star University of Washington football recruit, set a state-meet record with a jump of 50-9¼, and later won the high jump at 6-10.

But Beavers was thrilled with his finish.

“I was excited,” he said. “I didn’t believe it. Well, I could, because that was my goal, but I knew I had to work for it.”

• Jacob Troupé of Union and David Reinhardt of Battle Ground tied for fifth in the high jump, won by Williams, with a height of 6-4.

Troupé, who won a state title last year when Union was a Class 3A school, has been battling injuries all season.

• Kaitlyn McKinney of Union reached the final of the girls 800, finishing with the fourth-best qualifying mark. McKinney was fourth in her heat, which turned out to be the faster of two preliminaries.

• Skyview freshman Rachel Shirley won her heat in the 400 meters, finishing in 57.04. She entered the meet as the seventh seed, then bested her time from regionals by nearly a second-and-a-half and finished as the No. 2 qualifier.

• Brad Michael of Skyview was the top qualifier in the boys 400 with a time of 48.45, while teammate Kevin Boyd qualified fourth. They also helped the Storm reach the final of the 400 relay with the second-best qualifying time.