3A track: Prairie’s Lawson dominates in discus

Falcons senior wins state title by nearly 30 feet; aims to add shot put title today

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

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TACOMA — Jon Lawson knows how to go out with a flourish.

“I PR’d last throw, last meet, so it was good,” the Prairie High School senior said. “I came in with a mission and a goal, and nothing was going to stop me but myself.”

The result was a title in the discus throw Friday at the Class 3A state track and field meet at Mount Tahoma High School.

Lawson finished with a mark of 189 feet, 11 inches — a personal record and the best throw in the state this year for any classification.

Matthew Hill from North Central of Spokane was second at 160-1.

Not that Lawson’s 29-foot victory was a surprise. He came into the meet with the best mark in the state — 19 feet ahead of anybody else in Class 3A — but still found cause for motivation.

“I wanted to get 190,” he said. “Missed it by 1 inch. Overall, it was a good performance. They were consistently over 170.”

Lawson scratched on his first throw and took the lead for good on his second attempt.

Today, he competes as the No. 1 seed in the shot put, where the competition is expected to be closer.

Lawson’s season best is 58-2¼, while Dan Henehan from Woodrow Wilson of Tacoma ranks second at 56-6¾.

So, which would mean more to Lawson: The discus title or a shot put championship?

“It’s hard to say because I won the shot last year and finished second in the discus by 2 inches,” he said.

No such concerns Friday.

In other highlights from the Class 3A state meet:

• Kathran Dean of Mountain View finished second in the girls long jump with a mark of 17-8¾ — a quarter-inch shy of winner Veronica Bradley of Hanford.

“I’m definitely happy,” said Dean, a junior, looking at her second-place medal. “It’s a great honor. This is cool; it’s going to go on my wall.”

Between jumps during the long jump competition, Dean also competed in the preliminaries for the 100 meters and qualified for the final.

“Yeah, that was a surprise,” she said of making the final eight.

• Jessica Bottelberghe of Columbia River and Lynelle Decker of Mountain View advanced in the girls 800. Bottelberghe had the third-best qualifying mark, while Decker was fifth.

The final promises to be a close one, as the top six qualifying times were separated by 1.09 seconds.

• Megan Kelley of Camas reached the finals in the 100, 200, and 400, recording the best qualifying mark in the 400. She qualified third in the 200 and fifth in the 100.

• Sara Slayton of Camas qualified fourth in the 300 hurdles in 45.96.