2A track: Washougal’s Casey tops in pole vault, 2nd in javelin

By Greg Jayne, Columbian Opinion Editor

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TACOMA — Brendan Casey set a personal record in the javelin Friday and then fell far short of his best in the pole vault.

He was happier with the pole vault.

Casey, a senior at Washougal, won the pole vault title at the Class 2A state track and field meet at Mount Tahoma High School, clearing 14 feet, 6 inches. That came hours after he finished second in the javelin.

“I’m happy with today,” Casey said. “I’ve been training four years for this. I can’t even put it into words.”

Casey came into the meet as the top seed in the pole vault, with a season-best of 15-3. But persistent rain and intermittent delays made the vaulting conditions less than ideal.

“It’s mostly mental,” he said. “At that point, you have to force your technique. It was tough going off and on; it was really hard to get into the groove.”

Casey’s height was equaled by Joseph Aubert from West Valley of Spokane. Casey was awarded the title by virtue of clearing 14-6 on his second attempt, while Aubert required three tries.

The victory concluded a busy day for Casey. Earlier, he threw a personal-record of 177 feet, 8 inches, on his final javelin attempt. That left him behind only Austin Hamilton of W.F. West, who won with a mark of 185-5.

“I knew Austin Hamilton would have some good throws,” Casey said. “I knew what I had to do; I just kept throwing farther.”

In other highlights from the Class 2A meet:

• Charity Arn of Woodland finished second in the girls high jump, clearing 5-3. Jori Hall of Sehome won the event at 5-4.

• Woodland’s Kelly Nigro recorded the third-best qualifying time in the girls 300 hurdles, advancing to today’s final.

• Chase VanCleef of Woodland finished third in the shot put with a mark of 50-11¾. Frank Catelli of Sequim won the event at 55-10¾.

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