Kelley adds to her state medal haul

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

Published:

 

TACOMA — When it was over, after eight grueling races over three grueling days, Megan Kelley could barely stand.

Then again, the Camas senior had earned the right to sit down.

Kelley won the 400 meters Saturday at the Class 3A state track and field meet, the first individual title of her stellar high school career. She also finished second in the 200, sixth in the 100, and helped the Papermakers to a second-place finish in the 1,600 relay.

Each of those races include a preliminary round.

“This has been the most amazing experience of my life,” Kelley said. “I love track, and I’ll miss high school so much.”

Kelley is headed to Boise State for college. She’ll take with her nine medals — which are awarded to top-eight finishers — from the past three state meets.

But Saturday’s 400 was her crowning achievement.

She finished in 56.33 seconds, ahead of the 56.84 by runner-up Ellie Heiden of Kamiakin. But the race wasn’t as close as the final margin.

Kelley built a huge lead coming out of the final turn and never was seriously challenged.

“It’s been working pretty well,” she said of her race strategy. “I wish I could finish a little stronger. It’s a great way to end your high school career.”