Union's Sork breaks state mark in 800

Time at all-star meet gives him nation's top ranking

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

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Not even Tanner Sork could believe what he had accomplished.

"When I came across the line and saw the board said '1:48,' I thought 'Oh darn, they messed up the clock,' " Sork said.

Nope. It was accurate.

Sork, a senior at Union High School, ran the 800 meters in 1:48.74 Saturday at the Border Duel all-star track and field meet at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

With that, Sork:

• Broke the Washington state record of 1:49.41 by John Cote in 1997.

• Ran the fastest time in the nation this year for a high school athlete.

• Broke his personal record by four seconds. His previous best of 1:52.26 came at the Class 4A state meet the previous Saturday.

Sork came into the Border Duel race hoping to stay with Marcus Dickson from White River High School of Buckley, his future teammate at Brigham Young University.

"Our first lap was 53 seconds, like at state, where I let Nick Boersma get away from me," Sork said. "I thought 'I'm not going to let that happen again.' "

Instead, Sork was able to pull out the victory in the final 200 meters.

The previous Saturday, he had finished second at the state meet in both the 800 and the 400. In the 800, he couldn't quite keep up with Boersma of Wenatchee down the stretch. In the 400, his kick wasn't quite enough to catch Wes Bailey from Mead of Tacoma.

Saturday, Sork rewrote the ending.

"I was so pleased with what I was able to do," Sork said. "I'm just sorry I wasn't able to do it at state. But I guess late is better than never."