Another strong finish for Sork at 4A bi-district track

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

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TACOMA — With one title already in hand at Saturday's regional track and field meet, Tanner Sork just wanted to finish strong in the 400 meters.

That thinking quickly changed.

"As I was running, I thought, 'I haven't been beaten yet in the 400,' " the Union High School senior said. "I didn't want to end that streak."

So, after coasting along in sixth place down the backstretch at Mount Tahoma High School, Sork turned on the burners while racing for home. The result was a first-place finish to add to the 800-meter title he won about 40 minutes earlier, making Sork a double threat for next week's Class 4A state meet.

"I kind of coasted down the backstretch," Sork said of his victory in the 400. "Then I saw they weren't finishing sprinting. They were really struggling with their finishing kick because they went out too fast."

Sork chased down Derrick Jones from Rogers of Puyallup in the final steps, finishing in 48.86 to Jones' 49.15.

"The fact I was able to pull that off coming off another race, I was really excited," he said.

You would never know that the 400 isn't Sork's specialty. With a background as a distance runner, he feels more comfortable in the 800, an event he won in a time of 1:53.48.

"Time-wise, it was five seconds better than district," he said. "I really wanted to make a statement in the 800."

Now he heads to next week's state meet at Mount Tahoma, ranking among the top 5 in Class 4A in both events.

"I'm gunning for first place," Sork said. "Go big or go home, right?"

In other highlights from the Class 4A regional meet:

• Union freshman Alexis Fuller won the 800 meters, finished second in the 1,600, and helped the Titans advance to state with a second-place finish in the 1,600 relay.

"I wasn't worried about the time," she said after winning the 800 in 2:17.38. "I just wanted to run well. If I PR (personal record) but I don't place well, I'm still happy."

• E'Lon Mack of Heritage finished third in the boys 200, one day after failing to advance in the 100. He finished in 22.41 in a race won by Michael Tate of Federal Way in 22.07.

Mack said he was doomed by a poor start in the 100 meters during Friday's preliminaries.

"I almost false-started," he said. "I leaned forward, but they didn't see it. Then I rocked back and the gun went off."

• Mark Tedder of Battle Ground finished third in the boys 1,600 with a time of 4:20.83.

• Stephanie Simon of Evergreen finished third in the girls discus with a mark of 119-0.