4A track: Fuller gives notice at state

Union freshman wins 800, places second in 1,600

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

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TACOMA — Alexis Fuller is making this state-meet thing look easy.

Fuller, a freshman from Union High School, won the girls 800-meter race Saturday in her debut at the Class 4A state track and field meet at Mount Tahoma High School. She later added a second-place finish in the 1,600 and helped the Titans to fourth place in the 1,600 relay.

In the 800, Fuller led most of the way and pulled away down the stretch, finishing in 2 minutes, 13.69 seconds. Lauren Perry of Richland was second in 2:14.88; Sabrina Sears of Evergreen was sixth in 2:16.07.

"I knew it was going to be faster than the prelims," Fuller said. "I knew that some of the people have fast sprints at the end.

"I just wanted to stay with the group until the end and see where it goes."

Pretty good strategy for a freshman who finished second in the state cross country meet in the fall, behind Jordan McPhee of Mt. Rainier. It almost worked again in the 1,600.

"It was a really weird race," Fuller said after finishing in 5:02.84, behind the 5:01.27 posted by McPhee. "I was expecting Jordan to go out really fast, but the first two laps felt really slow.

"Then I was boxed in a lot. I wanted to go around, but I was boxed in."

Still, it made for a notable debut for Fuller at the state meet.

"Yeah, I'm happy with second as a freshman at state," she said.

In other Clark County highlights from the third and final day of the Class 4A state meet:

• Taylor Barrus of Skyview would rather have been seeded second in the girls javelin, instead of being tabbed as the favorite.

It didn't take long for her to feel like she was the underdog.

"When she came out and threw farther than my PR (personal record), I said, 'It's time to come out and do what I can. Now the real pressure's on,' " Barrus said.

Before Barrus had a chance to throw, Ashley Alexander of Monroe posted a mark of 143 feet, 9 inches. Barrus responded with a 150-7 on her first attempt.

Those two throws held up as the best of the competition, while Angelique Williams of Union finished seventh at 130-5.

"Once I hit the runway, I took my two breaths and said, 'OK, it's time to go,' " said Barrus, who is headed to Brigham Young University to compete in the javelin.

• Tanner Sork of Union finished second in the boys 400 and 800, and helped the Titans to a third-place finish in the 1,600 relay. The Titans finished sixth in the team race.

It took a meet record by Nick Boersma of Wenatchee to beat him in the 800.

"When he ran the first lap in 53 seconds and I was right with him, I knew I was in for a race," Sork said. "He was going hard."

Boersma finished in 1:49.87, while Sork finished in 1:52.26.

"I felt it," Sork said of the fast pace. "Normally, I have a kick, but I didn't have a kick. But he brought me through with a good time, so I'm happy."

In the 400, Sork finished in 48.03 in a race won by Wes Bailey from Mead of Tacoma in 47.85.

"I wish I had run my race a little differently," Sork said. "I normally coast a little on the backstretch and then use my kick.

"Wes Bailey, he's a 100- and 200-meter runner, so that probably wasn't the best strategy."

Sork was in sixth place heading into the homestretch and managed to pass four runners in the final 100 meters. There was one he couldn't catch.

"I didn't even make it out of districts last year because of an injury," he said. "I'm happy to be here and run; that's what I love to do."

• Sean Keller of Heritage won his second straight title in the javelin, breaking his own meet record with a throw of 227-11 and winning by more than 30 feet. Jabari Marshall of Skyview was eighth at 172-5.

• Forrest Russell of Skyview finished sixth in the long jump with a mark of 21-5 3/4. Justin Browne of Gig Harbor and Jorrell Dorsey of Issaquah tied for first at 23-0 1/2.