TACOMA — Daniel Maton carries the winner’s weight of expectation on the track, and Saturday, he also put history on his shoulders.
No runner in state history before this weekend accomplished what Maton, the Camas High School senior distance standout, did over the three-day 4A state track and field meet that concluded Saturday.
He became the state’s first boys three-time 800- and 1,600-meter state champion, according to state high school track and field data kept by longtime Yakima Herald-Republic reporter Scott Spruill.
And in the final event Saturday, he anchored Camas’ 4×400 relay team to a first-place time of 3 minutes, 23.29 seconds in a quartet featuring Quinton Patterson, 400-meter third-place finisher Mason Gross, Blake Deringer and Maton. The Washington-bound senior caught Enumclaw’s Kale Engebretsen with 50 meters to go on his way to the finish.
Maton’s decorated track career means six individual state titles, a relay state title, and a team title the past three years. Saturday, he used speed and smarts to pull away from the field for his third 800 title in 1:52.07 for a nearly 10-meter victory. That added to Thursday’s 1,600-meter win with the nation’s top time (4:06.07).
Maton reflected on the feat, and with it, came some luck along the way.
“I’m mostly really lucky that I had the opportunity to race so any times (at state),” Maton said, “not injured or sick at state, and the opportunity to give it my all every year is what I’m happy about.
“It feels so good to be consistent,” he added, “and I’m really happy about that.”
Maton also is the first three-time 800 meters/880-yard winner since Tahoma’s Brad Powell won three straight 880s from 1977-79 — the final years before the high school track and field moved to the metric system.
But the 800, in fact, he didn’t into full-time until 2017. Camas was stacked his freshman season with three state-bound runners, highlighted by Adam Ryan’s fifth-place finish in the 800 in a season Skyview’s Mason Scheidel took home the title. That year, he reached state in the 1,600 and 3,200.
It’s been an 800/1,600 double at state since.
“The 800 is a lot more fun. … The (3,200) is pretty long. If I have the speed, I’m going to do the 800.”
• Prairie’s Nolan Mickenham had top-5 finishes in the 100 and 200, and also anchored the Falcons’ runner-up 4×100 relay (42.32), a new school record. Union’s 4×100 relay highlighted the three-team 4A GSHL field finishing fourth in 4A.
• Mountain View’s Kate Kadrmas, Friday’s 100 hurdles champion, placed third in the 300 hurdles.
• Prairie’s Meri Dunford and Fort Vancouver’s Emily Phelps placed third and fourth, respectively, in the 3A 3,200, each running personal-best sub-11-minute times.
• Union’s 4×200 relay placed sixth. Anchor leg Logan Nelson placed seventh in the 200 final.