TACOMA — Daniel Barna celebrated with not one, but two fist pumps.
Moments later, he was in disbelief.
“Wait,” the Columbia River High School senior said, a mere minute after completing the Class 2A boys 1,600-meter race at the opening day of the Class 4A/3A/2A state track and field championships.
“I got third?!”
It’s true. Barna’s time of 4 minutes, 15.77 seconds in the star-studded 2A boys field at Mount Tahoma Stadium led to a third-place finish. Even sweeter was that Barna passed two runners in the final 50 meters for a personal-best time by 3 seconds.
It was a time and finish Barna said he wanted, but at one stretch, he sat 10th after one lap. The final push came from knowing this weekend at state was his final high school competition, he said.
“It was all or nothing; it was going to be painful,” said Barna, who also will compete in Saturday’s 3,200 meters. “I’d hate to leave my last race and be filled with regrets, so I gave it all I got.”
It’s been a whirlwind spring track season for Barna, who placed second at the 2A cross country meet in Pasco. A week before the track season began, Barna turned his ankle on an evening run and slowly worked his way back to being 100 percent.
And he was at 100 percent in Thursday’s race that included the reigning 2A cross country champion and a nationally-ranked 1,600 time in the field, which pushed Barna even more, he said.
Selah’s Cooper Quigley won in 4:08.89.
“They were just going,” he said of the field. “It was a 4-minute-mile pace for a little bit. These guys were moving. But the whole race moving fast is the greatest because everyone is lined up pretty well and it’s going to be a fast race when that happens.”
Barna was one of two top-3 finishes by Clark County athletes at the first day of Star Track XXXVIII — the first state championship meet since 2019 because of the pandemic.
Union’s Ariel Ammentorp finished second in the 4A girls discus with a personal-best throw of 127 feet, 4 inches — 5 feet off the school record to finish her prep career ranked second all-time. The Nebraska signee for the hammer throw doesn’t throw the discus much outside of the high school track and field season, so Thursday’s performance felt extra special.
“I have a lot of fun with it,” Ammentorp said of the discus. “It brings a calm; I’m not overly stressed about it, and I come out and have a good time.
“It was such an easy-going throw, I didn’t think it was a PR.”
Camas’ Dorothy Franklin placed fourth (124-8). Oregon State-bound Katelynn Gelston of Hanford won the discus (151-11) with three throws over 150 feet, and Ammentorp said having a competitor like Gelston in the field helps others have a quality day, too. Ammentorp’s best throw now ranks her second all-time at Union.
“It’s a cool thing when it comes to throwing,” she said. “If one person is having a really, really good day, everyone is having a really good day. … throwing against a girl like that, you see technique and you want to throw like that. It’s building on a good throw. Start with a good throw and build on it.”
Building on a throw is exactly what Mountain View freshman Juan Pasillas-Stanton did in the 3A boys shot put. As the only freshman in the field of 20, Pasillas-Stanton saved his best throw for last — 49-4.75 — to move up from ninth place in the finals to fourth.
He was the only freshman to crack 50 feet in 3A this spring.
“It feels good, but I definitely could’ve done better,” Pasillas-Stanton said. “I really wanted to PR, but finishing on the podium, that’s big.
“I’m ready for the next three years.”
Other podium finishes came from Camas’ Jared Williams (4A boys javelin, 156-9, fourth), Woodland’s Sydney George (2A girls high jump, 4-10, fourth) and Autumn Pietz (2A girls high jump, 4-10, sixth), Washougal’s Elle Thomas (2A girls 1,600, 5:10.49, seventh), Skyview’s Cecelia Fox-Middleton (4A girls triple jump, 34-10, eighth) and Evergreen’s Jonathan Landry (3A boys long jump, 21-3.75, eighth).