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1A district track: Shaela Bradley is back, winning two races and placing a close second in another for La Center

Cohen Thomas leads Seton Catholic boys to team title

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: May 16, 2024, 11:11pm
4 Photos
Shaela Bradley of La Center runs to victory in the girls 100 meters at the 1A District 4 track and field championships at Seton Catholic High School in Vancouver on Thursday, May 16, 2024.
Shaela Bradley of La Center runs to victory in the girls 100 meters at the 1A District 4 track and field championships at Seton Catholic High School in Vancouver on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Shaela Bradley is back on track and aiming for a big finish.

The La Center senior, who missed the track and field postseason last year, continued to put up strong marks this postseason, winning two events, placing second in another and helping a La Center 800-meter relay team to a win at the 1A District 4 track and field meet Thursday at Seton Catholic.

“I’m happy because I’m kind of back to where I was sophomore year because I had another weird season junior year,” Bradley said.

The weirdness actually started her freshman year, when she competed in the shortened COVID season with no state meet.

Her sophomore season she won a 1A state title in the 400 meters, placed second in the long jump and third in the 100 meters at state.

11 Photos
Cohen Thomas (4) of Seton Catholic beats Benny Anderson (3) of Montesano in the boys 1,600 meters at the 1A District 4 track and field championships at Seton Catholic High School in Vancouver on Thursday, May 16, 2024.
1A district track and field Photo Gallery

She was working to build off that success her junior season, when she got a rare invitation that ended her track season early.

Bradley, a soccer standout who will play in college at Rutgers next year, got an invite to participate in a training session with Bayern Munich’s women’s team in Germany last May.

That meant she was out of the country when the Trico League championships were held. That is the first qualifying meet on the way to state, so her absence basically ended her track season.

“It really was a good trip,” she said of her Germany experience.

Then this track season got off to a slow start as Bradley missed the first month of the season with an injury.

Her season really began in earnest after spring break in April and she’s been steadily building since then.

Thursday’s results showed she is making good progress.

She started the day Thursday by running the anchor leg in La Center 4×200-meter relay, rallying the Wildcats to a win in 1 minute, 47.81 seconds.

Next she sprinted to win in the 100 meters in 12.55 seconds.

She finished second to Casie Kleine of Castle Rock by just .03 seconds. Kleine won in 57.96 with Bradley second in 57.99 in another thrilling race between the Trico rivals.

“It always is,” Bradley said of her races with Kleine. “I’m hoping to bring it at state.”

She finished the day with a win in the long jump at 17 feet, 2.25 inches. She is unbeaten in the event this season.

As she heads to the state meet in Yakima, she’s looking to finish with personal records.

Her time in the 400 was a season-best by more than two seconds.

“I’m hoping to break 18 (feet) for long jump,” she said. “I really want to beat my PR (in the 400), hopefully get to 56, in that range … And in the 100, I also want to beat my PR, which is 12.14. I think I can get to 11s, but we’ll see. My block slipped in this race, and I still got a season best.”

Behind Bradley, the La Center girls finished second in the team standings at the district meet, scoring 91 points to Montesano’s 96.

In addition to winning the 400, Kleine also won the 200 in 26.59.

Columbia-White Salmon had a pair of dual winners. Jessica Polkinghorn  won the shot put (42-9.5) and discus (112-1), and Saylor Hauge took the 300 hurdles (50.08) and high jump (5-0).

Other district champions included Shaylie Haij of King’s Way Christian (100 hurdles, 16.03), and Seton Catholic’s Ava Gavora (pole vault, 8-9) and Tiffany Sheldon (javelin, 122-4).

In the boys meet, Cohen Thomas won the 1,600 and 3,200 to lead Seton Catholic to the team title.

Thomas won the 1,600 in 4:36.40 and the 3,200 in 9:56.19 as the Cougars outscored Montesano 102-73.

The Cougars also got a win in the javelin by Joe Callerame (171-4).

King’s Way Christian and Stevenson both had a pair of winners.’

For the Knights, Caleb Silva won the high jump (6-4) and Ryan Charlton won the triple jump (40-0).

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For the Bulldogs, Tucker Waymire won the pole vault (14-6) and Hudson’s Holzhauer won the discus (150-5.5).

Other winners were La Center’s Carter Sherry (800, 1:57.77) and Columbia-White Salmon’s August Lorincz (400, 51.19).

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