State track championship not kind to SK

"Prep careers came to a close for some, while others showed a promising future last weekend in at Star Track XIX, the 3A/4A state track and field championships at Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma.South Kitsap High School seniors Marcus Meddles, A.J. Edwards, and Natalie Rasmussen ran their last races in a high school uniform.However, sophomore Nick Anderson, who set the SK sophomore record in the triple jump earlier this season, jumped a personal best 42 feet, 8 1/2 inches to place 10th at state.The promising girls 400-meter relay team of Lynette Mallard, Kristen Ritchie, Stephanie Robinson and Teresa Schlafer failed to make it to the finals after a botched handoff between Ritchie and Robinson placed them eighth in their heat.Only two SK competitors earned medals.Rasmussen took eighth in the 3,200-meter run, though her time of 11:11 was nine seconds off her personal best.Edwards placed seventh in the 200-meter dash.Though Meddles failed to reach his goal of a spot in the 800-meter finals, he set a personal record in 1:56.80.He did this despite being boxed in for the bulk of the race.I got inside too much, Meddles said. I had to slow down. With 300 meters to go I knew I had to start going and just gave it all I had. I didn't have any more left in me though. If I didn't get boxed in I probably would have had a better chance.Who knows how the 400-relay team would have done if there had been a clean handoff, but Ritchie said she's glad the team will have a chance to redeem themselves next year.Ritchie and Schlafer will be seniors, Robinson a junior, and Mallard a sophomore.Ritchie said she wasn't sure if she missed Robinson's hand or if Robinson left too soon. But she said her worst fears came true.That's always been my worst fear, Ritchie said. What if I drop it? We've got next year. I know we'll improve a lot by next year.Edwards found himself in the tougher of the two heats but placed fourth to advance to finals.The finals proved to be a mental test on every 200-meter finalist. A false start, followed by a mechanical problem with the starting gun, forced the runners out of their blocks twice before getting off cleanly on the third attempt.I had a beautiful start, Edwards said referring to the false start. That was horrible. It's just annoying. I would have been in the pack.Edwards, who will be running in the 200 and 400 at Washington State University, said he doesn't think he'll get money from WSU after his performance.But finances won't keep him from running.I'm just going to run because I love it, Edwards said. The healthier I am the more I'm going to improve (and maybe earn a scholarship). I know I can run in the 20s in the next couple of years. I've got a lot of improvement to do, but I'll just get faster and faster.Rasmussen wasn't disappointed with her eighth-place finish as much as her time.I just didn't run that well, she said. I felt confident before. I didn't have a good day, I guess.Rasmussen isn't one to make excuses, but she said she's ready for the challenges with cross country and the longer distances at the University of Tulsa.Rasmussen said there won't be any love lost with the mile (1,600 meters).I never want to run below 3,000 meters again, she said with a smile. No more 800s, no miles, no 400s.Rasmussen said she knows she'll run better at the college level.I have more strength than I have speed, she said. "

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