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La Deaux leads way
It's usually easier the second time around.
At least that's the way Leon La Deaux feels.
The Wolves junior placed first in the preliminaries for both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles in the Narrows League track and field championships Wednesday. And as long as La Deaux places in the top six at Friday's finals at South Kitsap High School, he will qualify for next week's West Central District meet.
"I'm going to come out with a focused mind," he said. "Hopefully my best will get me a first-place time again."
La Deaux was particularly happy with his performance in the 300. He finished that event in 40.54 seconds, ahead of Central Kitsap senior Derek Parrish (40.9). La Deaux finished third in the finals last year (41.25) behind Parrish (40.76) and CK's Sean Walker (40.43), who has since graduated.
"It's good competition and it's good to have the confidence to know you can beat these kids," La Deaux said.
He finished the 110 in 15.83, just three-hundredths of a second ahead of Gig Harbor junior Isaiah Bennett. La Deaux didn't achieve a district-qualifying time in that event a year ago.
La Deaux also helped the Wolves to a come-from-behind win in the 1,600-meter relay when he passed a Bellarmine Prep runner with about 75 meters remaining to help his team finish in 3 minutes, 30.4 seconds. The Lions were second at 3:33.3.
"That was exciting," La Deaux said. "I always knew coming into the final 100 that I was going to shoot out into the other lane and try and pass him."
The time was slower than South's 3:28.53 in last year's league finals, but assistant coach Dave Olsen said there were a couple of reasons for that. He said the downpour kept times slower for all competitors. And senior Jon Phillips — perhaps the school's best runner — was held out to give him rest.
"We'll run the big guns for now on," he said.
Phillips ran the 800 and finished ahead of junior teammate Andrew Crock (2:00.12) in 1:59.25. Another senior, Corey Galligan, also finished first in the 400 prelims in 51.84.
There were several field event finals. Senior Sean Allison won the javelin with a throw of 171 feet, 7 inches.
Sophomore Isaiah Davis claimed first place in the long jump at 20-6.5. Olsen said Davis will focus on other events at districts, but that jump helped the Wolves finish the first day in second place with 25 points behind Mount Tahoma (31).
South's girls team was eighth with three points. Olympia finished the opening day in first with 52 points. The Wolves' top placer was sophomore Bethany Sanchez, who finished sixth in the long jump in 15-3.
Narrows League Track and Field Championships
2:30 p.m. Girls javelin throw
3:30 p.m. Boys and girls triple jump; girls shot put; boys discus; boys 110 hurdles
3:40 p.m. Girls 100 hurdles
3:50 p.m. Boys 100 meter
4 p.m. Girls pole vault; girls 100 meter
4:10 p.m. Boys 1,600 run
4:25 p.m. Boys 400 relay
4:30 p.m. Boys high jump
4:35 p.m. Girls 400 relay
4:45 p.m. Girls 1,600 run
5 p.m. Boys 400 dash
5:05 p.m. Girls 400 dash
5:15 p.m. Boys 300 hurdles
5:20 p.m. Girls 300 hurdles
5:30 p.m. Boys 800 dash
5:40 p.m. Girls 800 dash
5:50 p.m. Girls 200 dash
5:55 p.m. Boys 200 dash
6:05 p.m. Girls 800 relay
6:15 p.m. Boys 1,600 relay
6:25 p.m. Girls 1,600 relay