CHENEY — Wapato’s Emilio Vela wasn’t about to let strong winds and stronger competition trip up his triple jump plan.
“I go out and compete and try to get a big jump,” said the Wapato senior after his biggest jump — 43 feet, 7 inches — placed him second in the Class 1A boys competition.
His runner-up spot marked the best finish by Valley competitors in the second day of the Class 1A, 2B and 1B state track and field meet at Eastern Washington University.
Connell’s Carson Riner put pressure on Vela and everyone else when he flew 45-7.75 on his second jump. Vela said from there, he just focused on what he could do amid blustery 20-mph-plus wind gusts.
“It was his day. He was feeling it. I try not to let it affect me,” said Vela, whose last leap was his final mark. Earlier in the season, he jumped a Valley-leading 44-9.5.
In the 1A boys discus, Toppenish’s Daniel Arredondo threw 139 feet, 11 inches, almost seven feet past his previous personal best, to take fourth.
La Salle’s Isabella Kanelopoulos placed fourth in the 1A girls shot put with a two-foot personal best of 35-9. Toppenish freshman Tatiana Camacho was sixth in 34-8.25, also a personal best.
In qualifying rounds Friday for Saturday’s finals, SCAC rivals Toppenish, Wapato and Connell set up a repeat of their tight district contest in the boys 4x100 relay. The Wildcats won their heat and recorded the top qualifying time in a season-best 44.24 seconds. Connell won its heat in 44.34. Wapato advanced with the seventh-fastest qualifying time of 45.09.
In the boys 2B 4x100 qualifying rounds, Kittitas won its heat with the second-fastest qualifying time of 44.98. Zillah’s girls 4x100 team qualified in 52.37, a season’s best and good for fourth. Naches Valley’s boys 4x400 relay recorded the No. 3 qualifier in a season’s best 3 minutes, 34.19 seconds.