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Originally published May 27, 2011 at 11:15 PM | Page modified May 27, 2011 at 11:15 PM

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6-6 Shorecrest hurdler stands tall | 3A, 2A Track and Field

Dillon Baker, a senior at Shorecrest High School, stood tall on the podium at Mount Tahoma High School Friday as the Class 3A state champion of the 110-meter high hurdles.

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TACOMA — At 6 feet 6 and nearly 200 pounds, Dillon Baker had the athletic frame to excel in the hurdles. He just didn't have the technique.

Enter YouTube.

"I did a lot of work in the offseason working on my form just by myself and watching YouTube videos," Baker said. "So that helped me. That came back to this season."

Baker, a senior at Shorecrest High School, stood tall on the podium at Mount Tahoma High School Friday as the Class 3A state champion of the 110-meter high hurdles.

Not bad for a novice.

"It feels pretty good because I didn't start hurdling until midway through last season," Baker said.

Baker, who won in 15.14 seconds, was one of three King County hurdlers who won state championships on a soggy day in Tacoma.

Naivasha Sophusson Smith of Nathan Hale won the 3A girls 100 hurdles (14.50) ahead of Holy Names' Cecelia Jackson (14.58).

In 2A, Amadi Bentley of Renton captured the 100 hurdles title (15.13) and also was the second fastest qualifier in the 100 (12.69) behind River Ridge's Necy Wade (12.61).

Smith wasn't happy with her performance but tried to keep things in perspective with the weather.

"I was really upset with my time originally (in prelims)," Smith said. "My coach kept telling me, 'You don't come here to run a good time. You come here to win.' I kept that in mind all throughout warm-ups and in the blocks."

Bremerton's Kyle Kennedy used a similar mindset to accomplish a major feat in the 3A boys javelin.

Competing against defending state champion Tanner Lien of Bellevue, Kennedy got off a big throw early and led much of the competition. When Lien took the lead in the finals, Kennedy responded with a throw of 186 feet, 4 inches, which held up.

"I can feel when I'm going to have a big throw," said Lien, who came in with the best qualifying mark (191-7) but finished second (184-5). "I never felt it today."


Josh Gordon of Liberty won the 3A boys long jump (22-10 ½) after taking second last year. He edged Kennedy Catholic's Darian Brooks (22-2 ¼). Brooks had the fastest time in the 100 prelims (10.95). O'Dea sophomore Tatum Taylor won his heat (11.05) and was second fastest.

• Renton's PJ Benedictus had a productive day, winning the 2A boys triple jump (47-3 ¾) and finishing second in the high jump (6-5) behind Bellingham's Dan East (6-5).

• Columbia River senior Anna Adamko captured her third consecutive 3A girls javelin title (144-9). She will continue to throw at Washington State University.

• Two Metro League runners had the fastest heats in the 3A girls 800: Lakeside's Madeline Rathbun (2:16.52) and Bishop Blanchet's Lily Engelbrekt (2:16.53).

• Highline's Michelle Stolz had the fastest prelim time in the 3A girls 300 hurdles (44.23). Holy Names freshman Olivia Vincent won her heat and finished with second fastest at (44.47).

Alanna Coker of Juanita held the day's fastest time in the 3A 100 prelims (12.29) and was second fastest in the 200 (25.64) behind West Valley of Yakima's Chantel Jaeger (25.30).

• Hanford's Veronica Bradley captured the 3A girls long jump title (17-9). Seattle Prep sophomore Kate Adler was third (17-3 ¾).

• Renton's Justin Bennett had the fastest qualifying times in the 2A boys 100 (11.16) and 200 (21.98).

Sarah Reiter of Lindbergh (2:18.64) and Summer Hanson of Interlake (2:18.70) won heats in the 2A girls 800.

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