Garfield sprinter on fast track to state | Track and Field
Garfield senior Baileh Simms, after missing much of her junior season to injury, won the girls 100 at the 4A bi-district championships.
Special to The Seattle Times
LAKE STEVENS — Baileh Simms finally is getting her shot. The Garfield High School senior doesn't want, or intend, to waste it.
"I didn't have a junior year," Simms said after winning the Class 4A bi-district championship in the 100 meters on Friday. "So this is really important. I am glad I'm doing really well for myself and my team."
Simms also anchored the winning 400 relay, helping the Bulldogs (59 points) tie Issaquah for third in the team race behind Arlington (69) and Inglemoor (63). Garfield's boys won 86-69 over runner-up Jackson.
Simms also was a disappointing third in the long jump, but has loftier aspirations for the state meet that begins next Thursday at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma.
"My goal is to hopefully win state (in the long jump)," declared Simms, who jumped 17 feet, 2 inches on Wednesday. "My P.R. (personal record) is 18-5. I'm hoping to get another P.R., get 19 feet, and get state."
She'll attempt the feat on a healthy right leg this spring. A year ago, a strained Achilles tendon early in the season nagged at Simms, costing her a chance to compete as an individual at state.
"The only thing I was able to do was the 4x100 relay last year," said Simms, who knows next week will be a challenge. "It's really tough and scary."
Simms isn't the only one who's jittery heading into state.
"I am so nervous for state next week," Arlington thrower Lyndsay Leatherman said. The Eagles junior completed a triple in the bi-district meet by winning the girls shot on Friday with a meet-record throw of 41-3 ½.
On Wednesday, Leatherman won the javelin and discus.
"I didn't expect to go all three this week because I went all three last week (at sub-districts)," Leatherman said. "It's usually one week up, one week down."
Two good weeks in a row, Leatherman said, contributes to her nerves going into state.
One guy who exuded nothing but cool confidence after his double-win night was Cascade's Kaleb Dobson. The Bruins junior had a relatively easy run in the 110 high hurdles, winning in 14.49 over runner-up Stuart Thomas of Ballard (14.62). It was a tougher 300 intermediate hurdles race, again against Thomas.
Dobson trailed as the pair approached the final hurdle.
"The guy on my inside (Thomas) messed up on the last hurdle," Dobson said. "I finished clean and got it done."
Thomas clipped the last hurdle with his front leg, slowing him slightly. Dobson landed and leaned past his rival at the line to win in 38.62 to Thomas' 38.66.
"I gave it everything I had on the turn, then pulled it out," said Dobson, who also has high goals for state. Not that he's sharing.
"I don't like to say what I'll do. I like to let my actions speak."
• Two other meet records fell Friday. Arlington's Dan Boyden added more than eight feet to his discus record, throwing 171-11. He set the mark at 163-10 a year ago. Eastlake's Ellie Woerner lowered the girls 100 hurdles record set in 2011 by Erin Allen of Inglemoor, from 14.80 to 14.77.
• Snohomish senior Christian Linder was a two-time winner, in the 100 (10.86) and 200 (22.21).