State Champions Highlight Hub City All-Area Track & Field Team
By Matt Baide
The Hub City All-Area Track and Field team features 22 local athletes from seven different schools, highlighted by five individual state champions.
The All-Area team was selected by Lewis County’s track and field coaches.
“We went through all the past times in the local area. We started looking at those and also started looking at state times, each state classification has a qualifying standard to it,” Centralia Track coach Tim Penman said. “We wanted to set up an All-Area team. … of kids to recognize for their accomplishments they’ve done in track and field. We have some very good track athletes that have gone away from this area and hardly anybody knows about them. It just kind of puts them in the spotlight a little bit.”
It can be a tough process to narrow down a list for the All-Area team.
“This year, it was pretty cut and dry for most of the events. It was definitely clear and then we have an exceptional athlete like Austen Apperson,” Penman said. “We were filling in, (but) it’s still a team. So if we were to go to another meet and actually have a meet, we can’t have one person in like five events, we had to split it up. But it is pretty tough.”
Last year, he said, the squad had 14 or 15 girls and boys; the team was whittled down to nine boys and 11 girls.
“It was competitive,” Penman said.
The girls team has two individual state champions in Napavine’s Mollie Olson and W.F. West’s Kendra Bottenberg.
Olson won the 100 meter hurdles title with a time of 15.90 seconds. The senior also finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 35 feet, 10 inches and second in the triple jump (17-04).
Bottenberg, a senior, won the state javelin title with a throw of 139 feet, 11 inches and placed 12th in the shot put at state.
W.F. West has the most athletes on the All-Area team with 10. The boys and girls teams each had a strong showing, a big reason why the Bearcats are well represented.
“It’s great, the kids really deserve it and I know that maybe track isn’t the sport that everybody recognizes all the time,” W.F. West coach Autumn Ledgerwood said. “I think they’re kind of making a name for themselves and making people pay attention a little bit, which is great.”
Ledgerwood was ecstatic about her W.F. West’s performance throughout the season on the track.
“They kind of created a culture for the program this year that I think is going to live on for a long time,” Ledgerwood said. “They’re just a great group of kids that work hard every day and have a positive mindset and do everything right. It makes it easy to have success when you have kids buying into that.”
Emma Moon finished 15th in the 3200 and 16th in the 1600 meter race at the state championships. Lauren Tornow made the All-Area team as a freshman, finishing fourth in the 300 meter hurdles, sixth in the 100 hurdles and eighth in the long jump.
Megan Flexhaug competed in the pole vault at state, taking home ninth place to earn a spot on the All-Area team.
The Lady Bearcats had five others make the All-Area team. Jade Ennis-Palmer competed in the 100 meter dash at state and was a top competitor in the EvCo in the shot put. Emma Thornburg made the team for her work in the 200 and 400 meter races.
Onalaska’s Carmen Cleveland-Barrera earned a spot on the All-Area team. The sophomore placed fifth in the shot put at the state championships.
Ava Nelson earned a spot on the All-Area team for her work in the discus. The senior placed fifth at state with a throw of 108-09.
Pe Ell’s Maggie Elliott was a participant in the state tournament, finishing eighth in the high jump to earn a nod on the All-Area team.
The boys have three state individual champions on the All-Area team. Adna junior Austen Apperson won three state titles, in the 800 (1:58.40), the 1600 (4:17.31) and the 3200 (9:42). Teammate Luke Wellander won the 110 meter hurdles state title in 15.63 seconds, edging Kalama’s Tucker Wetmore by .02 seconds. Wellander, a senior, also competed in the 300 hurdles at the state meet.
W.F. West’s Colby White showed off his hops by winning the 2A state title in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 7 inches. The junior finished fourth in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump at the state championships in Tacoma.
White was joined on the All-Area squad by teammates Carver Brennan, Lafe Johnson, Jack Mallonee and Joey Wylam. Brennan placed seventh in the 400 meter dash and Lafe Johnson finished eighth at the state championships.
Mallonee earned an All-Area spot for his accomplishments in the 300 meter hurdles and Wylam was one of the top Bearcats in the shot put.
Adna’s Brady Collins earned a nod on the All-Area team for his performance in the 100 meter dash, placing eighth at the state championships. Collins and Apperson were a part of the 4×400 Pirate relay team that won the state title.
Morton-White Pass’ Tristen Storey finished fourth in the 200 at the state championships to earn a spot on the All-Area squad.
Pe Ell seniors Bradley Prestegord, Ryan Shepherd and Andrew Schulz all made the All-Area team. Shepherd finished second in the javelin and Schulz earned second in the long jump at the state championships. Prestegord placed seventh in the discus at state.
Centralia’s Vance Voetberg earned a spot on the All-Area team with his performance in the 1600. The senior placed seventh at the state championships.
Hub City Track & Field 2018 All-Area Team
Jade Ennis-Palmer Jr. W.F. West 100, Shot Put
Emma Thornburg Sr. W.F. West 200, 400
Emma Moon Sr. W.F. West 800, 1600, 3200
Mollie Olson* Sr. Napavine 100H, 300H, LJ, TJ
Lauren Tornow Fr. W.F. West 100H, 300H, LJ
Carmen Cleveland-Barrera So. Onalaska Shot Put
Ava Nelson Sr. Mossyrock Discus
Kendra Bottenberg* Sr. W.F. West Javelin, Shot Put
Megan Flexhaug Jr. W.F. West Pole Vault
Maggie Elliott Sr. Pe Ell HJ
Brady Collins Jr. Adna 100
Tristen Storey Jr. Morton-WP 200
Carver Brennan Jr. W.F. West 400
Austen Apperson* Jr. Adna 800, 1600, 3200
Luke Wellander* Sr. Adna 110H, 300H
Jack Mallonee Sr. W.F. West 300H
Joseph Wylam Sr. W.F. West Shot Put
Bradley Prestegord Sr. Pe Ell Discus
Ryan Shepherd Sr. Pe Ell Javelin
Andrew Schulz Sr. Pe Ell LJ
Colby White* Jr. W.F. West HJ, LJ, TJ
Vance Voetberg Sr. Centralia 1600