Saturday's Pasco Invite will truly be golden

PASCO -- If there was ever a reason to attend the Pasco Invite track meet, it's going to be this coming Saturday.

Billed as the largest one-day high school track meet in the nation, this upcoming event will be the meet's 50th, with over 1,000 athletes competing.

As such, the Invite committee will celebrate this year's event by featuring seven golden events -- events that have been in the track meet for the entire 50 years and features all aspects of a track meet (running, jumping, hurdling, relays, etc.).

They are the Golden Mile, Golden 100, Golden 110 high hurdles, Golden Relay 4x400 (featuring gold batons), and three field events in the long jump, pole vault and javelin.

Meet director John Crawford said that all of the elite high school runners in the Northwest agreed to run the mile, rather than the 1600, for the event.

We've got some nationally ranked runners in that girls race, said Crawford.

In the 100, everyone competes in the 100 meters.

But only the top 10 will advance into the 100-yard final.

This year the meet is dedicated to helper George Madison and former coach Russell Wiseman.

The Invite started in 1962 by then-Pasco coach Ron Wells.

The meet had eight boys teams and allowed for each team to have two entries to an event. The event was held -- and is still held -- at Edgar Brown Stadium.

Two Pasco High athletes won titles that first year -- Gary Van Dinter in the mile and Doyle Clapper in the pole vault.

Eisenhower won the team title. But back then it was on a cinder track. Now it has an Atlas 5000 track.

By 1978, the Invite added girls events. Over the years, events have been added and others eliminated.

But one thing is certain: this has been one of the biggest high school track meets in the Northwest for decades.

And Coach Wells might've been surprised to realize just how big his little eight-team meet has become. It all begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday

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