PORT TOWNSEND — Haleigh Harrison starts out where most girls finish on the high jump.
Even as she works out the “kinks” in her best event, the Sequim sophomore has been untouchable in the Olympic League this spring.
Just think where Harrison — tied for the Class 2A lead in the high jump at 5 feet, 4 inches, according to athletic.net — will be when she figures it all out.
“She's going to surprise even herself, I think,” Sequim Wolves coach Brad Moore said.
The current North Olympic Peninsula leader in three events — the long, triple and high jumps — Harrison has made a habit of overwhelming others this season.
She did so again at a three-way Olympic League track and field meet against Klahowya and Port Townsend at sunny Blue Heron Middle School on Friday.
Harrison won all three jumping events, including the high jump at 5-0, and was second in the 400 meter dash to lead the Wolves to the narrowest of wins over the host Redskins, 75-74.
Sequim's boys had a much easier time of it, winning 12 of 17 events to run away with their meet by a 36.5-point margin. (Results are listed on Page B2 today.)
Moore said it was a good way for his team to enter the season's stretch run.
“[State]'s not very far away,” said Moore, who has coached six individual state champions the past six seasons.
“I'm excited. I think we'll have a number of kids advance to state, and I think we'll have kids in a position to medal, which is always exciting.”
At the top of that list is Harrison.
The long-legged 6-footer already holds Sequim's school record in the high jump at 5-4, a mark she put up in the first meet of the season.
She's been consistently at 5 feet or 5-2 ever since in her quest to reach 5-6 by the end of the season.
“I think I can potentially win [at state with 5-6], but at the same time it's just a personal mark because I like a challenge,” Harrison said.
“My coach and I have been working on my knee, getting it higher and just refining the curve when I actually go up to jump.
“It's the little small thins that we need to refine to get up to those great heights.”
Moore said Harrison isn't all that far away.
“Anytime you start changing stuff to try to smooth her out a little bit, there's always that transition period,” he said.
“It tends to be a little rocky. Once she gets it, she's going to zip up, and she's going to pick up several inches.”
Sequim distance runner Audrey Lichten is also positioned to make some noise at state.
While she didn't compete in her best event Friday — Lichten is currently third in 2A in the 800 meters — she did win the 3,200-meter race in 11 minutes, 40.46 seconds.
Lichten beat Port Townsend's Brittany Grant to claim that event.
Grant still managed to win 800 and 1,600 in front of the home faithful.
She holds a top 10 mark in 1A in the 1,600, according to athletic.net.
Teammate Christine Unrue swept the throwing events, claiming decisive victories in the shot put, javelin and discus to help Port Townsend finish within a point of Sequim.
Things weren't nearly as close in the boys competition.
Sequim had four multi-event winners, with Taylor Bonneau (100, 200), Jayson Brocklesby (400, high jump) and Stephan Stilts (110 and 300 hurdles) all claiming two individual events.
Brocklesby's winning time in the 400 (51.03 seconds) was the sixth fastest in 2A this season.
Junior Clancy Catelli had the most impressive day, however, as he dominated all three throwing events.
That included a season-best mark in the javelin (160-2) that currently ranks eighth in 2A this season, according to athletic.net.
“I definitely think he can throw a lot farther,” Moore said. “He's a nice kid, but sometimes he's not as focused as you'd like.”
The most exciting part of the day for the Port Townsend boys came in the distance races.
The Redskins had their two stars, Bereket Piatt and Habtamu Rubio, competing in a meet together for the first time this season.
Rubio narrowly edged out Piatt in a fast-paced 1,600 meter race — their times were the fourth and fifth-best in 1A this spring — and won the 800.
And Piatt put up the fourth-best 3,200 time (10:10.00) in 1A on his way to a victory.
“The 1,600 was a really interesting race,” Port Townsend coach Kevin Sanford said.
“Bereket has been a little bit ill here lately, and I was surprised that he actually was up there with Habs. He kind of put him to the challenge, so that was good.
“The dynamic duo are back, and it's exciting to see that.”
Not only was it the first meet of the season for Piatt, it was also the last one for him and Rubio on the home track at Blue Heron.
Having finished 1-2 at the 1A state cross country meet as juniors, Piatt and Rubio will get one last shot at a state crown on the track in May.
Students waived an Ethiopian lag in support of the two seniors — both were born in the East African nation — at the finish line Friday to send them off in style.
“That was distracting,” said Piatt, who cracked a small smile upon seeing the flag on the first lap of the 3,200.
“I didn't really have a plan going into the [3,200], I just tried to get a decent pace going and at the end just have a good finish.
“I wasn't really happy with the time. I didn't want to know it, but they announced it anyway.
Added Piatt: “I hope to qualify for state. That's pretty much my goal right now.
“How I do at state, I'm not too worried about it right now.”
Last modified: April 24. 2011 1:10AM