Cougars sprinting toward record books

PASCO — It happened suddenly, nearly derailing the Central Kitsap 4x100-meter relay team’s winning effort. It came without notice or warning. And it left almost as suddenly.

“It was close to 80 (degrees) most of the late morning and early afternoon,” CK coach Mark Ward said. “About 1 or 2 in the afternoon, just before the 4x100, a black cloud came in.

“There was thunder, lightning — some of the biggest raindrops you’ve ever seen in your life. It went from 80 to about 50 in under an hour. They had to adjust just from what Mother Nature threw at them.”

But neither rain, lightning nor snow — yes, snow — could keep the Cougars 4x100 from accomplishing what it came to do — take first place.

“We were really happy about it,” Ward said. “It was great.”

The squad, made up of Josh Perlow, Danny VanDatta, Ben Pentz and Peter Tait, beat out the competition to place first in the field of more than 60 schools to win the race in a time of 43.28, beating out Rainier Beach’s squad by .37 seconds.

In addition, Tait won the 110 high hurdles, helping to anchor a third-place CK finish. Bothell won the boys event with a score of 40. Benson (Portland) was second with 36 while CK scored 28 team points.

“He worked his tail off this offseason,” Ward said of Tait, who suffered a quad injury before playoffs last year. “His time wasn’t quite what it has been. But he stepped up and did well. I’m proud of him.”

CK’s Pentz and Damien Cooney also placed, with Pentz earning fourth in the 100 and Cooney taking sixth in the 400.

“It’s kind of that thermometer that shows us where our better kids are compared to others,” Ward said. “For the other kids, it shows with a little more work and dedication, they can be standing on the podium as well.”

On the girls side, Olympic registered five team points in a battle won by Benson.

Individually, Amy Patawaran placed fifth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.34. In the 3,200, Katie Porter took eighth in 11:28.13.

CK did not place any girls while Olympic did not place any boys.

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