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Berger, French heave high marks at state track and field meet
A pair of South Whidbey track and field stars finished in the top half of their fields at the state 2A meet.
Angelina Berger and Nick French both made the finals of their events May 25-26 at the Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma. The two underclassmen left with high marks for them to build upon next season in a chase for state titles.
Berger, a junior thrower, sent her shot put as far as she had in her career. She matched her personal best distance with a toss of 39 feet,4 inches to seize third place.
“That was kind of reassuring that I still had it,” she said.
Her fellow first- and second-place competitors will likely be the same next year, as both Gina Flint and Darbi Dobson are juniors. Berger, however, will see a different field next year when South Whidbey becomes a 1A school. Flint won the 2A shot put title with a throw of 42 feet, 11.25 inches - her second-farthest mark of her career.
“They’re a lot more relaxed. They have a better warm up than I do,” Berger said. She added that she plans to adopt a more focused pre-meet routine to increase her heart rate and stretch instead of stepping into the thrower’s circle cold.
“Next year will be better. I can’t wait to go 1A.”
Berger competed with Flint one week earlier at the District 1 meet. Flint was also the shot put and discus champion from District 1, which South Whidbey’s league, the Cascade Conference, is part of with the Northwest Conference.
“I like it knowing that our district is up there at the top,” Berger said.
At the state meet, it was much the same as the two were at the top of their fields. Berger hurled the discus 98 feet, 2 inches, which ended up placing 13th overall. It was her third-lowest mark of the season, and an abnormality given her surge the past two weeks with distances of 104 and 108 feet.
“I just wasn’t feeling it,” Berger said. “My head wasn’t in it.”
The week prior to the state meet, Berger injured her ankle throwing the discus. The pain followed her to the state meet and Berger was unable to spin into her discus throws.
“I didn’t really have any aggression toward it,” Berger said. “I get really frustrated with myself. I try to tell myself to relax.”
“I get really nervous easily.”
Flint also won the discus with her career-best throw of 143 feet, 9 inches. The discus was a highly competitive event, and even Berger’s best mark of 114 feet would have placed fifth.
French had a slight drop in distance and was still able to finish ninth in the javelin. The Falcon sophomore launched the javelin 164 feet, 4 inches, which is about his average distance this season but short of his personal best of 178 feet, 3 inches (which would have put him at second place).
A fellow Cascade Conference thrower from Archbishop Murphy won the javelin. Mark Schireman threw 179 feet, 2 inches to take the state 2A javelin title ahead of another Cascade Conference athlete, Justin Houser from Cedarcrest High School. Schireman blew past his previous career best by almost 15 feet to win the 2A javelin crown.