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Stark and Nauman bring home state track hardware

Elma seniors Ray Stark and Tyson Nauman saved their best performances when it counted most at the state 1A track & field championship meet in Cheney.

Stark put down his best races of his season on Saturday and walked away with two individual titles — good enough to claim the top points scorer in the state 1A boys meet with 21.25 points.

In the 100-meter, Stark’s takeoff was more than enough to leave the field fighting for second place as he reset the 15-year-old meet record at 10.86 seconds. Matt Isbell of Bellevue Christian set the old record in 1999 at 10.88.

Stark made it a double with a “nearly perfect” run in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles for the win by 2.5 seconds at 37.90.

“He was so far out in front in the hurdles, when he came around the grandstands, you started to wonder where the rest of the field was,” Elma assistant coach Bryan Schneider said. “It was almost the perfect race. He really came on in the last month. In practice, he would put his foot down and it was like someone hit the fast forward button on the VCR. He picked it up at the right time.”

Schneider cited his seniors — Stark, Rashad Lorton, Chance Bremer and Nauman — who made up Elma’s fourth-place 4x400-meter relay team for their work and dedication for the season.

Nauman won the Eagles’ first state event title on Friday in the triple jump. The senior made his final jump count, accounting for a tail wind that blew a few competitors too far over the line for fouls leading up to the last jumps.

Sitting in fourth place, Nauman hit a two-foot personal best to land at 45 feet, 3 inches for the lead. The next jumper, Port Townsend’s Skylar Coppenrath, hit a big jump right after Nauman and it was initially announced at 45-6. After a few minutes of deliberation, the mark was changed to 44-6, good for third place.

“That was nervous,” Elma head coach Bryan Schneider said. “There were some wind gusts and Tyson scratched twice in the finals. So, we backed him up and he went for it. It was a great jump.”