Garrett Walchli qualified for state in the 200 meters by the smallest of margins Saturday afternoon.
The Hermiston junior turned in a time of 23.05 seconds at Fran Rish Stadium in Richland to place second, beating Syl Hunt of Kamiakin, who ran 23.07. Kennewick’s Arnaldo Cabrera won at 22.78.
“Those kids are good,” Walchli said. “You have to give them that. Arnaldo was flying.”
Walchli was the No. 4 seed heading into finals.
“I just had to trust my training,” he said. “I knew what I had to do. You have to put in the work. Offseason training matters.”
The 3A state track meet will be Thursday through Saturday at Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma. Walchli also will run at state in the 4x100 relay with Broc Remmer, Thomas Reagan and DJ Wilson.
Walchli also placed fifth in the 100 meters (11.65), and ran a leg on the 4x400 relay team that finished sixth (3:35.94).
“Garrett had an impressive weekend,” Hermiston coach Emilee Strot said. “He had two phenomenal races (200 and 4x100 relay). In both he was behind and never gave up. He stayed relaxed and strong.”
Reagan was seventh in the 100 (11.82). Freddy Mendoza was fifth in the 800 (2:00.07).
The Hermiston girls finished fourth in the team standings.
The Bulldogs had a trio of throwers place in the top six of the discus, with Jazlyn Romero leading the way with a third-place finish with a mark of 109 feet, 8 inches. Paige Palzinski was fourth (107-8) and freshman Eseta Sepeni was sixth (104-6).
Palzinski also placed seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 31-8¾.
On the track, Hermiston’s 4x400 relay team of Jayden Ray, Amanda Nygard, Jennifer Fuentes and Abigail Sharon just missed out on a trip to state, finishing third in a time of 4:11.43.
“They ran really well,” Strot said. “I think they ran a season-best time.”
Ray also was fifth in the 400 (1:02.11), while Sharon was eighth (1:05.38).
Kaylee Young finished sixth in the 100 (13.14) and eighth in the 200 (28.45).
In the 100 hurdles, Thannia Solorzana turned in a PR of 17.58 to finish sixth.
Fuentes was seventh in the 100 hurdles (18.31) and eighth in the 300 hurdles (50.57).
“We brought 28 girls and 40 athletes total,” Strot said of the meet. “For the girls to put that many points on the board was awesome. The kids going to state, their hard work is paying off.”