As the season wound down and just a few meets remained, Kaitlyn Hartman was nervous she wouldn’t have time to achieve one of her goals.
But then it happened last week at the 3A District 2 championships — a Redmond girls school record.
With a throw of 128-10 in the discus, the Mustang senior broke the previous top mark of 123-11, which was set by Betsy Slemp in 1994.
Hartman notched first in the event and is headed to her third straight state meet this weekend at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma. She hopes to nail a top-eight finish, which is another one of her goals she set this season.
Winning the district discus title and the KingCo discus and shot-put crowns were her other goals. Check, check and check. Four down and one to go.
Her previous discus PR before the district meet was 119-09 via the Shoreline Invitational. She kept upping her game at district, first with a 121, then a 123-4 and finally the magical 128-10 on her last throw of the meet.
“I definitely knew as soon as I had thrown it that that was (huge). I didn’t know exactly how far it was, but since I threw the 123-4 my second one… for the last throw, I knew that one was definitely further than that,” she said. “It just felt so smooth and the release was really nice and I had quick feet, which is something that I had struggled with before.”
Hartman and her coaches worked on many different drills the week before to speed up her feet during discus release. She said it was nice to see all the hard work pay off.
She joined the track team freshman year at her mom’s request and gravitated toward the throws — discus, shot put and javelin.
Mom, who also participated in track, wanted her daughter to be a sprinter, “and I was like, yeah, that’s not really my thing,” Hartman said with a laugh.
At first, the discus was her least favorite throw, but it wouldn’t be for long.
“The more I stuck with it, the better I got at it and I was seeing the biggest growth in that and so I kind of feed off that,” Hartman said. “So, I just stuck with it and it seemed to work out.”
At KingCo the week before, Hartman won the shot put in 36-1.50 and the discus in 116-07.
Also making state for Redmond are the girls 4×100 relay of Sophie Rouse, Caitlyn Axe, Carmen MacRae and Andreea Ifrim; the boys 4×400 relay of Asres Morris, Noah Lukosky, Kyle Nickum and Carson Lui; John Lehr in the 3,200; Jack Ellis in the javelin; and Lili Hargreaves in the 3,200.
The girls 4×100 finished fifth at districts in 50.21 and it will be the first trip to state for all of them.
“We’ve been working for this for three years, and we’ve been missing it by this tiniest bit every year. So honestly, it’s the best feeling, I can’t describe it. It’s so great,” MacRae said.
The girls were ranked fifth heading into districts, and Axe said the Mustangs were armed with confidence and unleashed a lot of adrenaline to make state.
Rouse ran the first leg and noted, “I was trying to focus on staying positive and not psyching myself out. We just really wanted to come out here and prove that we belong here with all these other teams.”