Flanagan flies to hurdles victory; Grisham wins tennis title as Clark County athletes complete spring season
Faith Grisham put the finishing touches on a dominating season and ended her Columbia River tennis career with a state championship Saturday in Seattle.
Well, two actually.
In Tacoma, Tyler Flanagan of Woodland not only won his final race of his high school track and field career, he did so in epic fashion. A video of him diving for the finish line had gone viral throughout the state probably before he got home Saturday.
Those were two of the many highlights as the WIAA crowned champions in track and field and tennis.
Grisham never lost a set this season and cruised to a Class 2A state singles championship. Her performance at state, her points alone, were enough for Columbia River to share the girls team title, too.
“Oh man. I honestly feel pretty humbled to have won,” Grisham said late Saturday via phone from Seattle. “There were a lot of really good competitors out there. I knew my game was fit for these type of situations. I know I’m a pretty tough competitor. I just trusted in my skill set and stuck with the plan. It just happened to work out really well. It was really exciting.”
“She went to state four years in a row,” said Tony Liberatore, Columbia River’s athletic director. “Her sophomore and junior year, she lost to the eventual state champion. She just talked about being focused. ‘This is the year I’m going to do it.’”
Clark County Today featured Grisham earlier in the season. She might have been focused on winning a championship, but she did not get overwhelmed by putting pressure on herself. She believed that if she were to win a title, it would be from all the hours of practice prior to competition.
“For me, it’s about trusting the process, working hard every day, and giving it my all in every match, instead of just focusing on the outcome,” she said in April.
Saturday, the outcome was never in doubt. She won 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals, then 6-2, 6-2 in the championship match. The score in the finals? That was her closest match of the entire season.
Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends traveled to Seattle to watch Grisham. The family went out to Duke’s to celebrate.
“It was the best restaurant food I’ve ever had in my life,” Grisham said. “That was so special to celebrate that win with them.”
In Tacoma, Flanagan was caught by cameras as if he were flying, kind of like Superman, as he finished the 300 hurdles. He won in a photo finish.
His athletic director, Paul Huddleston, said it was a storybook ending to an incredible high school career. He said that type of finish represents what Woodland athletics is all about.
“All heart,” Huddleston said.
Daniel Maton of Camas won his second individual state title of the meet, and then won a third title, too. He won the 800 in 1 minute, 52.07 seconds. Later in the day, he capped the meet by anchoring Camas’ 1,600 relay team to victory.
And in a bizarre finish, the Washougal boys won the 400 relay. The Panthers finished in third by just .02 seconds but Cheney and Franklin Pierce were disqualified after a photo finish for first place. Just like that, Washougal had won.
Camas, led by Maton, finished third in the Class 4A team race.
Ridgefield, led by Trey Knight’s two state titles earlier in the meet, finished third in the 2A boys meet.
For all placers and results in all WIAA-sanctioned sports, go to Tournament Central: http://wiaa.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=1009