Tahoma, Johnson keep streak alive, fend off Jefferson GOLDEN DAY FOR BEARS

The early calculations didn’t add up.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Monday, June 2, 2008 12:20pm
  • Sports
Tahoma junior Savannah Johnson enjoyed quite an afternoon on Thursday

Tahoma junior Savannah Johnson enjoyed quite an afternoon on Thursday

The early calculations didn’t add up.

But Tahoma High girls track & field coach Jeff Brady couldn’t be happier that his math was just a bit off Thursday afternoon, when his Bears played host to Thomas Jefferson in a South Puget Sound League North Division showdown between unbeaten teams.

Instead of being on pins and needles and having the meet come down to the final race of the day, as it did last season, the Bears delivered their finest performance to date. The Tahoma girls (5-0) either tied or broke eight personal bests in the meet, romping past the Raiders, 87-54, to keep that flawless record unblemished.

“Coming in, I thought they were going to beat us because I had the meet scored originally going to them,” Brady admitted. “It was supposed to come down to the last race. But our girls did really well. It was one of those days when our girls rose to the occasion.”

Rose to the occasion — and then some.

While there were plenty of big winners, nobody shined brighter than Tahoma junior Savannah Johnson.

Last spring, Johnson took fourth at state in the triple jump. On Thursday, the triple jump was only part of Johnson’s equation of success. She not only won the event with a leap of 37 feet, 1 inch, but also bagged first-place honors in the 100 meters (12.6), the long jump (17-0) and the 200 (25.9). Johnson’s time in the 200 was a personal best while her blistering pace in the 100 equaled a previous top mark.

“She’s just huge for us,” Brady said. “She’s phenomenal.”

Of course, that could be said for more than a handful of Bears on Thursday.

The win not only helped keep Tahoma’s perfect record intact, it also pushed the Bears’ SPSL North winning streak to 26 straight dual meets.

It’s a streak that’s rather hush-hush around the Tahoma oval.

“We try not to talk about it,” Brady said. “I think everybody is aware of it.”

Entering the day, Jefferson was expected to be Tahoma’s stiffest challenge to date, particularly with state-caliber thrower Sofia Malamura and freshman phenom Kayla Adams in fold. The Raiders’ dynamic duo did their part, going 1-2 in the shot put with heaves of 40-0 and 37-10, respectively. And Malamura also added a victory in the discus with a toss of 112-8.

But this day clearly belonged to the Bears, who won 12 of the 17 events.

Tahoma still has two meets remaining (April 24 vs. Kent-Meridian and May 1 vs. Federal Way) to complete another perfect campaign.But by beating TJ, a big hurdle to a third straight North Division crown has been cleared, Brady said.

“At this point, Federal Way and K-M are deep, but I don’t think (they can beat us),” he said. “I don’t want to jinx it, but it looks pretty safe.”

The one thing that wasn’t safe against the Raiders were personal bests.

Along with Johnson’s big day, the Bears also got individual personal bests from Kaeli Rivera in the 3,200 (12:07), Tate Latimer in the 100 hurdles (15.8), and from Molli Bahlenhorst (63.3) and Erin Curtis (63.8) in the 400. Rivera’s time in the 3,200 beat her previous top mark by 20 seconds.

“She’s always been one of our solid cross country runners, but that was a huge PR for her,” Brady said.

Meanwhile, Hannah Mittelstaedt tied a PR in the 3,200 with run of 11:59.

But the Bears weren’t done, getting season bests from all three of their relay teams. The 4 x 100 of Curtis, Mande McKinney, Rachel Meis and Molly Picha bolted to a 50.8. The 4 x 200 squad of Latimer, McKinney, Meis and Picha added another top time of 1:48.2, while the 4 x 400 relay of Bahlenhorst, Lauren Clawson, Amber Drumm and Robin Hanson added a mark of 4:16.6.

Clawson also notched a pair of victories in the 1,600 (5:24) and the 800 (2:28.1).

The key to Tahoma’s success on Thursday?

“I think part of it was the weather,” Brady said. “We finally got a decent day. And we got some great competition. We had a lot of momentum going in and I think the kids were really excited for that.”

After doing the final calculation, it couldn’t have added up any better.

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