River Ridge’s Josh Braverman had been focused all season on winning both the 110 and 300 hurdles at the Class 2A state track and field championships.

Once that was accomplished, the senior went back out on the track an hour or so later and celebrated his double win by picking up yet another state title.

Braverman ran for the final time while wearing the Hawks’ singlet, and his swan song performance couldn’t have been more impressive.

Already the school record holder in both hurdler events, Braverman, who will compete next year at the University of Iowa, put on a show at the state meet at Mount Tahoma High School, winning his second consecutive 300 hurdles title, adding the 110 hurdles championships to his already stacked resume before calling it a high school career by anchoring River Ridge’s 4 x 100 relay team to a victory.

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Black Hills senior Kyler Nygren finished first in the boys’ 2A long jump at the state championships with a leap of 22 feet, 7.25 inches. Photo credit: Grant Clark

Braverman was one of six Thurston County athletes to pick up state championship. Black Hills senior Kyler Nygren took up the Class 2A title in the long jump.

Northwest Christian seniors Luke Schilter and Heidi Sowers were both dual titlists at the 2B state meet, while junior teammates Megan McSheffrey and Eliana Summers helped the Navigator girls’ team take home the overall team championships by claiming individual titles.

Braverman, who also posted a sixth-place finish in the 100, won the 110 hurdles in a meet-record time of 14.07 seconds – bettering the previous mark of 14.17 set in 2013 by White River’s Devin Liebel. It was a bit of redemption for Braverman after finishing second in the event as a junior in 2016.

He came back the next day and covered the 300 hurdles in a speedy 38.48 to become the seventh athlete at the 2A boys’ meet to win both hurdle events in the same year.

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Braverman won two individual state championships, capturing the 100 and 300 hurdles, and helped the Hawks win the 4 x 100 relay. Photo credit: Grant Clark

Braverman added title No. 3 after joining teammates Drayden Alexander, Alex Coleman and Tyler Robinson to win the 4 x 100 relay. The Hawks stopped the clock in 42.92, giving the school its fourth title in the event over the last five years. The team finished fifth last year after posting three consecutive wins in the 4 x 100, becoming the first 2A school to accomplish the feat.

River Ridge, which also received a fourth place in the long jump from Coleman, finished fifth overall in the boys team standings with 38 points – 30 of which Braverman had a hand in. Ridgefield and Cheney tied for first with 48 points and were followed in the standings by Selah (46 points) and Lynden (39.50).

A year after helping the Wolves win the boys’ team championship, Nygren enjoyed an title of his own by winning the 2A long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 7.25 inches.

“I knew the completion was going to be super good,” Nygren said. “I knew there was a couple people who could jump over (my distance) at any second. So I was trying to stay calm and just tried to jump farther. When I have good competition something kicks in and I just preform a lot better. I guess it’s because I know I just have to.

state track meet
Black Hills sophomore Nolan Reynolds (No. 73) pictured during the 2A boys’ 4 x 100 relay preliminaries. The Wolves would finish fourth in the event. Photo credit: Grant Clark

Nygren was also a part of the Black Hills’ 4 x 100 team, along with Christian Williams, Kade Weitzel and Nolan Reynolds, which placed fourth.

Tumwater’s Evan Groat finished second in the 800 (1:54.37) and fourth in the 1,600 (4:20.40), posting personal records in both events. The senior also helped the Thunderbirds win the 2A boys’ academic state championship. The 16-member Tumwater team had an average GPA of 3.640.

Tumwater freshman Tyler Gilliland finished fifth in the discus

Additional top five finishers at the 3A boys’ meet included Yelm’s Cole Harrison (fifth, 200), Timberline’s Jaylen Taylor (second, triple jump) and the Capital 4 x 400 team of Ethan Au, Zach Willis, Jason Turner and Tanner Stipic, which took home fourth, while Olympia senior Ryan Underland was fifth in the 4A boys’ discus.

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Tumwater’s Evan Groat holds up the 2A boys’ state academic championship. The T-Birds finished with a team GPA of 3.64. Photo credit: Grant Clark

In the 2B boys’ meet, Schilter won the 1,600 (4:23.34) and the 3,200 (9:28.13), becoming the first to win back-to-back state titles in the 3,200 since former Navigator Justin Holden did so in 2011.

Much like Braverman, Sowers swept the hurdles at the 2B girls’ meet, winning the 100 (15.43) and the 300 (45.95). She also finished second in the long jump as the Navigators easily won their first state title since 2007 with a total of 90 points – 25 higher runner-up and defending champion St. George’s.

McSheffrey won the 400 and Summers triumphed in the 3,200.

Olympia senior Lauren Wilson placed third in the girls’ 4A high jump.

Timberline had four athletes place high at the 3A girls’ meet, getting a third in the 200 and fifth in the 100 from Makenna Hansen, a fourth in the high jump from Jessica Neal and a third in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump from Keshara Romain.

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River Ridge’s Josh Braverman (No. 671) races to the front of the pack at the 4 x 100 relay at the 2A state meet. Photo credit: Grant Clark

Joining the Blazers on the podium at the 3A meet was North Thurston freshman Madison Vu (fifth, 400) and Yelm sophomore Carissa Stovall (third, shot put).

Maddi Frampton of Black Hills grabbed fifth in the 2A girls’ 100 hurdles, and the Tumwater’ Sydney Smith, Codi Short, Bella Wallerstedt and Bella Foos were third in the 4 x 200 relay.

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