Sork, Dickson crash Washington 800 record


PORTLAND, Ore. -- Marcus Dickson came to the post-season BorderDuel meet on Saturday with the intent of breaking the Washington state record in the 800 meters.

Instead, he made the record, setting a blistering pace for unheralded Tanner Sork of Union (Camas, Wash.), who gathered confidence and head of steam over the final 200 and ran away with the race and the record with a head-spinning 1:48.74.

In a running a new US#1 Sork ran four and a half seconds under his personal best.

"I'm in shock right now," Sork said minutes after the race. "My goal was to stick with Marcus because I knew he'd run a good time."

Dickson, of White River (Buckley, Wash.) did run a good time, running under John Cote's 1997 record of 1:49.41 with 1:49.33.

Dickson was also in a daze after the race. "I wish I would have won," he said.

The boys 800 set fire to what had been a relatively sleepy post-state all-star meet on the campus of Lewis & Clark College featuring athletes from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. (Montanans are also invited).

And Dickson had done more PR for the meet than just about anyone when he declared his goal of going for the state record in the 800 at BorderDuel. He had hoped that fellow 1:50 runners Izaic Yorks and Nick Boersma would join him. But those two backed out because of conflicts with prom.

And Sork, second in the Class 4A 400 and 800 last week in Tacoma, was practically off the radar of everyone. Except Dickson.

"I worry about everything before a race," Dickson said. "I knew (Sork) had run 48.03 in the 400 meters (last week) without blocks. That told me he had the speed."

Dickson led the charge through the 400 in about 53 seconds, with Sork right behind him and large gap to the rest of the field.

"With 200 left he's still on me and I'm like 'No way!'" Dickson said. "Then he passes me and he made me feel slow. I'm really proud of Tanner. I knew who he was since junior year. He got really good ... five minutes ago."

Incidentally, Dickson and Sork are about to become teammates. Both are headed to BYU in the fall.

Sork ran so far out of his mind he hit the finish line and bowled over a meet official standing five yards beyond the finish line. By that time, he was practically disconnected from his body.

"When I (race) nothing goes through my mind," Sork said. "Coming toward the finish I saw 1:40s and knew it was (going to be) good."

In an earlier heat, Seaside (Ore.) junior Brett Willyard ran the fastest time in his state this season, 1:52.88.

In a spirited 2,000-meter steeplechase, Santos Vargas of Eisenhower (Yakima, Wash.) tracked down South Eugene's Joe Holvey to win at the finish line with US#2 6:01.06. Holvey was timed in US# 6:01.45.

In the girls 2K steeple, first-timer Paige Kouba of South Eugene showed some talent for the event, running US#6 6:57.89.

Kouba also confirmed that she intends to team up with Sara Tsai, Erin Clark and Phacelia Cramer in an attempt on the U.S. record in the 4x1,500 relay next weekend at the Portland Track Festival. Tsai, a freshman, won the 800 with a personal best time of 2:12.89. Clark ran 2:15.44 and was fifth.

Other highlights included, Tera Novy's throws double. Novy, of Montesano, Wash., threw 45-1 for second in the shot put and then US#17 153-10 to win the discus.

Aaron Castle, of Newport, Wash., won the shot put 62-7.75 and the discus 165-0. Castle fouled four of his attempts in the shot, finding it hard to adjust to the wooden surface of the ring. He had a 66-footer wiped out when he lost his balance and tipped over as he fought to stay under control.

Castle, who will enter the University of Arizona next fall, said he has been dealing with an injury in his wrist throughout the spring.

Sean Keller of Heritage (Vancouver, Wash.) won the javelin with a best of 213-9.

Nick Obletz of the Oregon Episcopal School won the boys 5,000 in 15:32.05.

Leanne Asper from Lake City, Idaho won the girls 400 in 56.96, leading a small contingent from her state.

Ashante Horsley of McMinnville, Oregon's Class 6A 400-meter champion, used the meet to try a new event and expand her repertoire. She entered the 300 hurdles and finished third overall in 45.16. She suspects there could be an opportunity to make an impact on the lineup at the University of Oregon if she comes in to college willing to try anything.

Emmi Collier of Warrenton (Ore.) won the shot put with an improvement of 45-6.75.

In the girls pole vault, Washington's Class 1A and 3A champions, Anandae Clark (Lakeside) and Jennifer DeBellis (Columbia River) both cleared 12-3 and then went together trying 12-9.