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Originally published May 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified May 26, 2007 at 2:02 AM

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4A Track and Field | Bywater, Aanstad star for Lake Stevens

Lake Stevens headlined the first day of the Class 4A state track and field championships at Edgar Brown Stadium, adorning the podium with...

Seattle Times staff reporter

PASCO — Lake Stevens headlined the first day of the Class 4A state track and field championships at Edgar Brown Stadium, adorning the podium with two repeat champions.

In the boys events, junior Joey Bywater overcame a week's worth of self-doubt and surged out to a big lead, withstanding a wild, last-lap charge from Central Valley's Sean Coyle and winning the 3,200 in 9 minutes, 9.19 seconds.

"It was just so much different last year," Bywater said. "I was like carefree and I was just interested in seeing how many kids I could beat. This year, I'll be really, really confident one day and feel like I can't do it the next day."

Meanwhile, Brittany Aanstad defended her title in javelin with a 139 foot, 11-inch throw. Monroe's Kelsey Brennan finished second (131-7).

Aanstad, who will be a heptathlete next year at Seattle Pacific University, said her goal at state was to finish in the top 8 in each of her four events. She placed third in the high jump (5-4) but fell short in the long jump, taking 11th.

She competes in the triple jump today.

The first day's other noteworthy performances included an unusual convergence of two of the most unlikely sports, when Kamiak's Sean Beighton credited his win in the pole vault, in part, to his other passion — curling.

Beighton, who cleared 14-9, has a chance to make the U.S. Olympic curling team in time for the 2010 Winter Games. Two years ago, when he was just 15, Beighton made it to the second of three rounds in the Olympic Trials.

Beighton captains the Washington state junior team.

"The whole mental part, keeping calm," Beighton said of how one sport helps the other. "But in a lot of ways, they're polar-opposite sports."

Beighton won despite not practicing the pole vault all week. He strained his back at districts last Friday.

In the girls 3,200, Bellarmine Prep junior Nicole Cochran won in 10:42.03, holding off Kesslee Payne of Gig Harbor.

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Mead's Ashley Hutchinson won the shot put (43-8) a week after her mother died unexpectedly in her sleep. Teammates and fans wore handmade T-shirts in support of her family.

Notes

• Gig Harbor's Toney Henderson repeated as boys long-jump champion (23-2).

• Moses Lake's Billy Matthews won the boys discus (164-8).

Kelly McNamee of Ferris' winning high jump (5-10) was a girls state best.

• Gig Harbor's Bree LeRoy won the girls long jump (18-8 ½).

Stephone Jordan of Garfield, who had the best time in the 110 and 300 hurdles prelims, also ran the fastest prelim in the 200 (21.64), third best in the state.

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