Lady Stags Defended State Titles & Came Home Victorious!

Ella Carnahan, photo by Scott Breneman.

Once again, the Lady Stags track team headed into the District Track meet with their eyes set on going back to back in the 4x100m relay and the 4x200m relay. Last year the Lady Stags went into the State Meet the favorite and came out victorious. This year the stage was set for these two relay teams to do really well, and all of the girls had their eyes set on repeating as State Champions. 

Coach Taylor Brudwick prepared the girls all year long by mixing and matching the relay team to ensure the best four were in the correct spots to ensure success. Success, though, was going to be tough. 

Lakeside High School girls’ relay teams have been pushing the Lady Stags all year long, running extremely fast times and, at times, beating the Stags in a few races. On day one of the Meet, everything started off with the Lady Stags 4×100 team going out to set the tone, winning the 4×100 for the 2nd year in a row, running a new District Meet Record of 49.80. The team of Ellie Levy, Maya Tucker, Gracelynn Martinson, and Ella Carnahan dominated the field once again. 

State Champion 4×200 Team – Ellie Levy, Lauren Bonner, Grace Martinson, Ella Carnahan

On day two of the District Meet, the Lady Stag relay team came out with the mentality to do what they could to ensure as many girls as possible would qualify for the State Meet. Running an alternate in the 4×200 relay, the girls qualified for the State meet in 2nd place, running a time of 1:47.15. The team sacrificed a District win to make sure their teammate was fresh for her individual race. Ellie Levy sat out of the 4×200 to focus on running the 100m Hurdles and came out victorious, winning the race running 15.44, just missing the school record of 15.39, and qualifying for state. 

Later in the meet, the Girls 4×400, again with alternates, came out with the plan of making sure they qualified for the State Meet and got second place to Lakeside. Other qualifiers for the state meet were Lauren Bonner, 400m, Ella Carnahan, 200m, Ellie Levy, 100m Hurdles, and 300m Hurdles. 

The following week the Stags headed off to Yakima to compete at the WIAA State Track and Field meet and to defend their relay state titles from a year ago. After two days of competition and many qualifiers, the Stags set sights on Saturday morning for their first State Title Defense. At 10:00am, the gun went off, and Ellie Levy bolted out of the blocks tearing up the corner and taking an early lead. The lead that Ellie gave the team proved to be enough to hold off a charging Lakeside team to not only defend their State Title but also to break the school record that had been held since 2012. The team of Ellie Levy, Lauren Bonner, Gracelynn Martinson, and Ella Carnahan ran the fastest time in Deer Park history of 1:45.08! 

State Champion 4×100 Team – Ellie Levy, Maya Tucker, Grace Martinson, Ella Carnahan

Next up was the 4x100m Relay. This race is all about consistency and speed! One mistake can cost a team the victory. The team was poised and ready to fly around the track and win another state championship, but mother nature had different plans. Just as the gun was about to go off, the sky opened up with lightning, causing a 2.5 hour delay in the meet. The Lady Stags didn’t let this deter them from their plans. As soon as they were back on the track, their focus was right back to what they went to state for. The gun went off, and the Lady Stags didn’t look back! They did it again! Running a PR time of 49.70, the team of Ellie Levy, Maya Tucker, Gracelynn Martinson, and Ella Carnahan held off Lakeside again to repeat as State Champions. 

In sports, the most difficult thing to do is to win a state title. To do it in two events, two years in a row is unprecedented! 

Ellie Levy not only ran in both of the relay races but also ran in the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. In the final individual race of her career, Ellie set up to try and break the school record in the 300 hurdles. She took out running down the backstretch going over hurdles and chasing the fastest girls in the meet. When she finished, she placed 3rd, just missing out on the school record by .09 of a second running 46.37 missing the school record of 46.28.  

Just before the final race of the meet, Ella Carnahan stepped into the blocks for one last time in her Track career to run the 200m. Ella bounced around all season in a lot of different races running relays and individual races like the 100, 200, and 400. Just before the District, she decided she wanted to get an individual School Record. She set sight on the 200. Ella went out with the plan of using the fastest girl in the state in all classifications, Braylen Baker from Bear Creek, to help propel her to a school record. The old school record was set the prior year by Lauren Bonner at 26.33, a record that was set back in 2009. In the Prelims, the day before, Ella went out and broke the school record by .02, running a 26.31. 

Then on the final day, with the conditions perfect and feeling good. Ella exploded out of the blocks taking an early lead in the race, and as Baker passed her on the corner, she used her to slingshot herself out of the corner and down the straightaway finishing the race in 3rd place with a new school record of 26.13.  

The team went into the final race of the day with a shot of winning another team trophy if they ran well in the final race of the day, the 4×400 m relay. Coming off of a long season of nagging injuries, two of the girls were struggling to walk, let alone run, in arguably the most grueling race, the 400. Freshman Sienna Breneman came into the state meet as an alternate, not planning on running, but in the final minutes before the race, she was called on to fill in for an injured runner. To score enough points to get a trophy, the Lady Stags would have to get at least 5th to secure enough points to get a 4th place trophy. The team of Ella Carnahan, Lauren Bonner, Sienna Breneman, and Layne Lathrop took off, and each girl ran the race of their lives, running the 3rd fastest time in school history to get 4th and secure that coveted State Trophy. Running for each other and not caring who gets the credit is why this group of girls were so successful. 

Seven girls went into the state meet with plans to do the best they could and came out with two State Titles and a team 4th place trophy cementing their legacy in the Deer Park Track and Field Record books.

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