State champion, runner-up lead Edmonds-Woodway | Girls track and fieldParle won 3,200; Keyes placed 2nd in discus
The third and final day of the 2016 state track and field championships turned out to be a pleasant surprise for two Edmonds-Woodway athletes.
Coming into the season, Yukino Parle’s goal was to qualify for the state meet. Instead, she exceeded her own expectations by winning the 3,200 meter race, finishing ahead of Lynnwood’s Malia Pivec by just over a second.
Teammate Vernice Keyes also came into the 3A championships with modest expectations about her prospects in the discus. Keyes was ranked ninth and wasn’t sure if she’d be able to qualify for the finals. The Edmonds-Woodway not only advanced to the finals but ended up placing second overall.
Both Parle and Keyes are excited about the 2017 season.
Unfortunately, Parle experienced a slow start to the season after suffering a foot injury that kept her sidelined for about a week and a half.
“I’m almost 100 percent now,” the Edmonds-Woodway junior said. “It was a bit of a rough start, but I’ll be back soon.”
Parle has been checking the times for the 3,200 and sees that many of her rivals are faster than they were last year.
“I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself,” she said. “I think I would be putting a lot more pressure on myself if I didn’t have a bad start to the season. I’m not really where I want to be. I think my goal is mostly to get similar times to what I had last year and hopefully stay injury-free for the rest of the track season.”
Winning a state title opened Parle’s eyes. Her seventh place finish at the state cross country meet also resonated with her.
“That (state title) showed me what I could do and actually this past cross country season didn’t go quite as well as I hoped,” Parle said. “So I think that season actually showed me how if I want to be good, I have to really work for it.”
Keyes has been hard at work and so far is feeling good about the way her season has started.
“Right now it’s just more about getting technique down than anything,” Keyes said.
Keyes, who also competes in the shot put, noted that she works on her throwing technique throughout the season.
“It’s kind of a continual thing because with technique it’s like when you get one part fixed, something else falls apart,” she said. “You fix the beginning and the end falls apart. … It’s pretty much getting all of those to fit together and it starts to work out.”
A week before state, Keyes wasn’t throwing well.
“Things were rocky,” she said.
Then the day before state started Keyes did some practice throws and was happy with her performance.
“So when I got to state I was pretty determined that I could get a really good throw or PR,” Keyes said.
Keyes qualified for the finals and came home with a medal.
“It was surprising,” Keyes said. “I was excited that I was able to get second place.”
Both Keyes and Parle appreciate their teammates and how they help them be better athletes.
Keyes said she likes the “family connection we have because we’re a really strong team together.”
Parle trains extensively with four other runners.
“A lot of girls who are really fast, they tend to have to train with the boys team,” she said. “But since we have so many top girls, we get to train with each other. I think having a really close team really helps with our training.”