By Doug Drowley
Special to The Seattle Times
Running is all in the Dalzell family
Dorie Dalzell has big plans for her senior track season.
Then again, she has big plans for her track career even after the 4A state meet takes place on May 29-31 at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma.
“I definitely want to win state in the 400, and place in the 200,” Dalzell said. “And I think our 4×400 relay has a good chance at a state record.”
The Skyline relay team already owns the top time in that relay event this spring at 4 minutes, 4.43 seconds. The meet record of 3:51.70 has stood since 1983.
Dalzell and fellow senior Alexis Daugherty were members of the team that has finished third at state each of the past two seasons. A year ago, Skyline ran a 3:54.33 to finish behind Issaquah and winner Ballard (3:53.08).
Individually, Dalzell finished fourth in the 400 a year ago.
But this is her senior campaign.
“She’s just a little firecracker,” Skyline coach Dawn Geiser said of Dalzell. “She goes after what she wants. She’s put the time in.”
The time Geiser refers to was during the off-season between last year and now.
“She got herself into the weight room,” Geiser said. “She’s doing all the Olympic lifts. She’s just gotten as strong as an ox.”
The added strength, Dalzell says, has helped her most in the 200 meters. A year ago, she didn’t even qualify for state in the event.
This season, Dalzell has the fourth-fastest time in the state at 25.82 seconds. She’s even better in the 400 so far this season.
Prior to Saturday, Dalzell had the third-fastest time in the state in the event at 57.97. She ran 56.77 in her fourth-place finish at state a year ago.
Then on Saturday at the Arcadia Invitational in California Dalzell lowered her 400 time to 57.02. That’s the best in 4A so far this season.
“I’ve always just kind of slowly progressed with my times,” Dalzell said. “Usually, it’s about two seconds a year.”
Her steady improvement caught the attention of colleges across the United States. Dalzell responded by picking her favorites.
Then she went on a visit to Lawrence, Kansas, home of the 2013 National Champion women’s track team. The Jayhawks were never a team Dalzell thought she would run for in college, despite her family.
Dalzell’s father, Greg, ran track and was a captain on the Kansas team through 1986. Her grandfather, Art Dalzell, was a Kansas track captain in 1954.
Art Dalzell was a member of the 1955 Kansas National Championship team. He and teammates Dick Wilson, Lloyd Koby and Wes Santee set the American record in the distance relay in 1953, going 17 minutes, 13 seconds.
And Art Dalzell spun one of the finest 1320 stints ever recorded in any relay meet, a 3:01, which fired the Jayhawks to a world record Distance Medley figure of 9:50.4 at the 1954 Drake Games.
“I really didn’t want to go to Kansas,” Dorie Dalzell said. “I didn’t want to follow them. I wanted to make my own way. But once I went there, I knew it was where I was supposed to be.”
So, Dorie Dalzell will become the third generation of her family to run track at Kansas.
“My dad and grandpa are the only father-son duo ever to be captains at Kansas,” Dorie Dalzell said. “It would be cool if I was a captain one day. I would be the third one in the family.”
There remains work to be done in high school, though.
It’s work that began from the time Dorie Dalzell can remember.
“I’ve been running since I was pretty young,” said Dalzell, whose dad coached her early on at a small club team. “But it took me a while to find out the formula was to win. I’d just go out there and jog around and try to get a ribbon. I didn’t figure out until about 9 years old the point was to get there first.”
Now, Dalzell gets it.
And her personal drive is continuing a family tradition.
Apostol finds her stride in California
Imani Apostol has thrown down the gauntlet, at least in the 400 meters.
Apostol went a blistering 55.85 in the 400 to finish third at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational on Saturday. The Holy Names junior finished behind Pinnacle (AZ) senior Tatum Waggoner, who won the event in 55.52.
The 55.85 is faster than Apostol ran at the state meet last May. Apostol finished second at state in the 3A 400 to Kamiakin’s Ellie Heiden a year ago. The Holy Names sophomore went 56.46 behind Heiden’s state-record 54.15.
– Nathan Hale senior Aedan Roberts ran the fastest reported 800 meters time for a Washington athlete this spring, going 1:55.26 to finish seventh overall at the Arcadia Invitational in California on Saturday.
– The Jackson boys and girls swept the team titles at the Tacoma Invite on Saturday. The boys beat runner-up Gig Harbor, 87-64, while the girls out-paced Curtis, 82-65.
– Federal Way senior Hannah Cunliffe leads the state in the 100 meters so far this spring. Her 11.4 seconds already is faster than the 4A state meet record of 11.61, set by Danielle Marshall back in 1992.
– Kentwood’s Samantha LaRue improved her personal best in the shot put to 38-3½ at the Arne Young Invitational the first weekend in April, becoming the only sophomore in the Top 5 among 4A performers this spring.
Invitationals of Note
The sum total of Invitational meets in the state are far too numerous to mention and discuss, but there are a few we wanted to be sure folks are aware of prior to league and district meets that start the week of May 6.
April 19 – Pasco Invitational (Pasco). 104 teams. This is one of the most iconic of each spring’s meets, with teams from all over the state descending on the Tri-Cities area. Schools from 4A down to B compete.
April 19 – Larry Eason Invitational (Snohomish High). 41 teams. This marks the 26th year for the Eason Invite. Issaquah, Skyline, O’Dea, Holy Names and Archbishop Murphy join most of the Wesco schools and others.
May 3 – Shelton Invitational (Shelton). 74 teams. It’s the 54th year for Shelton, another iconic meet. Teams from every classification compete here, as well.
May 3 – Lake Washington Invitational (LWHS, Kirkland). 65 teams. Another long-running meet, shares this weekend with Shelton to bring 140 total schools into competition.
Who’s going where?
BYU – Ellie Heiden, Kamiakin
Cal Poly – Devon Grove, Lake Washington
UCSD – Aubrey Ward-El, Skyview
Citadel – Elizabeth Webster, Bishop Blanchet
Connecticut College – Grace Sheeran, Bellevue
Harvard – Floriane Kameni, Bellevue
Hawaii (Manoa) – Karen Bulger, Olympia
Kansas – Dorie Dalzell, Skyline
Loyola Marymount – Chris Fredlund, Squalicum
Mississippi – Brooke Feldmeier, Tumwater
Montana – Jenna Dukovcic, Mark Morris
North Carolina – Logan Carroll, Gig Harbor
Notre Dame – Alex Daugherty, Skyline
Oklahoma – Hannah Cunliffe, Federal Way
Oregon State – Nicole Goecke, Prairie
Princeton – Wolfgang Beck, Gig Harbor; Lane Russell, Tumwater
San Francisco – Quentin Purtzer, Bellarmine Prep
Seattle Pacific – Sophie Carroll, Central Kitsap
Stanford – Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Wenatchee
Washington U. (St. Louis) – Audrey Western, University
Washington – Megan Beauchene, Kamiakin; Rose Christen, Central Kitsap; Hannah Derby, Bellarmine Prep; Lyndsay Leatherman, Arlington; Denham Patricelli, Tahoma
WSU – Jonathan Green, Ephrata; Zachary Smith, Olympic
Weber State – Emily Morgan, Columbia River
William & Mary – Jaren Sinsheimer, Bellarmine Prep
William Jewell – Elizabeth Stevenson, Port Angeles
Wisconsin – Joe Hardy, Seattle Prep; Kai Wilmot, North Central
Know an athlete committed to college for track and field? Email Doug Drowley at firstname.lastname@example.org.