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Hess goes out a champion

CHENEY - Bickleton High School track and field star Annie Hess went out the only way she knew how-on top.

The Bickleton senior had a busy weekend, winning two State track and field titles and graduating this past Sunday.

Hess made the most of her outing at the State 'B' track and field meet over the weekend at Eastern Washington University.

She won the discus crown, setting a State meet record with a throw of 146-10. Hess also defended her 2004 State title in the shotput, taking home another medal with a toss of 39-5.

"What can you say about her performance at State this year, and of course throughout her high school career, but WOW," said Bickleton Coach Darrell Lang. "She has rewritten the school record book in her two events many times over the last four years on her way to many league, District and State championships, high places and total points."

Hess slaughtered the State 'B' record in the discus this past Friday night with a championship mark of 146-10. Hess briefly held the State discus title last year before being knocked off in 2004 by Ruth Wilhelm of Crescent with her throw of 141-3.

Hess was faced with a challenge Friday as the usual horrible weather in Cheney came to the forefront.

"The weather conditions were not the best for breaking records that day," said Lang. "There was a consistent head wind all day."

Hess was never challenged in the discus, breaking the State record on her second throw with a mark of 143-0. The best throw from someone besides Hess up to that point was 126-0.

Lang said Hess was hoping to hit 150-0, which she had been doing during her practice throws.

Tara Leaman of Tacoma Baptist took runner-up honors with a distant mark of 121-8.

Lang said Hess ended the season as the leading discus thrower in the State with her mark of 147-0 at Regionals the previous week. He said Hess will have a chance to break the 150-0 mark next weekend when she competes in the annual Washington vs. Oregon prep meet at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

Hess followed up her championship performance on Friday with another one Saturday morning. Hess took top honors in the shotput with a toss of 39-5, besting her previous State mark of 37-5 by two feet. Her shotput toss at State on Saturday also broke her personal best mark for the year of 38-10.

"She had really been coming on the last two weeks in the shotput," said Lang.

Her stiffest competition in the shotput wasn't much competition at all. Katie Corder of St. John Endicott was a distant second with a mark of 36-6.

Also competing at State for the Lady Pirates was Corryn Raschko, who took ninth place in the pole vault, clearing 8-6.

"Corryn achieved her goal of jumping 8-6 this year, as she did it twice, once in Regionals and once at State," said Lang.

Lang said Raschko's 8-6 vault would have given her fourth last year at State, but due to some deep and improved vaulters she was unable to medal this year.

"But, she should take great satisfaction over the fact that she has made great improvements from last year's meet (hitting 7-0) and has one more year to work on placing at State," said Lang.

Lang had some parting comments on Hess, who is one of the best athletes to ever attend Bickleton High School.

"Next year she will be gone, but never forgotten," said Lang of Hess. "She was one of the best ever track athletes to walk the halls of Bickleton High School. In the 17 years that I've coached here and to the best of my knowledge she is the only athlete to ever double up in one State meet as champion."

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