Prep girls track and field: Sandridge gets ‘redemption’ shot at Nike Nationals


ONALASKA – As Kaiyah Sandridge unleashed her final javelin throw at the Class 2B District 4 track and field meet, she thought it might have been for the final time this spring.

It would have ended on a sour note. The Onalaska High School junior-to-be just missed out on a state berth.

“I was pretty disappointed that one meet determines your outcome,” Sandridge admitted.

Now, she gets a redemption shot at one of the most prestigious locations in the sport.

Sandridge applied and was accepted to compete at the Nike Outdoor Nationals meet at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus in the emerging elite javelin throw.

She’ll be the first thrower in the first flight on Friday morning at 9 a.m. The other area athlete competing is Tumwater’s Ava Jones, running in the championship division of the 100-meter dash.

“It was a surprise and I’m really appreciative of the opportunity to get redemption, mark growth and improvement,” Sandridge said.

The process to get into Nike Nationals is a simple one.

There are standards to hit to be in either the championship or emerging elite divisions. Loggers throwing coach Abel Isguerra approached Sandridge to give her at least one more chance to throw.

At the time, it was before the C2BL Championships and the district meet.

“I know how she is as a person and she likes to push herself,” Isguerra said. “I wanted to give her that opportunity to make that decision for herself. I knew she would thrive there; she’s not one to shy away from a challenge.”

Sandridge bet on herself this spring.

The multi-sport athlete grew up playing softball and was on Onalaska’s team as a freshman. Her older sister, Brooklyn, was a standout in track throughout her career, primarily in the discus.

The younger Sandridge decided to leave softball to do track.

“I knew I had to give track a shot and I’m really grateful I did,” Sandridge said. “It was very difficult not knowing it was guaranteed I would do great. It was very difficult to leave a team, but I’m glad I did it.

“You’ll never know where you get without trying.”

For moments this spring, the conversations centered around discus being her main event. That was shifted to javelin.

Strictly based on performances and placements, javelin ended up as her go-to. Sandridge won a league meet in Toutle Lake with a PR toss of 103 feet, 7 inches.

“Javelin just happened to be so similar to how you throw a softball,” Sandridge said. “It came easier.

Sandridge eclipsed 100 feet at the loaded Pasco Invite and the Chehalis Activators Classic in April. Even with throwing 101-06 at the league meet, it ended up as a sixth place finish.

The same placement took place in districts.

“I see this whole season for her as a success,” Isguerra said. “I don’t see league and districts as a failure for her, I see it as a setback. I see Nike Nationals as a grand thing.”

Nike Nationals, for as big of an event as it is by name, doesn’t plan on creating pressure for Sandridge.

In her mind, as long as she puts forth her best effort, it will be enough.

“I just want to end the season satisfied,” Sandridge said. “My coaches point out to me to not look at numbers. I know my potential and I hope I can get it.”