Aberdeen’s Sidor, Cardenas advance to Saturday’s finals

Both will be competing in 200 and 400 meter races

TACOMA – Aberdeen sprinters Bryan Sidor and Faith Cardenas extended their high school track careers for one more day, each posting qualifying times in the 200 and 400 meters at the 2A State Championships on Friday at Mt. Tahoma High School.

Sidor won the 400 meters (49.58) and took second in a fast 200-meter dash prelim with a time of 22.18.

Cardenas posted similar results, also winning the 400 (58.17) and taking fourth in her 200 heat with a time of 26.05.

Initially, it was unclear if Cardenas’ time in the 200-meter dash would qualify her for finals as she had to wait to see if she cracked the top eight.

It appeared after the second heat that her time would be fast enough to get her into finals, but Cardenas did not share the optimism of her coaches and wanted to wait until the official results were posted before celebrating.

With the results of her 200-meter race were up in there air, the 400-meter race she ran earlier in the day looked like it could be a close call as well.

Cardenas said she found another gear in the 400 when she realized she was running stride for stride with the field.

“Around the 200 meters into the race I said ‘You know, I still have a lot of energy I think I can win this one,’ and I just kicked it in and pushed as hard as a I could,” she said.

Sidor looked comfortable on the track as he cruised to victory in his 400 heat but wasn’t feeling so well after the race. He had a little more than an hour to recover in between races but Sidor said he wasn’t disappointed with his third-place finish considering the way he felt after the 200.

“I’m feeling really good about my time in the 200 because after the 400, I kind of threw up so being able to run that time with little to no energy felt good,” Sidor admitted.

Recovering between races was a tough task with the game plan being to recover in time for Saturday’s finals.

“Ice bath and an early bed time. That’s how you have to do it,” Cardenas said.

Aberdeen head coach April Meissner said it’s important for both of her remaining runners to realize where they can make up time and stay calm if they don’t get off to the best start.

“There’s enough time in the 400 where you can be super aggressive on the corners and super aggressive out of the blocks. You have to not get in your head throughout the race and I just kind of keep reminding them of that” she said. “They’re veteran 400 runners and they do well but they’re still high school kids. I think they need reminders that block starts are only so important and that you have to stay in the race for the full 400 meters.”

Both runners have said they feel confident in their ability to compete for gold in both events and Meissner is right there with them.

After failing to qualify for finals in its other two state events — the boys long jump and girls 4×200 meters — Meissner said Sidor and Cardenas could do the school proud if they’re at the top of their game on Saturday.

“I’m really hoping that if they run their best race,” she said. “They’re competitive and they’re aggressive, hopefully, we’ll see a couple of school records fall and a couple of state championships. That would be amazing.”