Once was not good enough for the R.A. Long boys' 1600 meter relay team at the Class AA state track and field meet in Tacoma in May of 1982. In the morning prelims of the 1600 relay, the Lumberjack quartet broke the school record. A few hours later, the Jack 4 did it again with a time of 3 minutes, 22.5 seconds capturing the state championship.
Coach Dwight Cranston said the 1600 relay team - Ken Dockery, Tim Roberts, Chris Nolden and Yul Provancha - was one of a kind. "They were the only runners that I ever had that set the school record twice in the same day," Cranston said. "First time in the morning prelims, and the second time that night in the finals they surpassed their morning record." In fact, the Jacks came within one-tenth of a second of tying the state 1600 relay time.
"It was a super race," Coach Cranston said. "They were really pumped up." But despite personal best splits Roberts and Nolden, the Jacks had to come from behind for the victory. Ken Dockery got the Jacks going and then handed the baton to Tim Roberts who ran the 400 split of his life. Chris Nolden followed suit and when he passed the stick to Yul Provancha, the Jacks were in the lead, but not for long. Shorewood's Brad Dupen kicked into overdrive and passed Yul Provancha with 200 meters left. Provancha regrouped going to the outside lane and ran Dupen down. The final 100 meters was an all-out horse race. "I felt like I could've run another 100 meters. If I hadn't gotten the baton when I did, it would have been a different race," Yul Provancha said in praising his teammates.
RAL finished three-tenths of a second in front of Shorewood. R.A. Long placed third in team scoring with 36 points - the highest finish ever for the Lumberjacks. Edmonds won the team crown (65 points), followed by Rainier Beach (42). "It has been a super year and they are a super bunch of guys," Coach Cranston offered.
- Ken Dockery
- Chris Nolden
- Yul Provancha
- Tim Roberts
- Dwight Cranston (Head Coach)