STATE TRACK: Federal Way's Vongsaveng, 4x400 relay team win championships

Federal Way freshman Mariyah Vongsaveng (right) won the Class 4A state title in the 300-meter hurdles during last weekend
Federal Way freshman Mariyah Vongsaveng (right) won the Class 4A state title in the 300-meter hurdles during last weekend's state track and field championships at Tacoma's Mount Tahoma High School. Vongsaveng leads TJ senior Lindsey Dahl (center).
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

Federal Way High School freshman Mariyah Vongsaveng didn't let the big stage of the Class 4A State Track and Field Championships scare her one bit.

In fact, Vongsaveng ran the best race of her short Eagle career under the most pressure. The ninth-grader won the 4A girls state title in the 300-meter hurdles Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

Vongsaveng, who was also a member of the state-placing Federal Way basketball team, finished with a personal-best time of 44.79 in the final Saturday to outdistance Chiawana's Sadie Sparks, who ran a 44.88. Sparks, a senior, entered the final with the best qualifying time.

What might have also helped Vongsaveng in the 300 hurdles was the fact that she was able to get out some of her freshman jitters Thursday during the preliminary round in the 100-meter hurdles. Before her first-ever state race even began in Tacoma, Vongsaveng false started and was subsequently disqualified.

Vongsaveng also helped a pair of Federal Way girls relay teams finish on the podium. The Eagles' 4x100 team of Karis Cameron, Zaedrea Robinson, Vonsaveng and Autumn Jackson finished second in 49.13 Saturday after clocking the top qualifying time Friday.

The 4x200 relay team of Robinson, Cameron, Vongsaveng and Khiana Duncan ended up in third place in a time of 1:42.86. The performances helped Federal Way finish up in eighth place in the 4A team standings. Curtis won the title over Auburn Riverside.

The Federal Way High School boys continued their recent success in the relay races with another state championship in the 4x400 relay Saturday. The Eagle team of Ezekiel McNeal, Jeremiah McNeal, Aaron Persinger and Tremaine Rambo easily outdistanced second-place Skyline in a time of 3:19.08.

It was Federal Way's second state title in the 4x400 relay in the last three years. The Eagles set an all-time Washington state record to win the championship in 2010. Federal Way finished fourth in the 4x400 last season.

The Eagles also snagged a silver medal in the 4x100 relay Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School. Gig Harbor won the state title in 41.43. The Federal Way team of Kerson Lubin, Michael Tate, Persinger and Ezekiel McNeal finished in 41.80, just ahead of third-place Mead.

The relay success by the Eagle boys helped Federal Way to a third-place finish in the Class 4A team standings with 52 total points. Gig Harbor won the state title with 62 points, followed by Mead in second (58).

Last weekend's meet ended an impressive track and field career for Decatur's Drew Thompson. The senior almost single-handedly moved the Gators into 18th place in the overall Class 3A team standings with three top-four finishes at Mount Tahoma.

Thompson ran to a third-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles in an impressive time of 14.80. Hanford's Joseph Collett won the race in 14.55. Thompson also ended up third in the high jump, where he equalled his Decatur school record of 6-feet-6. Thompson was one of four jumpers to tie at 6-6, but University's Eddie Gonzalez won the state title with fewer misses.

Thompson also finished fourth in the 300 hurdles Saturday in a time of 39.15. He won all three of the events during the huge West Central/Southwest District Meet.

In other state meet results:

• McNeal proved to be the top sprinter in the district at the state meet. The junior finished fourth in both the 100 and 200 meters. McNeal ran a blazing 10.79 in the 100 finals and finished in 22.31 in the 200.

• Federal Way junior Albert Havili ended up third in the discus with a throw of 164-6. The throw was well short of the school record he set in winning the West Central District title at 178-7. Ferris' Damon Unland won the state title at 174-3.

• Tate had a solid all-around meet for the Eagles. Tate helped the Federal Way 4x100 relay team finish second and individually won a bronze medal in the long jump with a leap of 22-3 and finished fifth in the 200 meters in a time of 22.54.

• Persinger also had an impressive state meet for Federal Way. The junior qualified for both final heats in the hurdles. He finished fifth in the 110 hurdles (14.95) and was sixth in the 300 hurdles (38.87).

Persinger was also a part of both relay teams for Federal Way.

• Federal Way sophomore Keenan Curran ended up ninth in the triple jump (42-1) and junior D'Londo Tucker was 16th (40-0). Freshman Robert McClatcher was 12th in the long jump (20-5 1/2).

• Beamer senior Willie Roach had an impressive third-place leap of 6-4 in the high jump and also finished 12th in the 200 (23.08).

• Beamer senior Austin Hitchcock was 10th in the 300 hurdles and sophomore Adrian Shocks finished 10th in the triple jump for the Titans (41-9).

• Both Alanna Vann and Chante Spotser made the final heat in their respective races for Beamer. Vann, a sophomore, suffered an injury and finished eighth in the 100 and Spotser, a freshman, was also eighth in the 400 (59.74).

The duo was joined by Nicole Seabolt and Sydney Rogalla to finish 10th in the 4x100 relay (50.08).

• Jefferson had five athletes compete at the state meet and were led by the all-around performance of senior Lindsey Dahl, who will continue her career in the fall at the University of Montana. Dahl finished fourth in the javelin (136-4), was 10th in the 300 hurdles (46.64) and 13th in the long jump (16-8 1/4).

Sophomore Kaya Warrior finished 10th in the girls shot put (37-5), junior McKay Owsley was 11th in the boys long jump (20-10 1/4), senior Kendall Green was 13th in the boys 400 (51.41) and senior Yobel Mengistu was 15th in the triple jump (40-1 1/2).

• Decatur freshman Terrance Taumua ended up 10th in the 110 boys hurdles in a time of 15.66.

• Decatur senior Tori Zellerhoff finished her career with a pair of impressive runs at the state meet. Zellerhoff finished 11th in the 3,200 meters (11:20.12) and 12th in the 1,600 (5:10.97).

• Jenelta Yates ended up 12th in the 400 meters (1:01.25) and helped the Decatur girls 4x400 relay team finish 15th (4:14.91).

• Decatur sophomore Anna Paradee was 14th in the 3A girls pole vault with a leap of 9-6.

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