Eagle Track team improves to 4-0
June 13, 2008 · Updated 1:47 PM
" The secret to the Federal Way track team's successful 4-0 start is possibly its attitude toward team work. In a sport that tends to focus on individual events, the Eagles have a unique outlook that is winning meets for them. It's just as much a team sport as basketball, said Federal Way senior jumper Tui Avaava. You have your role, you score your points. If everybody does their part, then you win meets. After competing in track his sophomore year, Avaava took last year off. His return to the sport resulted in the state's highest mark in the high jump this season - 6 feet, 6 inches. Key performances like that are one reason while the Eagles are eyeing a South Puget Sound League title. They used the, 'We might win a league championship' as persuasion for my return, Avaava said. I can live with a small role, I just want to be a part of it. Another reason the Eagles are winning is Jon Manthey. He won state last year in the 800-meters, and is off to a fast start this year. Against Rogers he won the 400-meter dash in 50.1 seconds and the 800-meter run in 2:05.1. He is also helping the 1,600 relay team off to the fastest time in the state this season, 3:27. Our relays are one of the strengths of our team, Federal Way coach Mike Minahan said. Our relay coach Tom Eilertson gets us a good team every year. This year's relay team is composed of Manthey, Mustafa Scott, Germaine Pugh and Brandon Keeler. While the relays are obviously a team-oriented event, the Eagles are finding ways to win as a team in other events. One of the most telling examples of teamwork by the Eagles was in the 1,600 race. Entering the meet, the Eagles were expected to only pick up a third place finish, which would only earn the team one point. Instead, the runners rallied for a 1-2-3 finish. Junior Mustafa Scott led the way with a 5:04 while junior P.J. Davisson finished second in 5:05 and sophomore Seth Grisham was third in 5:05. While it was a relatively slow time because of a driving wind and rain, the team members worked as a unit to outpace the favored Spanaway Lake runners. We work together, Davisson said. We don't focus on individual goals, we focus on the team. It's not one of those teams where people go out and say, 'Who cares about the team,' Scott said. We're like a family. "