Sports

2002 Boys Track Preview

The Federal Way boys track team returns key components of last year’s squad that went 8-0 in the South Puget Sound League.

“We lost many talented athletes to graduation,” second year head coach Mike Minahan said. “Our hope is that we will compete well with the top teams in our league.”

Back for the Eagles is senior Brandon Keeler, who placed at state last season in the triple jump.

Keeler will also compete in the sprints, along with junior Anthony Dotson.

Senior Mustafa Scott will run the 1600 and 800. Senior Aaron Oravilo will compete in the hurdles. Senior Ian Keene will do the jumping events. Senior Clint Thomson will compete in the 400 and 800.

The Eagles will have strength in the throwing events from senior Nate VanderPol.

Top newcomers include sophomore hurdler Darius Alo, sophomore hurdler Greg Warren, and junior javelin thrower Eric Siverly.

The Eagles had 65 athletes turn out this season, one of the highest in a long time.

Also having a high turnout this year is Jefferson, which had 53 boys come out to practice. The Raiders now have newly built track facilities on site at the school, so the team doesn’t have to travel to Federal Way Memorial Field for practices. That higher level of exposure has resulted in more students becoming interested in the sport.

“It’s fantastic,” Jefferson coach Sam Beesley said of the new track. “Rather than get on the bus, we walk down the hill. It’s so much better. It’s nice to have the numbers. With the quantity comes the quality.”

Returning for the Raiders is senior Kamarr Evans, who will compete in the sprints, the triple jump and the long jump.

Evans leaped 22 feet, 9 inches in the long jump at a meet this summer. That would have been good enough for second place at last season’s state meet.

“But state is a long way down the road,” Beesley said.

Other returning athletes include Victor Samuels in the 400, Galen Hensley in the hurdles and pole vault, and Jared Bronson in throws.

Top newcomers include sophomore Kyle Jenkins in the long jump, 400, and relays; sophomore Kyle Anderson in distance events; sophomore Joel Turley in distance events; and sophomore Zach Ritchey in hurdles and other events.

“This year we’re stronger from top to bottom,” Beesley said. “We’re four to five deep in every event.”

The Decatur boys track team is looking to improve on last season’s 3-5 record.

The Gators are strongest this season in the distance events thanks to returning runners Chris Williams and Ryan Yelle, both juniors, and seniors Rick Barney, Andy Henry and David Odne.

“Although small in numbers, our seniors are capable kids who lead by example,” said Decatur coach Colby Rogers. “This is particularly pleasing because of the dedicated and talented group of underclassmen we have this year.”

Up-and-coming sophomore Shaun Helm will also run distance events.

New talent gives Decatur its top sprinters, with junior transfer Brandon Hicks, and sophomores Tracy Ford, Darrin Harris and Marqueas Carter, along with returning junior Chris Franken.

Leading Decatur in the throwing events are senior J.C. Ronnfeldt, junior Joe Isaac and sophomore Lance Witherspoon.

Sophomore Nick Isaac will compete in the jumping events.

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