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Raiders ready to roll in rugged SPSL
By CASEY OLSON
The Thomas Jefferson track and field team is ready to make some noise in the South Puget Sound League South this year. Both the Raider boys and girls teams return a lot of talent from last season and have plenty of solid newcomers.
The boys bring back one of the best triple jumpers in state history in senior Kyle Jenkins, who will jump at Indiana University next year. Jenkins won the Class 4A title last year with a Star Track record leap.
Also back on the boys side are sprinter Coury McGinnis, who has already run a 10.8 in the 100 this year, and distance runner Kyle Anderson.
We have a strong nucleus of state-caliber athletes, said TJ boys coach Kevin Hanis.
Hanis will also be counting on newcomers Cliff and Tim Satterwhite (both hurdlers) and sprinters Phillip Bennett and Chris Fritz.
We are very young, but we have talent, Hanis said.
The Raider girls have one of the biggest teams in the league and feature a very deep and strong distance running corp, according to coach Paul Ruston.
This is the most overall balanced team we have had in the past five seasons, he said.
Ruston will be counting on Alyson Hunt, Amy Miller, Megan Loo, Tera Brockman and Jessica Schroeder to fill the distance running roles and Erika Zabelle (jumps and sprints), Kellie Stoffel (javelin) and Rae Anne Grabowski (pole vault) to score points during the dual meet season.
The coaches at Beamer are excited about their first track season and excited about their chances in the SPSL South.
We have a strong group of young athletes with a great attitude, said boys coach Scott Haines.
The Beamer boys have over 50 kids turning out and will be counting on captains Stephan Graddon (distance) and Cameron Gillespie (throws) to score points. Hurdler Tommie McBee and thrower Casey Foster-Stallings will also be contributors.
On the girls side, Jay Cardwell and Tiffany Rutter also have several talented underclassmen and a solid work ethic.
The Titans big point scorers should be hurdler Jessica Franz, distance runners Kim Graden and McKinley Williams and freshman all-arounder Gena Woodke.
The Eagle teams should be competitive in the rugged SPSL South. The Federal Way boys and girls have some of the best individual performers in the league.
The boys should field one of the best 4x400 relay teams in the state with seniors Greg Warren, Matt Clark and juniors C.J. Green and Brian Crick. The Eagles placed fifth at last years Star Track.
Federal Ways throwers will be led by Antonio Lindsey, Steve Ottenad and Marcus Brown. Morris Anderson will be a solid jumper.
Newcomers Darius Alo and Londen Carter will provide depth in the jumps and Stephan McCulloch and Jay Davis are solid sprinters.
The Eagle girls should be one of the better teams in the South led by Erin Fitzpatrick (sprints, hurdles), Jenna Warren (sprints, jumps), Aimee Hafen (pole vault, jumps) and Shelby Avaava (throws). Federal Way also has a strong distance runner in Carmen Acuna.
Last year, the Eagles finished up with a 7-1 record, which was good for second place behind undefeated Curtis.
Longtime Jefferson coach Sam Beesley takes over the Decatur program from Heather Kreier (girls) and Colby Rogers (boys) and has a lot of talented athletes on his rosters.
The Gator boys will be counting on four seniors to score a lot of points during the SPSL season, including runner Shaun Helm, jumper Nick Isaac, sprinter Francis Griffey and thrower Lance Witherspoon. The Decatur boys finished up in second place in the SPSL South last year with a 7-1 record. Their only loss came to the undefeated Bethel Braves.
The Decatur girls have a strong group of newcomers, led by sophomore Princess Joy Griffey, who ran a sizzling 11.9 in the 100 during the Gators SPSL opener last week. Other newcomers include sophomores Becky Williams (distance) and hurdler Saphire Hendron. Strong returners include sprinters Danitra Powell and Elisa Beal, and thrower Mallory Reynolds.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com