Raider girls vault to top of SPSL South


The Mirror

They don’t have any of the best marks in the state and it would be a huge upset if anybody from the Thomas Jefferson girls track and field team wins an individual state championship.

But the Raider girls can now call themselves the 2005 South Puget Sound League South Division co-champions.

“It is awesome,” said senior captain Jessica Schroeder. “It was really exciting.”

The Raiders swept the Federal Way All-City Meet Thursday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium to finish 7-0-1 in the SPSL South. Jefferson will share the league championship, the school’s first since 1990, with the two-time defending state champion Curtis Vikings. The Raiders and Vikings tied 70.5-70.5 in both teams’ regular-season openers March 24.

“The Curtis meet, we were really surprised,” Schroeder said. “We have a lot of good freshman and sophomores.”

“We knew we had a good team. With our returning athletes and some new athletes who joined the team, we knew that we were good in areas where we were weak in 2004 and 2003,” said head girls coach Paul Ruston. “We knew our team had athletes that could contend in league meets in all events.”

The Raiders did just that Thursday at the Federal Way All-City Meet.

Jefferson beat Decatur, 105-36, Federal Way, 87-54 and Todd Beamer, 76.5-64.5, to earn the sweep at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

The Raiders used their overall depth in every event to score points. TJ won “only” four of the 17 total events at Thursday. But the Raiders garnered several second- and third-place finishes to pad their point total.

Two of those first-place finishes, the 100 and 200 meters, came because Decatur junior Princess Joy Griffey was in jeans during the meet. The defending state champion in the 100 and the current state leader in both events chose not to run the final regular season meet of the season, but will be back at tonight’s SPSL Championships at Sunset Chev Stadium at Sumner High School.

The SPSL Track and Field Meet will kick off at 3 p.m. and run until a little after 8 p.m. tonight. There will be finals in seven field events, as well as 12 running event finals. The meet will continue at 3 p.m. Friday with seven more field event finals and nine running championships (6 to 8 p.m.).

Ruston credits much-improved relay teams and a solid group of distance runners as big factors to bringing back the SPSL South title to TJ.

“The (distance) runners are accustomed to winning and help give new team members confidence to do well,” he said. “We have a large number of kids who worked hard at practice and competed throughout the season and captains Jessica and Erin Schroeder made many of the girls, who are not varsity level, feel like they were able to contribute to the team’s success.”

The Federal Way girls finished 2-1 Thursday, Beamer was 1-2 and Decatur ended up 0-3 at the All-City Meet.

The Eagles won seven total events, including a pair by junior Jenna Warren (400 meters and long jump) and junior Gillian Griffin (100 and 300 hurdles). Decatur’s Becky Williams also had two individual wins in the 800 and 1600 meters.

All-City Boys Meet

The Federal Way boys dominated Thursday’s All-City Meet at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. The Eagles swept Decatur (99-37), Beamer (100-35) and Jefferson (77-59). The wins improved Federal Way to 7-1 in the SPSL South. Their only loss came to undefeated, league champion Curtis.

“It went pretty good,” said Federal Way senior C.J. Green, who was a part of the Eagles’ winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams Thursday. “Now comes the fun part of the season.”

Federal Way won a total of seven events during the meet. Individual victories came from Victor Williams in the 200 (22.5), Sterling Smart in the 800 (2:04.4), Brian Crick in the 110 hurdles (15.2), Brad Johnson in the 300 hurdles (40.2) and Jay Davis in the long jump (20-2).

Jefferson got six individual wins, Beamer had two, including a blazing 10.9 from senior Michael Waller in the 100, and Decatur’s Josh Pot picked up the Gators’ only victory in the shot put (46-6.5).

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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