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Two from Federal Way head to national track meet
Kayla Johnson and Brett Ellingson will be representing Federal Way at the Hershey’s national track meet, which is set for July 31-Aug. 3 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
They will both be competing in the softball throw and their parents say the duo is eager to make the trip and compete.
“He’s so excited,” said Trish Ellingson, Brett Ellingson’s mom.
“It’s really, really exciting,” said his father Jim Ellingson.
Kayla Johnson’s dad, Mike Johnson, said his daughter’s success seemed like it’s something she was destined to experience.
“She actually qualified last year for nationals as a 9-year-old, she is in the 9/10 division and last year she won the Western region for the 9/10 division,” he said. “When we went last year, she was the only 9-year-old there; she placed sixth out of ten.”
According to Mike Johnson, last year the winning throw at nationals was approximately 120 feet. She eclipsed that twice already this year, with a throw of 124-9 at the district meet and a state-record throw of 128-9 at the state meet.
“We’re hoping that we can sneak in a national championship here in a couple of weeks,” her dad added.
For both student-athletes, baseball ties them together outside of their track and field participation. Kayla Johnson is the only girl on the Little League baseball team that Brett Ellingson is also on.
“She’s been playing baseball, she plays on the Knights right now,” Mike Johnson said. “She’s the only girl in the league, she catches and bats third.”
For the Ellingsons, the national meet comes among “a lot of baseball,” according to Jim Ellingson.
“We’ve got four kids … and everybody’s going a lot of different directions right now,” he said, noting that other members of the family are also heavily active in sports.
Participants in the Hershey’s national track meet had to have the best marks out of regional areas. For the Pacific Northwest, that includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest territories.
To learn more about the Hershey’s national track meet, visit www.hersheystrackandfield.com.