Beamer’s Ward runs wild at state track meet; TJ's Adams nabs shot put title

Members of the state championship Beamer 4x100 relay team, from left to right, Duran Ward, Anthony Hogan, Dominique Maxie and Travis Koch, celebrate after winning their second straight title in the event Saturday at the Class 4A State Track and Field Championships in Tacoma.  - Casey Olson/The Mirror
Members of the state championship Beamer 4x100 relay team, from left to right, Duran Ward, Anthony Hogan, Dominique Maxie and Travis Koch, celebrate after winning their second straight title in the event Saturday at the Class 4A State Track and Field Championships in Tacoma.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

Saturday was a pretty good day for Todd Beamer senior Duran Ward.

Not only did Ward burn up the track at Mount Tahoma High School during the Class 4A Track and Field Meet, winning three state championships. But he also got to show off all his gold medals at Beamer’s prom Saturday night.

Ward brought home state championships in the boys 100- and 200-meter races and also ran the second leg on the Titans’ title-winning 4x100 relay team Saturday in Tacoma. The efforts helped Beamer finish in a tie for second place in the team standings with Kent-Meridian and Central Kitsap. All three teams tallied 34 points. Mead High School won the Class 4A state title with 49 points.

“Everything felt so good,” Ward said. “My mindset was just to go out and run as hard as I could. Everything worked out pretty good.”

The relay title, which also included Dominique Maxie, Travis Koch and Anthony Hogan, was Beamer’s second in as many years. Ward and Koch were also on the team that won the 4A state championship during the 2008 meet. The Beamer foursome ran a school-record time of 42.17 to edge Central Kitsap, who ran the fastest qualifying time Friday.

“I was kind of worried coming into this race because Central Kitsap ran a faster time in the prelims,” Ward said. “But we are back-to-back state champs and that feels great.”

Maxie ran the leadoff leg and handed the baton to Ward on the backstretch trailing a few teams. Ward blew by several runners before giving to Koch for the second corner.

“My mind set when I got the baton was that I had already won the 100 and I am the fastest guy out here,” Ward said. “We just wanted to be back-to-back champs.”

Ward and Koch’s legs gave Hogan a lead entering the final 100 meters and the senior held on and raised his arms while crossing the finish line.

“It was hard,” said Hogan, who ran the anchor leg for the Titans and also finished fifth in the 110 hurdles. “I ran so hard. I got the baton in my hand and shot out like a rocket.”

“All year long our slogan was ‘We’re back like we forgot something,’” said Koch, who ran the leadoff leg last year. “And we got another one this year. It feels awesome.”

The 100-meter final lived up to all the pre-race hype that usually goes along with the marquee event at the state track meet. But the race had a little more meaning in Federal Way. The two top qualifiers both happened to go to schools that are separated by three miles — Ward and Federal Way junior Trenton Pinson.

And the two didn’t disappoint.

Ward edged Pinson by two-thousandths of a second in the closest finish of the day at the state track and field meet. Ward won in a time of 10.802, compared to Pinson’s 10.804.

In fact, the two didn’t find out who won the race until more than five minutes after they crossed the finish line. The pair was ushered into a tent set up on the football field at Mount Tahoma and were shown the race’s results with 10.81 next to both runners’ names. Officials then informed Ward that he had won the race by two-thousandths of a second.

“It was amazing,” Ward said. “Everything just got better after that.”

Ward credits a lean at the finish line for his slight advantage over Pinson in the 100, which he had never used during his stellar sprint career at Beamer.

Pinson beat Ward last week to win the West Central District championship in the 100 and the two ran the fastest qualifying times during Friday’s preliminary round.

Ward, who will run next year at Boston University, added the 200-meter title later Saturday afternoon in a time of 21.79 and again, it came at the expense of Pinson. The Federal Way junior finished second to Ward in a time of 22.04.

But the Beamer titles weren’t the only state championships won at Mount Tahoma by Federal Way school district athletes. Thomas Jefferson sophomore Kayla Adams continued the Raiders’ dominance in the shot put Friday morning.

Adams took home TJ’s second Class 4A shot put title in a row with a winning throw of 41 feet, 1 inch to edge Bethel’s Jackie Brown by one inch. Brown’s best throw went 41-0.

Adams’ shot put title comes on the heels of Sofia Malamura’s state championship in the shot put at last year’s state meet. Adams finished seventh in 2008, but was the class of the 4A division this year. Adams led the state for most of the season with a throw of 42-1 3/4.

Adams also finished up in fourth place in the girls discus with a toss of 119-9. Battle Ground’s Gabi Dixson won the state title at 135-4.

In other action at the Class 4A State Track and Field Meet:

• Federal Way senior Andre Barrington proved to be one of the best athletes in the state. In his final competition of his stellar prep sports career, Barrington finished sixth in the long jump (22-11 1/4) and third in the triple jump (47-2 3/4). Barrington was also a starting forward on the Eagles’ state championship basketball team and will play football next season at Washington State University after leading Federal Way into the state playoffs for the first time since 1976 as a running back/linebacker.

• Eagle senior Andru Pulu finished 11th in the discus (145-4) and 10th in the shot put (51-5 1/4). Pulu has already signed a national letter of intent to play linebacker at the University of Washington in the fall.

• Federal Way junior Robert Shelby finished fifth in the 300 hurdles in a time of 39.55.

• Jefferson senior Wylie Johnson was eighth in the pole vault with a leap of 13-0. Teammate Jonathan Volland finished 10th, also with a leap of 13-0.

• Beamer junior Taylor Kartes finished in eighth place in the girls 800-meter run Saturday in a time of 2:22.95.

• Federal Way senior Jacqie Evenson finished eighth in the 300 hurdles in a time of 47.0.

• The Eagles’ girls 4x100 relay team finished sixth in the finals Saturday in a time of 49.24 and fourth in the 4x200 relay (1:42.90).

• Federal Way’s Jaleecia Roland finished 11th in the high jump (5-0) and in a tie for 10th in the triple jump (35-2 1/4).

• Jefferson junior Kendra Ansotigue ended up eighth in the girls javelin with a throw of 122-2.

• Decatur wheelchair athlete Kyle Ralphs finished fourth in the 100 (23.20), fifth in the 200 (48.16) and third in the 400 (1:49.18).

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