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TJ's Adams snags two district track and field titles; state meet up next
Thomas Jefferson High School junior Kayla Adams has already proven she is the best Class 4A shot putter in Washington. Last year, as a sophomore, Adams won the state championship in the event.
Adams hopes to add a state discus championship to her resume and took the first step Saturday by winning the West Central District title in the event at Mount Tahoma High School. Adams outdistanced Kentwood's Alyx Toeaina with a personal-best throw of 133 feet, 1 inch. Adams also won the district shot put crown Friday with a throw of 43-0.
Adams will lead a group of 14 individuals from the Federal Way school district to the Class 4A State Track and Field Championships Thursday through Saturday at Mount Tahoma. The top-six finishers from each event at West Central Districts qualified for the state meet.
The Federal Way boys track and field team will be sending four individuals and a relay team to state to state and won four West Central District championships Saturday. The Eagles' Jaleecia Roland also snared the girls district high jump with a leap of 5-4 and finished third in the triple jump (36-0).
But it was a disqualification that was the talk of the meet. The Eagles' state-leading 4x100 relay team of Ezekiel McNeal, Trenton Pinson, Robert Shelby and Maurice McNeal appeared to post a heat-winning time of 41.92, which was the fastest in Washington this season. But a judge ruled that Pinson stepped into another lane during the heat Friday.
The disqualification not only cost the Eagles a shot at a state championship, but also cost Federal Way the outright West Central District team title. The Eagles tied with Kent-Meridian for the district championship. Both finished with 66 total points.
The foursome, however, did get their revenge at the district meet, winning the 4x400 relay in a state-best time of 3:20.39 and also qualified for state in four other individual events.
Pinson won the 100-meter district title in a time of 11.02 and also finished fourth in the 200. Maurice McNeal outkicked his freshman brother, Ezekiel, to win the 400-meter title (48.78) and finished second in the 200 (22.25).
Shelby also took home a West Central District championship in the 300 hurdles. The senior outleaned Emerald Ridge's Cory Okazaki in a time of 38.31.
The Thomas Jefferson boys will also be sending four individuals, along with their 4x100 relay team. Leading the list will be seniors Michael Sallee and Scott Sanford. The pair both qualified in two individual events and also ran on the Raiders' sixth-place finish in the relay.
Sallee finished in fourth place in the long jump with a leap of 20-0 1/2 and was sixth in the triple jump (42-9). Sallee also won the first leg on the Raider relay team.
Sanford was equally impressive, finishing fifth in the triple jump (42-10 3/4), third in the 300-meter hurdles (39.01) and ran the second leg on the relay team, which also included Aaron Jeong and Jaden Sand.
The pair will be joined at state by teammates Chase Braxmeyer and Matt Barner. Braxmeyer, a junior, finished an impressive second in the 3,200 behind Central Kitsap's Shane Moskowitz. Braxmeyer ran a 9:25.41, three seconds behind Moskowitz.
Barner ended up fourth in the pole vault with a leap of 12-6. Kent-Meridian's Nick Lemmon won the event at 13-6.
On the girls' side, TJ's Lindsey Dahl will compete in an impressive three events at state. The sophomore finished third in the javelin (122-9), second in the triple jump (36-0 3/4) and was fifth in the 300 hurdles (47.10).
Also qualifying for state were Federal Way freshman Majerae Gates, who finished second in the 100 (12.55), TJ's Kendra Ansotigue, who finished fourth in the javelin (117-0) and Federal Way's Jasmine Johnson finished second in the 800 (2:16.14).
The Federal Way and Beamer 4x100 relay teams will also run next weekend in Tacoma. The Eagles finished second to Tahoma in 49.02 and the Titans were sixth in 50.10.