Good things come to he who waits.
Decatur sprinter Kemuel Santana has waited long enough.
The senior hasn’t once looked back since his eighth-place finish in the 400-meter race at the 2016 4A State Championships. Since that race, Santana hasn’t finished worse than second in the 100, 200 or 400 runs through four meets so far this season.
He’s on pace to represent the Golden Gators again this season at the 2017 state championships in all three sprint events. To top it all off, Santana officially committed to run track at the University of Washington Wednesday via Twitter.
Santana isn’t just winning races this year, he’s dominating the competition. In Decatur’s league meet against Thomas Jefferson, Santana beat his nearest competitor in the 100, teammate Quinton Dozier, by 52 tenths of a second. He beat Dozier in the 200 by 50 tenths of a second.
In the 400, however, Santana has really shined. In the meet against the Raiders, he smoked fellow teammate Carson Low by 1.67.
The future of the Decatur girls program may be the brightest of all, however.
Freshmen Catherine Huynh and Tyrasia Haeup-Woolfolk are proving to be the face of the program. Huynh has compiled numerous first-place finishes in the 800- and 1600-meter runs, while Haeup-Woolfolk has done the same in the hurdles, high jump and triple jump.
The track and field standard has been set by the Eagles for years, and 2017 has been no different. Federal Way has two first-place finishes through four meets this season.
As in previous years, the Eagles rely on a number of athletes. So far in 2017, KJ Ridders, Federal Way’s “Mr. Dependable,” has been just that with multiple top-three finishes in the 100 and 200. He’s gotten support from freshman phenom Anthony Frazier in the 100 and 400, hoewever. Colton Low has taken care of business for Federal Way in the distance runs, while freshman James Akinlosotu has surprised many in the field events.
Most recently, in the Eagles’ meet against Mount Rainier on April 13, freshman pole vaulter Sergio Rojas-Luna raised eyebrows on the afternoon by crushing the competition. He out-vaulted his teammate Michael Kimball by 2 feet, 6 inches with a vault of 11 feet, 6 inches.
The girls are no different. In the win over the Rams, Makiya Worthy and Bethany Ford claimed the short and distance runs by force. Josephine Akinlosotu has been an immovable object in the long and triple jumps.
She beat her teammate Zayani Duncan Graves in the long jump by a foot, and she beat Mount Rainier’s Solie Grantham in the triple jump by more than 2 feet.
Rajesh Gill and Austin Miller are pure runners, which they have demonstrated so far in 2017.
In the Jefferson Raiders win over Decatur on April 13, Gill dominated the 1600 by a minute. Miller, his close friend, won the 3200 by more than two minutes. Freshman Charles Wight is the guy to watch, however.
Wight handles both hurdles for Jefferson, and in just his third league meet of the season, Wight secured his first personal records in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. In the win over the Gators, Wight placed third in the 110 hurdles with a time of 17.70 seconds and first in the 300 with a time of 43.20 seconds.
Trevor Owens has been a top field finisher for Jefferson placing in the top two in both the shot put and discus.
The Raider girls have once again been led by team captain Jenna Appleton, who is on track to qualify for state once again this season. She’s already made an 11-foot vault, which is a state-quality vault.
She’ll possibly be joined by teammates Halli McGraw and Raisa Pleasants. Against Decatur, McGraw had top finishes in both the shot put and discus, while Pleasants led the team in the 100, 200 and long jump.
Claire Hansen is once again a top name for Beamer track. She carried the weight in 2016 as the Titans’ lone female representative at the state championships. Through five meets this season, Hansen has top finishes in each.
Madison Heck has also collected a number of top finishes in the hurdles in just her freshman season.
Senior runner Malik Malutama has been a staple for the boys, along with AJ Chopra in the short and distance runs. Both collected a number of top finishes in the Titans’ league win over Enumclaw on April 13.
Andrew Haver is rapidly becoming Beamer’s sprinter to watch. He had his breakout performance in the win over the Hornetsm as well. He was just edged out of the top position in the 100 dash by teammate Leontre Griffin by a few tenths of a second. He soundly took the top spot in the 200, though, beating out teammate Avonte Yarbrough.