For the first time since 2016, the Federal Way Eagles boys track team is crowned champions of the state in 4A.
The girls team finished in third place and stayed inside the Top 5 in back-to-back years, improving on 27th place back in 2019.
The key to success for the Eagles was their jumpers. Federal Way entered in five jumping events, boys and girls long jump, boys and girls triple jump, and boys high jump. In all five of those events, a representative in blue and white was on the podium.
That impressed jump coach Kyler Randall. “That’s just unheard of. I don’t know if that’s ever happened or if it will ever happen again. We’re so proud of the way they performed on this stage,” he said.
Roman Hutchinson and Cassandra Atkins both won the long and triple jump for boys and girls. In the boys triple jump, Federal Way swept the first three positions. Hutchinson came in first, followed by Jaylon Jenkins and then Julien Gene Fortin. “It feels good to come out and compete with my brothers. We’ve been jumping since freshman year together,” Gene Fortin said.
Jenkins and Gene Fortin also competed in the high jump, an event that Jenkins won and Julien tied for third in. “We really support each other, get each other hype for our jumps and just have fun competing, it’s friendly competition,” Jenkins said.
Hutchinson and Atkins won the long jump and even jumped well in pressure-packed moments. Hutchinson scratched his first two preliminary jumps but then found a way to get it done on his third. “Everybody competed to the max of their ability and showed out on the biggest stage,” Randall said.
Another standout athlete was Andre Jordan who, besides Atkins, competed in the most events at state.
He ran the 100M, 200M, 4X100M relay, and the long jump all for Top 8 finishes. The biggest event for Jordan, taking third in the 100M dash after having the last qualifying time. During the final jumps of the long jump, Jordan went first because he was needed for the 200M dash final.
“He ended up third in the 100, which wasn’t predicted. It wasn’t predicted for him to make the 200 final, he did. He made some big jumps and really handled his business … It’s great for him to be out here and he’s an amazing athlete,” Randall said.
When Jordan finished fifth in the 200M, he clinched Federal Way’s state title. He said he has a special connection with his teammates. “We’re brothers. We’re more than friends, we’re brothers. We do everything together,” Jordan said.
The Eagles also had points scored by Soukhanya Waters (100M, 200M), Sam Wah (110M hurdles), Alex Thatch (800M), Sonya Faamalele (Shot put).
At the 3A level, Todd Beamer junior Jahlil Loyd finished his first year of track at the state tournament. The soon-to-be senior qualified for the high jump and placed tied for third. “It felt great. It was my first time ever touching a track so I’m blessed,” Loyd said.
Candace Nyhe also placed for Todd Beamer. She raced in both hurdle events on the girls side. Nyhe placed third in the 100M hurdles and seventh in the 300M hurdles, sitting Todd Beamer girls at 31st in state.