The Federal Way Eagles track and field team competed against Auburn Riverside in a dual meet March 23 at Riverside.
“Track doesn’t get a lot of love or a lot of hype. But they (Eagles track team) bring the fun out and go out and do their thing, which is awesome to see,” said Federal Way jump co-coach Kyler Randall.
Of the 14 events on the boys side, the Federal Way boys were first place finishers in 10 of them. Of the four field events, Federal Way was on top in three of them. Federal Way cruised to top finishes in six of the nine races on the track for the boys.
The girls also won six races including four individuals and two relays. In the throws and jumps, the Eagles won three out of five events.
Federal Way’s best finishers were Andre Jordan, who won the boys 100, 200 and was the anchor leg to the 4×100 relay race. Jordan also achieved a season record for himself on the long jump, placing in second.
Mekaio Edward was another Eagle who performed well in the dual against the Ravens. As a thrower only competing in two events, he walked away in first place in both the discus and shot put. Sonya Faamalele won both her throwing events with the farthest throws in the discus and shot put. Jazlyn Jones also won the pole vault event reaching 9.06 feet.
On the girls side, not a single Eagle won two events over the afternoon. However, 22 Eagle athletes achieved personal records throughout all 14 events. An Eagle standout runner was Karli Baker, who ran the 400 meter dash, finishing in first place and recording a personal best.
Federal Way had an extremely successful track season last year. The Eagle girls finished fifth at the state tournament a year ago and the boys came in second place seven points behind Lake Stevens.
“These kids are working hard all year round … There are tons of talented kids and have been working really hard,” Randall said.
Of the returning state competitors to Federal Way, five of six are jumpers.
“They feed off of each other…We have such a crew of jumpers,” Coach Randall said.
All of those jumpers finished inside the top 10. The lone champion was Cassandra Atkins, who took home first place in the triple jump. Atkins competed in the 100 and the 4×100 relay, winning both of those races.
“It’s very hard to compete in conditions like these … I just don’t stop moving to keep warm,” Atkins said.
For Atkins to repeat her success at state, her goal is simple: “I’m stayin’ in the gym, working on my phases of the triple jump,” she said.
Roman Hutchinson finished fifth in the 100 and 200 meter races while also competing in two relays, and was the only triple jumper last Thursday. Hutchinson finished fourth in the long jump and triple jump in state last year; his jump at Auburn Riverside would have placed him tied for sixth if that measurement were inserted into last year’s finals.
“We just have to work even harder. Don’t take days off. Even if it’s not the best conditions, we have to go and put the work in,” Hutchinson said. “It’s also important for us to stay healthy, not trying to burn out.”
He even had to fight through the elements with high winds and a downpour of rain.
“It’s very difficult to perform in conditions like these. It’s hard to stay warm, and may be slippery which creates a mental block,” he said.
To get over this challenge, it comes down to preparation and confidence,.
“I do a lot of warm-ups and actions I would do when I do jump, and tell myself I’m comfortable,” Hutchinson said.
If the Eagles team wants to repeat their successes, it comes down to health.
“They just have to stay healthy, keep working and peak at the right time,” Randall said.
The Eagles’ next meet is at Mt. Tahoma High School on April 1 for the Mt. Tahoma Track Festival.