Marcus Eubanks has passed this way before.
Federal Way’s senior sprinter and hurdler is peaking at the right hour as he pursues a return trip to the state track and field championships May 23-25 at Tacoma’s Mount Tahoma High School.
To get there, Eubanks must finish among the top seven at this week’s West Central/Southwest District showdown at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium.
Eubanks was at his best at the North Puget Sound League finals at Auburn Memorial Stadium on May 9-10. He set a personal-best time of 38.96 seconds to capture the 300-meter hurdles. He finished second to Decatur’s Andres Diangco (14.91) in the 110 hurdles with a 14.97, another personal record, and settled for second with a PR of 22.08 in the 200 dash behind Auburn Mountainview’s Chris Penn (22.02).
The iron man also anchored the Eagles to second in the 400 relay, joining Alphonso Williams, Anthony Frazier and Isaiah Davis to stop the clock at 42.95. Eubanks and Frazier were part of the Eagles’ 4A state champion sprint relay effort last year, posting a school-record 41.9 seconds.
“I felt confident during the race. I felt good,” a smiling Eubanks said after breezing to victory in the intermediate hurdles on Thursday, May 9. The time is the fourth best in the entire state this season. “I felt powerful, even though we had a headwind slash tailwind. [Despite] the headwind on the first 100 meters, I still felt powerful. It didn’t affect me much.”
Eubanks is stronger, more confident to handle the grind to state this spring.
“Been there before,” he said. “This year there are more expectations. Last year being my first year going to state there were no expectations because who knows what can happen. But now, I have expectations. I have to be faster than I was last year, and that’s what’s pushing me to be great.”
Frazier, a state-class sprinter with the 4A’s top-ranked time of 10.74 set earlier this season, claimed the 100 dash in 10.8. He later anchored the Eagles’ 1,600 relay to fifth (3:30.46). The foursome included Williams, Davis and Colton Low.
Frazier wound up fourth in the 200 (22.19). Low added a fourth in the 800 (2:00.79, PR).
In the triple jump, the Eagles’ James Akinlosotu (46 feet, 5 inches, PR) and Josiah Fortin (42-1¼) finished second and fourth, respectively.
For Decatur, Daniel Hylton settled for fourth in the high jump (5-10) and Christopher Santana-Suarez took fourth in the 100 (11.01).
For Todd Beamer, sophomore Austin Steed grabbed fourth in the 3,200 (9:46.79, PR).
Todd Beamer’s Madison Heck delivered a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles (14.71) and was part of the 800 relay that came in fourth (1:45,34). The relay included Dallas Wright, Kemarra Hardwell and Kinidy Dayley.
Titans sophomore Lisa Safley was third in the 800 (2:30.84) and Fionnuala Ivey took fourth in the triple jump (34-11¾).
The Eagles, meanwhile, had two relay teams with solid finishes. Veronica Black, Esther Brutus, Anisha Greene and Makiya Worthy combined for a 1:43.36 to finish second in the 800 relay and joined forces to finish fourth in the 400 relay (48.86).
Brutus was third in the 400 with a season-best 45.78.
The district meet is Thursday and Saturday at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium. Field events begin 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Running events begin at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 1 p.m. Saturday.