Two Federal Way jumpers win state championships on opening day of 4A meet
Federal Way High School got a jump start in the team races on the first day of the Class 4A track and field state championships Thursday at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma.
Two jumping events were on the 4A schedule on the opening day of the meet, and both ended with Federal Way standouts climbing to the top of the podium.
Eagles senior Jaylon Jenkins won the 4A boys high jump to conclude the afternoon field events session, and Federal Way junior Cassandra Atkins repeated as the 4A girls triple jump champion later in the evening.
“It’s awesome,” Atkins said. “I like that it puts us on the map as the jump school.”
Jenkins entered the meet as the overall state leader in the high jump after jumping a personal-best 6 feet, 10 inches to win last weekend’s 4A West Central District title.
He entered the competition at 6-2, cleared that height on his second attempt, 6-4 on his third and 6-6 on his second.
Kennedy Catholic sophomore Geron White — who jumped a personal-best 6-8 in April, which is tied for the second-best jump statewide this spring — was the only other jumper in the competition to also clear 6-4 and 6-6.
Jenkins and White both attempted 6-8 on Thursday, and Jenkins eventually won the championship, clearing the bar on his third and final attempt.
“I like the pressure,” Jenkins said. “I feel like it just gives me a boost of energy to get over (the bar).”
White and Eagles teammate Julian Gene Fortin — who tied with Eastmont’s Eamon Monahan for third at 6-2, also adding to Federal Way’s team points tally — rushed over to congratulate Jenkins following the winning jump.
“It’s cool just to compete against your friends,” Jenkins said. “It really just calms the nerves and stuff because you know that’s your guy.”
The two podium finishers in the high jump give the Eagles an early lead in the 4A boys team race with 15.5 points after the opening day of competition.
Federal Way was leading the team standings until the 4x400 relay — the final event of the meet — but Lake Stevens ran away with a win in the race, and the points awarded lifted the program to a 58-51 victory over the Eagles.
The Eagles will have several more opportunities to add to Thursday’s total as the meet continues on.
“It just really motivates me to win even more, because helping my team win is the biggest goal,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins, an Eastern Washington football signee, is also the top-ranked triple jumper in 4A this spring (47-4 1/4), and is set to compete in that event Friday morning. Eagles senior Roman Hutchinson (47-2) and Fortin (47-0) rank second and third in the classification this season.
Hutchinson is the top-ranked long jumper statewide this season (24-3), while Oregon State football signee Andre Jordan ranks third in 4A (23-2 1/4) and Jenkins fifth (22-9). That final is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Federal Way also has several more entries in preliminary races on the track Friday.
Atkins picked up an early 10 points for Federal Way’s girls program in the 4A team race with the repeat title in the triple jump.
She was the only competitor in the field to surpass 40 feet, and cleared that distance on three of her six attempts. The winning jump was her second during her preliminary flight at 40-8 1/2.
Atkins is the statewide leader in the event this spring, and her personal-best jump of 41-2 1/2 at the 4A North Puget Sound League championships earlier this month ranks 12th in the nation this season.
Atkins is also the statewide leader in the long jump (20-0 3/4, which ranks 20th in the nation), and is set to compete in that event Saturday morning.
She also runs a leg of the Eagles’ top-ranked 4x100 relay (48.41 seconds) and is in the field in the 200.
Federal Way’s girls program just missed the podium last spring, finishing fifth, one point behind fourth-place Redmond. The Eagles are currently in fourth after the first day of competition.
Only three of 17 events have been scored in the boys team standings, and three of 18 events in the girls team races, but several programs have reached double digits scoring after Thursday.
Federal Way leads the 4A boys race (15.5 points), while Yelm leads 3A (18) and Sehome, Prosser, West Valley of Spokane and Tumwater all have 10 points in 2A.
Skyline (18) is the 4A girls team leader, while Spanaway Lake (15) leads the way in 3A and Bellingham in 2A (16).
Three athletes successfully defended their state championship wins from last spring on Thursday’s opening day.
Atkins won the 4A girls triple jump for a second consecutive season, Yelm senior Trevontay Smith repeated as 3A boys triple jump champion (meet-record 50-4 1/2) and Bellingham junior Chayse Flick-Williams won a second 2A girls long jump title (17-7).