Skyline relay teams power girls to another track title
May 26, 2009
By Bob Taylor
Kasen Williams wins three individual titles
The Skyline High School girls track team used an old formula again May 23 to capture the 4A Sea-King District championship — the relays.
Skyline won two relays, and that helped spark the Spartans to a fifth district title at the Southwest Athletic Complex in Seattle.
Skyline finished with 80.5 points to beat out Inglemoor and rival Issaquah. Inglemoor finished second with 73 points and Issaquah was third with 71.
The Skyline boys team, led by Kasen Williams, had a strong showing, too. The Spartans finished second with 73 points, just getting edged by Inglemoor, which had 75.5 points.
In the 3A District meet, also held at Southwest Athletic Complex, the Liberty boys team finished fourth but had two district champions.
Now, local athletes hone their skills for the state meet, which runs May 28-30 at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma. This will be the first time in seven years the 3A and 4A championships will be on the west side of the state instead of in Pasco.Skyline coach Dawn Geiser said she wasn’t sure the Spartans would have enough depth this year to challenge team titles. However, two weeks ago, Skyline won an eighth KingCo Conference championship, and another district crown May 16.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Geiser said about this year’s titles. “The girls are extremely proud of what they have accomplished this year.”
The Skyline girls team had just one individual champion — Shealee O’Donnell, who won the 200 meters. However, the Spartans don’t fret about not having individual champions. When Skyline’s girls won the state championship in 2007, it was the relays that carried the Spartans. In the district meet with Greater St. Helens League teams, Skyline captured the 400 and 800 relays.
The 400 relay of Kiara Williams, O’Donnell, Kaylyn Berry and Rachael Butenko finished first in 48.67 with Issaquah close behind in second. The Eagles team of Kim Varney, Haley Jacobson, Elaine Tran and Johanna Carr finished in 49.92.
Skyline’s 800 relay of Michelle Bretl, Berry, Danielle Matthews and O’Donnell won in a school-record time of 1:41.81, breaking the time of the 2007 state champion relay.
“Our relays are like the Energizer Bunny — they just keep going and going,” Geiser said.
Issaquah took second. The Eagles’ team of Carr, Kaley Allison, Varney and Jacobson finished in a school-record time of 1:42.41.
Berry, in addition to being a key runner on the relays, placed second in the long jump, going 17 feet.
“She has been so solid for us the last four years in the relays and her long jump has really turned the corner. She is pretty confident going into state,” Geiser said.
Carr, Issaquah’s lone district champion, won the 100 in 12.13 with O’Donnell second in 12.18. The two reversed places in the 200, won by O’Donnell in 24.92 and Carr second in 25.03. Jacobson was third in both races.
In the boys meet, Skyline’s Kasen Williams, son of former University of Washington football star Aaron Williams, won three events and ran as a member of the Spartans’ victorious 400 relay team.
In 1977, Aaron Williams became the first high-school athlete in state history to triple jump 50 feet. On May 23, Kasen Williams won the triple jump by going 46-5.50. He ran the second leg of the 400 relay that also included Alex Lee, Tommy Aarts and Dustin Bratten. The relay took first in 43.19. On May 22, Kasen Williams won the high jump (6-4) and long jump (22-1.75).
Lee won the 100 in 10.87 and was fourth in the 200 in 22.54. Skyline’s Simon Sorensen took second in the 800 in 1:56.40, finishing behind Bothell’s Trey Parry, who won the race in 1:55.66. Kyle Branch, of Skyline, finished fourth in the 3,200 in 9:43.19.
The Issaquah boys team had a third-place finish in the 400 relay. The Eagles also picked up a third from Dillon Reagan in the shot put. Reagan tossed the shot 50-3.25. Ryan Tiernan was fourth in the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles.
The top four finishers in each event in the 4A meets advanced to state.
Liberty qualifies 13
The 3A district meet was held May 20 and May 22 at the Southwest Athletic Complex. Liberty had two district champions the first day — Eric Bice and Chandler Jenkins.
Bice won the 1,600 in 4:17.18, breaking his school record by five seconds. Jenkins captured the triple jump, going 43-7, beating his previous best effort by 2 1/2 feet.
On May 22, Liberty’s 1,600 relay of Bice, Devin Bennett, Troy Solly and Mitchell Byron finished first in 3:27.58.
Other notable performances for Liberty came from Joshua Gordon, Peter Stacy, Jenkins and Byron. Gordon was third in the high jump, Jenkins third in the long jump, Byron third in the 400 and Stacy third in the javelin. Stacy had a personal-best throw of 169-7 in the javelin.
In the girls meet, Liberty’s Kelsey Werre qualified for state in four events. Werre was third in the 100 and second in the 200 with a school-record time of 25.36. She also ran as a member of the 800 relay team, which was fourth, and the 1,600 relay, which was second.
Liberty’s Hannah Robbins was second in the pole vault and teammate Krista Lockhart placed fourth.