Going into the discus competition at the Class 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district track and field meet, Albert Havili knew he’d probably have to uncork his best throw of the season to win.
Even so, Havili wasn’t sure his best would be good enough to beat Mount Tahoma High’s Phoung Truong on Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium. Truong entered as the top seed with a throw that had traveled nearly 12 feet farther than Havili’s best.
“I came in as the second seed and knew I’d have to PR to have a chance to win,” Havili said.
On his first throw of the finals, the Federal Way High junior surprised even himself, launching the discus 178 feet, 7 inches – 11 feet better than his best mark this season.
“It felt pretty good when I let go of it,” Havili said. “I was just hoping to hit 170 today. Now I want to go 180.”
Havili will get a chance to be the third Washington athlete to crack 180 feet this spring at the state meet next week.
And Truong, who won the shot put Friday, will be there, too, trying to get back at Havili.
The discus wasn’t the only bi-district finals event that provided a sneak peek at intriguing state-meet storylines.
The Gig Harbor and Federal Way boys teams battled throughout the two-day meet, but the distance-runner heavy Tides beat the sprinter-led Eagles, 105-91, for the boys bi-district team title.
Four Gig Harbor runners placed among the top seven in the 1,600 meters, which was won by Auburn Riverside’s Korey Krotzer in 4 minutes, 19.39 seconds.
The Tides also clipped the Eagles in the 4x100 relay, an event Federal Way has dominated at the bi-district meet in recent years. Gig Harbor’s team of Garret Steuk, Justin Browne, Bryan Larson and Lucas Strong clocked the state’s fastest time this season, winning in a school-record 42.23.
Browne added the 100-meter title, winning in 10.93, while Federal Way’s Ezekial McNeal finished second. Browne also took second in the long jump, which was won by the Eagles’ Michael Tate.
Tate also won the 200, while teammates McNeal (second) and Kerson Lubin (fifth) also placed.
The girls meet featured an even tighter finish.
Auburn Riverside finished with 68 points, edging Curtis (67) and Kentwood (66) for the bi-district crown.
Brandi Williams and Rachael O’Neil paced the Ravens. Williams won the long jump (18-101/2) and placed third in the 100 and 200, and O’Neil was first in the 100 hurdles (14.77).
Curtis’ Kennadi Bouyer again stole the spotlight in the sprints.
The junior dazzled in the 100, posting a sizzling time of 11.98 seconds – the only sub-12-second mark run on Washington soil this season – and won the 200 in 25.18.
“I really wanted to go under 12 seconds in Washington,” said Bouyer, who clocked 11.84 in April at a meet in California.
“The weather kind of warmed up, maybe that helped.”
AROUND THE TRACK
The Federal Way and Curtis girls 4x100 relay teams posted the fastest times in 4A when the Eagles nosed out the Vikings. Federal Way won in 48.66 and Curtis clocked 48.68. ... Bellarmine Prep’s Hannah Derby sliced nearly a second off her 4A-leading time in the 400, winning in 56.55. Derby also anchored the Lions’ state-leading 4x400 relay, which won in 3:58.10. .. Emerald Ridge sophomore ShaRaya Quinn won the 300 hurdles in 45.81. ... Curtis’s Dakarai Hightower, the state leader in the high jump, won with a leap of 6-8. ... Union’s Tanner Sork won the boys 400 and 800. ... Mount Rainier’s Jordan McPhee added the 1,600 title to the 3,200 crown she won Friday. ... Freshmen Alexis Fuller of Union and Bellarmine Prep’s Miranda Ross placed 1-2 in the girls 800.