They were skinny boys, long and lanky, still growing into their bodies.
Both were runners: Ben Skagen, 18, favored long-distance races. Andrew Lusink, 16, was the soccer player, the reason Federal Ways Christian Faith School started its soccer team two years ago.
Both left too soon.
Skagen and Lusink died Sunday while hiking outside North Bend, according to the King County Sheriffs Office. Along with two other boys, including Andrews older brother, they were hiking near Otter Falls. Skagen and Lusink climbed a rock near the falls and lost their footing. They fell 100 feet.
One of the boys stayed with his injured friends. Andrews brother ran five miles until he found two hikers to help. The hikers tried to perform CPR on the injured teens and built a fire to keep them warm. The boy ran farther down the trail until he found a U.S. Forest Service employee who called 911.
The sheriffs search and rescue team sent a helicopter, but it was too late. The injured teens had died by the time rescuers arrived.
Monday, school leaders and students struggled to cope with the loss. A handmade banner at the schools entrance filled with messages from fellow students.
One promised to score a goal and get an A in geometry.
Andrew, one student wrote. I will miss you and love you more than anything. Thank you for being who you are. I will strive to be more like you.
Another wrote to Skagen, the distance runner.
Ben, thanks for cheering me on during track and making me laugh see you in heaven.
Another told the boys to save some bacon in heaven. They were known for devouring bacon in any form: chocolate-covered, bacon ice cream and bacon-flavored soda, said Stephanie Pond, the schools athletic director.
The school is small 250 students from kindergarten through 12th grade, said principal Tom Puddy. Among the high-schoolers, those who knew the lost boys best, the class from grade 9 through 12 totals 85 students.
Skagen graduated in June, Puddy said. Hed been planning to join the Marines. Lusink had started his junior year. The school soccer team played its first game Saturday and won. Lusink scored a goal.
Puddy heard the news Sunday evening, he said. He stayed on the phone past midnight and spent two hours talking to students Monday morning.
They were great friends, Puddy said of the teens. Theyd grown up together, hiked together. Full of dreams, full of hopes, loved the outdoors, loved God.
Puddy said he didnt know whether a memorial service had been planned yet. The schools Facebook page included numerous comments from friends of the two families and noted that donations could be sent to any Wells Fargo bank branch in the name of the Skagen or Lusink families.
While draped in sorrow, Puddy said school leaders and friends were trying to find hope and to comfort children young and old.
Were crying, but were rejoicing, he said. We teach hope. Dont hold back from giving them hugs.
One student wrote a note on the banner in Spanish.
Te quiero y te extrano Andres y Ben. Relajarse en el cielo mientras espera para el resto de nosotros.
Translated, it said this:
I love you and miss you Andrew and Ben. Relax in the sky while waiting for the rest of us.