Tyson Penn’s two titles help Federal Way build lead at state track meet

Staff writerMay 30, 2014 

Federal Way High School’s Tyson Penn sat on a bench and covered his face with his hands.

He had just won his second consecutive 4A state high jump title, beating Eastmont’s Killian McGinnis with a mark of 6-feet, 9 inches. But his goal the entire year was to match the sophomore state record of 7-feet set by Terry Ellis of Pateros in 1977 and Curtis’ Rahmel Dockery in 2009.

Penn failed on three tries to clear 6-11 after beating McGinnis at 6-9.

“Just the fact my friends and family were all here, I had a lot of support and I think that is why I’m so hard on myself,” Penn said. “I had a lot of people here who wanted to see me hit 7-feet and I didn’t.”

He still left the day with two state titles after also taking the triple-jump with a mark of 49-02, beating teammate and defending state champion Keenan Curran who set a personal record at 47-11¾ and placed third.

And Penn still claimed a state sophomore record – doing so in the triple jump by beating his previous record of 48-8½

Federal Way ended Friday in a commanding position to defend its boys title with 46 points to Mead’s 24 and South Kitsap’s 15. Penn and Curran combined for 26 points Friday.

Curran wasn’t as bummed to lose out on defending his triple-jump title.

“I knew the whole time he had this talent in him,” Curran said. “We were at the state championships last year, he won, I won, and we got together with some friends that night, I was debating not doing track this year and I told him, ‘Hey, you should do triple jump.’

“I taught him a little bit how to do it the night after we won state. I feel like it’s an honor to jump with one of the eventual best jumpers maybe the state will ever see.”

The Federal Way girls are just where they were at the end of last season – holding a one-point lead for first place. The Eagles beat Curtis for the 4A girls title by one point last season and lead Arlington 24-23 heading into Saturday.

Federal Way is hoping to become just the second 4A program to win both the boys and girls team titles in back-to-back seasons since Garfield did in 1984-85. It would be the third in Washington Interscholastic Activities Association history to do so (Mount Rainier Lutheran won 1B team titles in 2010-11).

The Federal Way girls will have plenty of opportunities for points Saturday, including a potential 20 individually from sprinter Hannah Cunliffe.

She earned the top times in both the 100 and 200 in Friday’s preliminaries, setting what would have been state-meet records in both had they not been wind-aided. She finished the 100 in 11.41 seconds (Lake Washington’s Danielle Marshall set the meet record of 11.61 in 1992) and finished the 200 in 23.89 (Franklin Pierce’s Germe Poston set the meet record of 24.05 in 2009).

“It’s really exciting, but I just wish the wind wasn’t as heavy as it is so those would count,” Cunliffe said. “But I can’t change that. Hopefully I can break some records tomorrow.”

But Federal Way teammate Mariyah Vongsaveng might have issued the upset of the day – in an event she won the title in last season.

She bolted past Emerald Ridge’s ShaRaya Quinn in the 100 meter hurdles for first place in 14.24 seconds. Quinn entered as the favorite with the top times in the state in both the 100 and 300 hurdles for most of the season.

“I was a little disappointed afterward,” Quinn said. “I could feel it, it sunk in – this was my last chance to win state (in the 100 hurdles). But just being able to run against some of the best is a great opportunity."

3A NOTES

The Kamiakin girls have more than double the points of second place Holy Names Academy and Mountlake Terrace. It has 51 points to Holy Names and Mountlake Terrace’s 24.

Prairie leads 3A boys with 25 points to Mount Spokane’s 24 and Bellevue’s 22.

Washington State football commit Austin Joyner of Marysville-Pilchuck won the 3A long jump title with a mark of 23-05½ to edge Bellevue’s Budda Baker (a UW football commit) and Lincoln’s Ahmaad Rorie (Oregon basketball commit).

Enumclaw’s Maria Blad won the girls 100 hurdles title in 14.83.

2A NOTES

Tumwater leads the girls side with 27 points to Squalicum’s 24 after Brooke Feldemeier beat Steilacoom’s Amanda Jaynes for the 100 hurdles title and Peyton Russell beat Clover Park’s Zykera Rice for the triple-jump title.

Lakewood leads the 2A boys with 23 points to Sehome and Capital’s 21. Orting’s Jaysen Yoro won the boys high-jump title at 6-8.

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
t.cotterill@thenewstribune.com
@TJCotterill44

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