If you’ve spotted a few high-arcing saucers and spears filling the air in east Pierce County, chances are you’ve seen the work of three standout high school throwers.
A trio of state contenders.
Bonney Lake High School’s Dreakeanna “Kiki” Adair is already a state champion. She won the Class 3A girls discus title last spring at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
Joining her in the Panthers’ stable is a newcomer with vast credentials — Kiana Schwendeman, who won a state discus championship last spring in Utah.
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Across town is Sumner’s Rhaven Dean, who missed out on winning the 3A state girls javelin title, finishing second to Lynnwood’s Mikayla Pivec. She was also fourth in the discus behind Adair.
“We have really good throwers in our (Sumner School District),” Adair said. “I am a good friend with both of them. Because they are so good, it pushes me to do my best to compete. I do not see it as a rivalry.”
In terms of pure power, Adair is the best of the three athletes. She throws the shot put and discus — an event she threw 133 feet, 9 inches to win the 3A title a year ago.
Adair did not even start participating in track and field full-time until her freshman season in 2015 — and had a lead-by-example role model in Samantha Boudreau, who graduated last spring after winning the 3A girls shot put crown.
“She was pretty independent, for the most part,” Adair said. “And if I was curious about something, I would ask her, and she would tell me.
“I learned a lot. But the way I am now with the younger throwers, I go to them. I know what it was like to hesitate to ask.”
One of those athletes she has befriended is Schwendeman, who moved to the area last summer after winning the discus title at Viewpoint High School with a throw of 130-3.
“I moved around a lot throughout my childhood with my dad being in the military,” Schwendeman said. “This is my fourth high school.”
In Utah, Schwendeman worked with Zach and Nicole Lloyd, who both threw discus for the University of Arizona. In fact, because she is so driven to perfect her technique, she still sends the married couple video of her practices for analysis.
“Right now, Kiki is a little ahead of her,” Bonney Lake throws coach Jason Silbaugh said. “The difference between the two is that Kijana is a very smooth thrower, and Kiki is powerful. I mean, Kiki is also a foot taller than her.”
Schwendeman could have easily ended up at Sumner, which is her father’s alma mater. But the family bought a house closer to Bonney Lake, so she became Adair’s training partner.
“It has been good pushing each other,” Schwendeman said. “Anyway, I am in it to win it.”
None of the athletes showcase the versatility of Dean, who not only throws the shot put, discus and javelin, she is also accomplished in the high jump and long jump.
“She is a student of the sport,” Sumner girls coach Kristin Chapman said. “And she puts in a lot of hours practicing the different events. She knows her warmup in the javelin will be different than it is in the shot put. She has the right mindset to balance all of the different commitments.”
Chapman said she trains in all throwing events daily, and will come over to the jumping pit once a week to practice the other two events.
Last season, her 133-7 throw in the javelin finals was behind Pivec’s 147-0. Pivec now plays basketball at Oregon State University.
“We have not talked about (the javelin loss) too much,” Chapman said. “She is doing a good job this year focusing on one meet at a time. But I know she is also thinking end-game. She is humble and hard-working, and I would expect she is pretty motivated and driven.”
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442