While the Federal Way boys track and field team racked up 175 points to win the Bill Harris Invitational Saturday, Mason Sallee and Marcus Tate focused on a different contest — the one between the two of them in the triple jump.
After Sallee’s second attempt, the two juniors chirped back and forth.
“Are you on?” Tate asked.
“Yeah,” Sallee replied.
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Tate prodded for Sallee’s distance.
“Don’t worry about it,” Sallee quipped back.
Sallee — who finished fifth in the event at the Class 4A state tournament last year and is undefeated so far this season — took first with a jump of 43 feet, 3 inches. Tate jumped 42 feet, 1 inch on his final attempt. Not quite enough.
“I tell him every week, ‘I’m going to try and beat you. That’s my one goal for the season is to beat you,’ ” Tate said. “He makes me better and I try to make him better.”
The friendly rivalry seems constructive, as the two have finished first and second in the event during the Eagles’ past four outings.
“It definitely helps out the team because we just go one-two all the time,” Sallee said. “Even though he may not win, it still benefits the team getting those points.”
The one-two punch added 18 to Federal Way’s score Saturday. The boys claimed seven first-place finishes, including all three relays. Kent Meridian finished a distant second with 157.5 points.
Fife senior Jonah Mathews proved the biggest obstacle for the Eagles, finishing first in the 100- and 200-meters. Mathews dusted the rest of the field in the 100, posting 11.03 seconds — he is currently ranked No. 2 in the state in any classification with his season-best 10.8 seconds. In the 200, he bested Federal Way’s Jason Palmer by 0.24 seconds.
“Honestly, it just kind of depends on the day,” Mathews said. “I had the better day today. Hopefully it stays that way and I stay on top.”
Fife finished fourth in the boys division with 69.5 points.
The Federal Way girls completed the meet sweep with 215.5 points. Kent Meridian took second with 157.5, and Roosevelt third with 100. The Eagles girls finished first in 12 of 19 events, including two wins from senior Jonarra Swanson in the long jump and triple jump.
Senior Mariyah Vongsaveng took first in the 100-meter hurdles — she is the two-time defending Class 4A state champion — but missed the 300-meter hurdles for a third consecutive meet after straining her right hamstring at Kent Meridian last week. Senior Jared Pulu, who competes in shotput and discus, was also absent Saturday due to discomfort in his right shoulder.
“We want to get all the injuries out now,” Vongsaveng said. “If they’re coming, get them out now, so we’ll be healthy in May, when all of the important races are here.”
Vongsaveng and Pulu are expected to compete following Federal Way’s spring break this week. The Eagles head to Eugene, Oregon, April 18 for the Oregon Relays, and resume their dual meet schedule April 22 against Decatur.