High School Sports

Return to glory days? Save spot on 3A state podium for Lincoln boys track and field team

Staff photographer

Alvin Johnson just came to track and field for the fun of it.

Darien Williams said he showed up because his girlfriend wanted him to.

What they didn’t understand is that there’s a deep, proud tradition for Lincoln High School in track and field. The school’s nine boys team championships are the most in state history — and the last one came in 1977.

They didn’t know that “Lincoln Bowl has soul” was once a thing. It’s where the state championships were held from 1982-2002 before moving to Pasco for six years, then coming back to Tacoma and landing at Mount Tahoma Stadium.

Lincoln just hasn’t been as good the past 30 years as it once was.

But this year’s group has a chance to be as good as it ever was.

“I haven’t really grasped the full concept of what it would mean to be on top of that podium after this weekend,” said longtime Lincoln coach Duane Lee, a graduate of the school and former distance runner. “As an Abe, it would mean a lot to this school.

“The school hasn’t won a state championship since the 01-02 basketball titles. This is its first legitimate shot at a team title.”

Lincoln won the 3A Narrows title, then the district title. It also won the team title at the Shoreline Invitational in Seattle — commonly referred to as “state before state.”

So Lincoln certainly has a shot at ending Bellevue’s run of four consecutive 3A boys team titles this weekend.

“Last year I was just out to have fun because all of my friends did it,” said Johnson, a senior who will compete on Lincoln’s 4x400 relay team. “Just the vibe last year and the vibe this year is totally different.

“Nobody was really serious about practice. We would come here and just joke around a lot. This year we get on people for coming to practice late. We want to be out here and get better.”

Lincoln’s 4x100 relay of Williams, Tony Archie, Walker Flynn and Terrell Bromer hold the No. 1 time in 3A at 42.42 seconds they set at the district meet. Walker and Bromer combine with Johnson and Daniel Calderon-Hernandez, a transfer from Decatur, for the No. 3 4x400 relay time in 3A.

Johnson, Archie, Bromer and Williams all have top-10 triple-jump marks. And Flynn is No. 2 in the 400 (48.82)

Flynn missed state last year because of a hamstring injury before the league meet. That was after reaching state in the 200, 400 and two relays as a sophomore.

“That’s what makes this year so special for me,” Flynn said.

Lee was a junior at Lincoln when Lincoln Bowl hosted the first of 20 years of Star Track in 1982. He was standing in the top left corner of the stands as a 17-year-old that year, among what he says were 12,000 people (even though Lincoln Bowl’s capacity is about 5,000), when Wilson’s Darrell Robinson stormed his team back on the final leg to win the 4x400 relay title.

Lincoln sophomore James Mwaura just passed Lee’s personal-best 1,600 time from 1982 at 4:17.17 and trails only Brandon Fuller, the older brother of Lincoln assistant track coaches Andrew and Chris Fuller, who ran a 4:13.38 in 2000. Fuller won the 3,200 title that year — and no Lincoln distance runner has won a title since.

But Mwaura said he’s rather see the Lincoln track team as a whole get back on the map — like when it won three straight titles from 1935-37 or six from 1969-77.

Lincoln won 48 individual titles before 1990. It’s had six since.

“Back in the day Tacoma was known as Washington’s track town,” Lee said. “The tradition was great.

“My assistants, the kids — they’ve all been talking about ‘We’re going to win state.’ A lot of things have to happen for that to happen. But the school and the staff and student body have been well informed of what’s going on, so there’s a lot of excitement.”

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677

@TJCotterill

LINCOLN BOYS TEAM TITLES

1977

1974

1973

1970

1971 (three-way tie)

1969

1937

1936

1935

LINCOLN BOYS INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS

100 METER

1941 – Dick Kenniston, 10.1

1940 – Dick Kenniston, 10.2

1937 – Harold Berndt, 10.1

1936 – Harold Berndt, 10.5, 105y

1930 – Harry Johnson, 10.4

200 METER

2011—Quadelle Satterwhite, 21.83

1987 – Leonard Underwood, 21.83

1977 – George Rogers, 21.6

1974 – Keith Tinner, 21.6

1973 – Keith TInner, 22.0

1941 – Dick Kenniston, 21.6

1940 – Dick Kenniston, 22.0

1937 – Harold Berndt, 21.7

1936 – Harold Berndt, 21.9

400 METER

1974 – Keith Tinner, 47.3

1973 – Keith Tinner, 48.5

1972 – Keith Tinner, 47.7

1969 – Roy Nail, 48.1

1954 – Jim Jones, 50.1

800 METER

1984 – Tim Manson, 1:52.02

1981 – Regie Whitted, 1:54.49

MILE

1951 – Neil Rader, 4:31.3

1952 – Neil Rader, 4:30.0

3,200 METER

2000 – Branden Fuller, 9:05.40

110 HURDLES

1963 – Dave Williams, 14.3

300 HURDLES

2014 – Theron Randle, 38.15

4x100 RELAY

1981 – 42.60

880 RELAY

1970 – 1:29.40

1969 – 1:28.10

1958 – 1:30.20

1955 – 1:30.20

1954 – 1:30.40

1936 – 1:31.70

1929 – 1:31.50

4x400 RELAY

1990 – 3:17.42

1989 – 3:20.45

1977 – 3:20.80

1974 – 3:19.80

1972 – 3:19.90

1970 – 3:19.90

1969 – 3:17.80

SHOT PUT

1995 – Zach McCall, 59-0

HIGH JUMP

1981 – Tony Smith, 6-10

1971 – Joel Braggs, 6-8½

LONG JUMP

1983 – Dio Cadogan, 24-4½

1982 – Dio Cadogan, 22-7

1974 – Floyd Campbell, 22-3¾

1955 – Luther Carr, 23-7

TRIPLE JUMP

2014 – Ahmaad Rorie, 47-2¾

1981 – Ben McLean, 48-0¾

1978 – Wilbert Horsely, 48-2

1975 – Gary Andrew, 46-3¼

1974 – Jan Moorehead, 47-4

1971 – Lloyd Brown, 46-0

tcotterill@thenewstribune.com

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