TITLES FOR TACOMA Grit City preps finish the year in style

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High school championship weekend drew to a dramatic close for many student athletes and teams from around the Tacoma area. State titles were won in several sports, as well as events in track and field. There were also some near-misses and heartbreak to go along with those monumental wins.

Before we bid adieu to the school year, let’s take a look back on how things wrapped up for the participants hailing from the City of Destiny.

It’s getting near the point where they might have to begin thinking about renaming the 4A girls golf state championship trophy after the Bellarmine Prep squad. After taking care of business, yet again, the Lady Lions captured their ninth team state championship. With 186 points, Bellarmine left all the other teams in the dust. Second-place Camas was a full 81 points behind the Tacoma squad.

Bellarmine was led by a state gold medal from Montgomery Ferreira, and a silver from Julia Bordeaux. Rounding out the team scoring were Ell Ferreira and Jessica Zelasko, both finishing in ninth place, with Morgan Bentley closing it up for Bellarmine in 12th place.

While the Bellarmine boys didn’t repeat as champions, they put in a fine showing, finishing in fourth place. Jordan Lee was the highest finisher for the Lions, placing fourth overall. Clay Thatcher finished 16th, and Bage Lau finished in 31st place.

Stadium’s David Siblett finished 38th in the 3A competition, with Wilson’s Jackson Stokes not far behind in 41st place. On the girls’ side, Stadium’s Anastacia Johnson finished in 16th place, while Wilson’s Brooklyn Grant came in at 36th overall.

In 2A golf, Fife’s Maya Nguyen finished 17th, with teammate Hannah Hiat finishing in 35th. Fife’s Riley Loen finished 31st in the boys’ field, with teammate Cole Van Duyn finishing 42nd. Franklin Pierce’s Connor Delano finished 41st.

Charles Wright had a strong showing in the boys 1A competition, finishing in fifth place in the team standings. Jahan Bains nearly won a state title for the Tarriers, finishing in second place, while teammate Jacob Boseley finished in 39th position. On the girls’ side, the Tarriers finished eighth in the team competition. Charles Wright’s Aalia Gomez finished in 11th place, with teammate Madelyn Yeh coming in at 38th.

The Annie Wright girls finished second in the 1B/2B/1A team standings. Nina Ye finished in fourth place, while teammate Abby Givens finished in seventh for Annie Wright. Life Christian’s Caleb Dunn finished 17th in the 1B/2B field.

Lincoln’s Melina Nguyen finished one of the best seasons that a Lincoln tennis player has had in the modern era. After dropping her first match, the Lady Abe strung together three victories to claim the fifth-place trophy in 3A singles. Stadium’s Garret Merz and Leyton Peterson put together a strong doubles showing, taking home the seventh-place trophy for 3A boys.

Bellarmine Prep’s Jackson Kelley and Alex Collie put in a fine showing in the 4A tennis doubles competition with a fourth-place showing. Charles Wright’s Cole Harrington and Micah Wibowo captured the third-place trophy in the 1B/2B/1A boys’ doubles competition. Teammate Raghav Agrawal finished with the sixth-place trophy. On the girls’ side, Charles Wright’s Zoe Rose finished third in the 1B/2B/1A singles, with teammates Grace Jung and Kate Jung finishing third in the doubles competition.

The Curtis girls’ water polo team ended a run of four-straight state championships by the Gig Harbor Tides. Continuing the strong water polo tradition at Curtis, the Vikings blazed through the state field, knocking off Bainbridge Island 19-4 in the first round. The Vikings then toppled Newport by a score of 14-3 in the semifinals. The championship was a grinder, with neither squad’s offense being able to get on-track. In the end, Curtis outlasted the Tides, taking the title with an 8-5 victory.

One of the finest distance runners ever to come out of the city of Tacoma completed his high school career in style at the 3A state meet at Mt. Tahoma Stadium. Lincoln’s James Mwaura claimed the gold medal in the 1,600-meter run, and then went out in style two days later. Mwaura finished the 3,200-meter run with a time of 8:46.87, which broke the state record, as well as a national mark. Mwaura will be taking his talents to Gonzaga University next season.

The Lincoln boys finished third in the 3A team competition, with a strong showing coming in from the Wilson Rams in sixth place. Wilson’s Josiah Vailo captured the shot put championship with a mark of 55-01.25. It was also another fine state showing by the Rams’ David Njeri, who finished second in the 110 high hurdles, fifth in the long jump, fifth in the triple jump and eighth in the 300 hurdles. Carl Brooks heaved the discus 159-11 feet to claim second place. On the girls’ side, Amaya Mahmoud finished sixth in the triple jump, while the girls 4×200-meter relay squad finished fifth.

On the boys’ side, Lincoln’s Marcus Williams had a strong showing, finishing third in the 110 high hurdles, and second in the 300 hurdles. Teammate Mykel Campbell nearly won the high jump, finishing second with a mark of 6-05 feet. On the Lincoln girls’ side, Sa’Naya McAfee finished fifth in the 300 hurdles and eighth in the 400-meter dash. Teammate Elizabeth Frazier finished eighth in the 100-meter dash, while the girls 4×400-meter relay squad finished seventh.

Stadium’s Boaz Gillespie finished third in the 3A boys’ 400-meter dash with a time of 49.93 seconds. Mt. Tahoma’s Jackie Lewis claimed eighth in the girls’ 200-meter dash.

The Curtis girls had a big showing with girls finishing in third place in the team standings. The Viking boys finished in seventh. The combination of Lexi Ellis and Saudia Heard completed an incredible run of finishes at the state meets over the past four years. Ellis broke her own state triple jump record, winning the 4A title with a leap of 43-05 feet. Ellis finished her high school career with two gold medals and a silver. Heard finished in second place to give her three silvers and a gold over her four years.

Curtis’ Taj Moffett finished second in the long jump with a mark of 22-08.25 feet. Teammate Marlon Jones finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.99 seconds. The Curtis boys’ 4×100 relay team finished second, while on the girls’ side, the 4×200 relay squad also claimed a silver medal.

After shocking the field last season, the Fife Trojan girls’ team one-upped themselves in the 2A competition, winning the team title with 45 points. The Trojan boys finished fifth in the team standings. Emily Rohrer finished second in the 100-meter dash, while the 4×100 relay claimed second, the 4×200 relay finished third, and the 4×400 relay finished eighth. Fife’s MJ Ale finished second in the boys’ shot put and discus.

Franklin Pierce’s Tyrell Edge captured the championship in the 2A 110 high hurdles and 300 hurdles. The Cardinal boys finished 12th in the team standings.

On the small school side, the Life Christian girls’ relay team was nearly flawless. The Eagles’ squad of Tamia Ramos, Susan Hurdelbrink, Amanda Hamel and Landyn Lovelady won the 2B state championship in the 4×100 and 4×200 relays, while finishing third in the 4×400 relay. Lovelady also finished second in the 300 hurdles.

Evergreen Lutheran’s Ryan Circelli won the 1B boys’ shot put. Chief Leschi’s Kahea Baker nearly won the 2B boys’ discus with a second-place mark of 141-04 feet. Teammate Honor McKenney finished eighth for the Warriors in the girls’ 100-meter dash.

The Franklin Pierce boys’ soccer team finally met their match in the 2A state semifinals on Friday, May 25, at Sunset Stadium in Sumner. The Cardinals entered the match undefeated and faced a 21-0-0 foe in Columbia River. Franklin Pierce would be playing without the 2A South Puget Sound League’s best player when Gilbert De La Luz suffered a season-ending injury in the state quarterfinals. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals would be trying to score against a squad that had given up just nine goals on the season.

In the end, Columbia River had a little too much speed for Franklin Pierce. However, the Cardinals pushed the eventual state champions to the limit, allowing the Chieftains just a single goal, despite numerous opportunities in the 1-0 loss. The Cardinals would go on to finish fourth in the 2A tournament.

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