Tacoma athletes claim titles and records at state track meet



The Curtis girls’ track and field team had a very strong showing at the 4A state track and field championships. The Vikings would go on to score 50 points on the team side, finishing in third place with 50 points, and just one point behind second-place Issaquah. (top) Curtis freshman Rieko Wilford crosses the finish line as the anchor of the Vikings’ second-place 4×200-meter relay squad. Wilford would also finish third in the triple jump. Photo by Rocky Ross

On Saturday, May 26, Mt. Tahoma High School hosted the final day of the 2A, 3A and 4A track and field state championships. From all over Washington, crowds gathered to watch and support some of the state’s top athletes. At the end of the three-day spectacle, Tacoma athletes captured state titles, records and even top national marks.

From the 2A class, Tacoma was represented by two athletes from Henry Foss High School. Khalia Craig placed fifth in the javelin with a best throw of 132-4 feet. Foss’ second competitor was long jumper Reece Martin, who took second with a leap of 21-05 feet. Martin was just over an inch behind the winning jump of 21-06.25 by Iyan Maju of Bellingham.


In class 3A, Lakes’ sprinter Dorien Simon took three state championships. Simon’s first win came in the 100-meter dash, where he finished with a time of 10.56 seconds (the fastest 100 time throughout all classifications). Next, he ran the anchor leg for the winning 4×100-meter relay (41.68) with teammates Alex Dangtuw, Marquees Wade and Cody Roe. To wrap it up, Simon won the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.50 seconds.


Fife junior Emily Rohrer ran the anchor leg for a second-place finish in the 2A 4×100-meter relay. Photo by Rocky Ross

Woodrow Wilson High School also had several competitors at the podium throughout the tournament. David Njeri competed in four different events, including races as well as field events. Njeri placed fifth in both the long jump (21-10.25) and triple jump (45-7.5). On the track, Njeri took second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.56, and eighth in the 300-meter hurdles (41.25).

Other Wilson student athletes excelled in field events. Josiah Vaiolo claimed the state championship in the shot put with a mark of 55-01.25 feet. Carl Brooks III took second in the discus with a mark of 159-11 feet. At the triple jump pit, Amaya Mahmoud finished in sixth place with a leap of 35-8.5 feet.

Curtis senior Saudia Heard splashes into the pit. Heard’s second-place finish in the triple jump gave her three silver finishes, as well as a gold in her high school career. Photo by Rocky Ross

Also in class 3A, Lincoln’s James Mwaura not only set a state mark in winning the state championship in the 3,200 meters, but claimed a new national record. Mwaura ran the event in eight minutes and 46.87 seconds, beating the previous state record from 2014 (8:55.11), held by Joe Hardy of Seattle Prep. The national record (8:48.62) formerly belongs to Dustin Horter from Ohio. As Mwaura crossed the finish line for his second title of the meet (first in the 1,600), the entire stadium broke out in applause as they watched the senior finish his final high school race.

Curtis High School had an impressive showing in the class 4A relays. The Viking girls took second in the 4×200-meter relay with a time of 1:41.44. The Curtis boys claimed second in the 4×100 with a time of 42.19 seconds, with a final push by senior Taj Moffett. The Viking boys placed fifth in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:26.49 minutes.

Curtis junior Olivia Emanuel took home fifth-place in the triple jump. Photo by Rocky Ross

However, it was at the triple jump pit where Curtis showed where they really dominate. Led by Lexi Ellis, the Vikings took four of the top-five podium spots. Ellis became a back-to-back triple jump champion by beating her own personal and state records with a jump of 43-06 feet. Saudia Heard (40-09.25) and Rieko Wilford (38-6.75) took second and third respectively, while Olivia Emanuel (37-02) rounded out the Viking triple jumpers with a fifth-place finish.

In the team standings, Tacoma schools did fairly well. From the boys’ class 3A, three Tacoma-area schools placed in the top-10 teams. Lincoln finished third with 42 points, followed by Lakes with 38 points. Wilson landed in sixth place with 35 points. Both the Curtis boys and girls finished in the top-10 as well. The boys finished in seventh place with 30 points, while the girls captured 50 points to put them in third place.

Here’s to next year’s meet and the new records and championships waiting to be claimed.

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