Cruisers, Eagles among state's best in track

By Pat Jenkins
The Dispatch
With the state high school track and field championships about a month away, student-athletes from south Pierce County are positioned to be in the running for top-10 finishes or better if they get that far.
League and district meets will determine qualifiers for the state 2A, 3A and 4A championships May 25-27 at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
Six Eatonville Cruisers and two Graham-Kapowsin Eagles have performances so far that rank among the 10 best among 2A and 4A competitors statewide, respectively, as compiled by
Two Cruisers achieved that status in their team’s meet April 13 against Fife. Senior Ray Springer moved into sixth place in the long jump at 20 feet 11 inches. He’s less than two feet behind frontrunner Brandon Swarthout of Lynden (22-3). Another senior, Zarak Scruggs, took over fourth place in the triple jump by covering 42 feet 4 inches. Swarthout and Kainen Warren of North Kitsap share the best mark of 45-3.
Eatonville’s other state contenders are:
• Ryan Antonson, a senior, in the javelin. His season-best of  163 feet has him in the top 10. The leader is Nicolas Osterling of Bellingham at 178-10.
• Senior Tucker Buffington’s season-high of 12 feet 6 inches is one of the five best pole vault efforts. The topper is 14-10 by Braydon Maier of Selah.
• Samantha Swartout, in the javelin, ranks seventh at 115 feet. Cheney’s Rylie Pease leads at 138-6.
• Madeline Madison, a senior, has the seventh-highest pole vault mark at 9 feet. Skylar Watton of Sehome leads at 11-6.
Among 4A schools, Graham-Kapowsin senior Jesse Kaas ranks ninth in the boys mile at 4:25.26, five seconds behind Dawson Besst of Tahoma. And teammate Chad Simonson’s best of 13 feet in the pole vault is the sixth-best. Trevor Bushman of Union is tops at 14-7.
Three other competitors from the Bethel School District also are highly ranked. Spanaway Lake’s Rock Gray, a junior, is sixth in the shot put at 48-6. Dillon Lionello of Mount Spokane is setting the pace at 58-4. Two other Spanaway Lake juniors are rated among the girls. Letauaeletise Hunkin is 10th in the shot put at 36-1 (Gig Harbor’s Hadassah Ward leads at 43-1), and Emoni Ross is fifth in the long jump at 16-9.5. Ross is about a foot short of state leader Allison Stapleton of Kamiakim (17-9.25).


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