Kent track athletes grab state track and field medals

Kentridge's Kiki Gilbert launches the javelin during the state Class 4A track and field games. Gilbert finished eighth with a throw of 123 feet, 11 inches.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Reporter

Reporter staff

Kentwood High School's Sarah Toeaina finished fourth in the triple jump to lead Kent-area athletes in the Class 4A state track and field championships last weekend at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma.

Toeaina stretched 36 feet, 11¼ inches. Tahoma's Danielle Agoh was the winner (37-10¼). Toeaina also was eighth in the long jump (16-10¼).

Kentwood's sprint relay of Aurie Taylor, Bebe Thomas, Malea Munoz and Zaria Jones was third, covering the 400 meters in 48.87. Meet champion Federal Way won in 46.90.

Kentridge's Lexi Klinkenberg took fifth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 44.25 seconds. Inglemoor's Darhian Mills captured the title in 42.45. Klinkenberg was sixth in the 100-meter hurdles (14.96). Federal Way's Mariyah Vongsaveng won in 14.24.

Klinkenberg, while satisfied with her performance, said she had hoped for a better placement. She has routinely placed in the fourth to sixth place at championships each year.

"It was bittersweet ending at state," said Klinkenberg, "but I was kinda glad to be done, because doing soccer and track back to back every day is brutal."

She said that the 2014 season has been much more competitive than other seasons, especially in her division.

"It was crazy compared to the other years, but overall it was fun," she said.

Klinkenberg said that the stiff competition ratcheted the pressure up, and it didn't help to have her final season on the line.

"I was kinda nervous," she said. "I've been there, this is my fourth year being there, I like competing, but I was still nervous and I wanted to do the best I could. I really wanted to do well and finish my last year off as strong as I could."

Klinkenberg plans in the fall to attend Western Washington University in Bellingham where she'll play soccer.

In other events, Kentlake's Avalyne Peters took eighth the high jump (5-0). Kentridge's Kiki Gilbert finished eighth in the javelin (123-11).

For the boys, Kentwood's Brandon Stribling grabbed third in the long jump (22-11½). Teammate Terence Grady was fifth in the 110 hurdles (14.80).

Kentridge's Jake Philpott, a junior, settled for sixth in the pole vault (13-0). Richland's Larry Still was the winner (15-9).

Philpott said that he also wasn't as pleased with his performance, hoping to break his existing record of 14-1.

"I accomplished my goal of placing but it definitely was not the height that I wanted," Philpott said.

"I'm doing some summer vaulting with the Kent Track Club," he said, to sustain his training. He'll keep vaulting through August and participate in two meets at Alki and Tacoma.

This was Phipott's second appearance at the championships, and it made a difference to not have the nerves of a newcomer to the intimidating atmosphere.

"Next year I'm really looking forward to the track season, because I get to compete with (Larry Still)," said Philpott. "He's a junior, he's the best I've ever seen, and he'll be good competition."

Kentridge's Marlon Palmer finished eighth in discus (148-3). Kent-Meridian's D'Mon Lee was eighth in the 200 (22.82).

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