State track and field: Federal Way’s Geron White soars to 4A boys high jump title

Part of Geron White’s preparation for sky-scraping high jumps, Federal Way’s junior star scans the crowd for his father before taking off — along with the coaches and family members in attendance to support Friday’s title chase.

Somewhere, every time, is White’s dad holding a thumb to the sky. And upon each sighting, White flashes a smile and returns a thumbs-up before soaring over the bar like no other athlete in Washington can.

“I always say it… I don’t jump until I see the thumb,” White told The News Tribune, smiling. “That’s just how it goes, now matter how long it takes.”

White had at least 20 supporters along the fenceline at Mount Tahoma Stadium on Friday, including Dad. Last year’s runner-up in the 4A boys high jump, White aimed to assume the podium’s top spot, left vacant by reigning (and graduated) Federal Way champion Jaylon Jenkins.

White was the first jumper to eclipse 6-foot-4 on Friday, the second of three days at the WIAA track and field championships, and soon became the only high jumper to clear 6-foot-6 on the leaderboard as miserable weather conditions made personal or meet records a near-impossibility. Light drizzle evolved into a steady downpour as the field narrowed, and the padded landing zone beyond the bar became a landing puddle.

Even when Lake Stevens’ Teagan Lawson missed his final attempt at 6-foot-6 – crowning White the champion – the latter continued on, hoping for a school record (6-11) or all-time state meet record (7-1). And even though White failed to notch either, he left Mount Tahoma with a gold medal.

“Last year, I had a jump-off with one of my childhood friends, Jaylon Jenkins,” White said. “He fueled me to come get it this year, to go back-to-back for Federal Way.

“I was out here (last year) jumping with these guys that I’ve known since I was so young. To win one (now) for my brother, my parents, everybody in my family… it’s a great accomplishment for me and my team.”

White encouraged competitors even as they tried to one-up the state champ. “You’ve got the next one,” he told Lake Stevens’ Lawson after his penultimate jump at 6-6, shortly after White eclipsed the mark himself.

The downpour continued, and White’s 6-6 jump was enough. He became the second Federal Way jumper to win a state title this weekend, one day after senior Cassandra Atkins set a state meet record in the 4A girls long jump (19-9.075).

“It’s our coaches… (they) create a good environment to keep us pushing through practice,” White said. “We have hard practices, we have light practices. But it’s all for something. This is what we’ve been waiting for. You’ve just got to go out and get it.”

White’s only getting better. He’ll be a senior next season and could repeat his title.

“The power in my legs (has improved),” he said. “And through God. I prayed right here right before I jumped 6-6 to win it.”


The slimmest of margins, David (Boogy) Brown of Lake Stevens won Friday’s 4A boys 110-meter hurdles (14.39) by one-hundredth of a second at Mount Tahoma Stadium, edging Eastlake’s Matthew Secrist (14.38) in a photo-finish.

A pair of Puyallup Vikings notched top-six placings in the 110-hurdles. Senior Josiah Goode clocked 15.09 seconds for fourth place, and junior Noah Balzirini (15.70) finished sixth.

Puyallup’s Nicholas Neil qualified for Saturday’s 4A boys 100-meter final, using an 11.04-second dash to edge Emerald Ridge’s Kajon Babcock (11.06) to grab the eighth and final allocation for Saturday’s final heat. Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje (10.80) ran the fastest preliminary 100-meter dash among 4A boys.


Skyline senior Nickita Chu won Friday’s 4A boys shot put title with a mark of 59-5.75. Olympia’s Carson Godfrey, a sophomore, finished third (55-6).

Chase McGee of Camas convincingly took the 4Aboys pole vault title (16-6), higher than runner-up Kyle Worthy of Lewis and Clark (16-0). Tahoma senior Brian Castellucio tied for fourth (15-0) and Kentwood’s Zubair Sabry finished eighth (14-0).

Auburn Mountainview’s Zachary Heckinger won the all-classification boys shot put wheelchair title (9-6.75) Friday at Mount Tahoma.



Lake Stevens (26)

Kamiakin (24)

Eastlake (22)


Spanaway Lake (19)

Everett (18)

Mead (16)

Mountain View (16)


Columbia River (23)

Anacortes (18)

Renton (15)

Sehome (15)