Bellevue senior also wins triple jump; Holy Names’ Jordan Oakes sets district record in 3,200-meter race.

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WEST SEATTLE — Tyson Penn has decided to stop setting goals for himself.

Two years ago, as he began his sophomore year at Federal Way High, Penn decided he wanted to leap 7 feet in the high jump.

As the second day of the Sea-King 3A district track meet began on Friday at West Seattle Athletic Complex, Penn still hadn’t reached the mark — ever.

The junior, who transferred to Bellevue before this school year, did win the 4A state title in the high jump a year ago at 6-9. The best he’d done in 2015 was 6-10.

Until Friday.

Penn finally cleared the 7-foot mark to win the district title and set himself up for a second straight state title run in the event. His leap followed his personal record 49-feet, 4-inch triple jump on Wednesday.

And those two victories helped the Bellevue boys to a district team title, 107-80 over runner-up O’Dea.

On the girls side, Holy Names Academy won the team race, 96-79 over second-place Lakeside.

“All week we’ve just been talking,” Penn said of his coaches and teammates.

“Last meet I was so close. I learned I needed to scoot my (starting) mark back as the heights got higher. I tested that out today. Then I heard the announcement, ‘The high-jump bar is at 7 feet,’ while I was going on my approach and I knew it was the time to hit it.”

While he may not set goals he might not be able to reach going forward, reaching 7 feet certainly didn’t stop Penn from trying. He took three shots at 7-1, and just barely missed on his second attempt.

“It just feels like all the hard practices, all the work people put in to try to get me over the 7-foot mark, I mean I couldn’t ask for a better week,” Penn said.

“I have two outstanding PR’s. I couldn’t feel better going into state.”

Penn tied the state record as a junior, joining Terry Ellis of Pateros from 1977 and Rahmel Dockery of Curtis in 2009. It was not a district record, however. That belongs to Doug Meade of Monroe, who went 7-0¼ in 1979.

What might be in store next week, even Penn doesn’t know for sure.

“Maybe 7-2 next week,” Penn said.

“I just don’t want to set that standard for myself. I set that 7-foot standard for myself for so long. I’m just trying to progress.”

Contributing to Holy Names’ team victory was an outstanding 3,200-meter performance from Jordan Oakes.

The sophomore set the district meet record in 10 minutes, 19.52 seconds.

That run eclipsed the 2010 mark of Amy Eloise Neale from Glacier Peak of 10:31.75. It also was the 12th-fastest time in the country this spring.

Oakes added the 3,200 district record to her 1,600 record of 4:50.62 set on Wednesday.

“It’s been a really wild week for me,” Oakes said.

“I really wanted like a 10:20 or so (in the 3,200) to put myself in position to maybe go for the state record next week.”

Holy Names senior Imani Apostol set herself up for state by winning all three sprint titles at the district meet.

She ran the 100 in 12.61, the 400 in 57.13 and the 200 in 25.54.

“I’ve been doing them since I was a freshman, and I’ve never won any of them at state,” Apostol said.

“I’d really like to get at least one.”


• In a girls 800-meter final that featured the athletes with the top four 3A times this spring in the state, Holy Names sophomore Erin Ripple held off Garfield’s Isabelle Olive with a new district record time of 2:10.33, and Lakeside’s Sophie Cantine was third. The record had stood since 1983, when Penny Graves of Port Angeles ran 2:10.98.