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Blackhawks boys repeat as state 2A track and field champs

Year In Review:Cheney Sports


Last updated 1/3/2019 at 8:43pm

It may not have set a record, but it did achieve half of Cheney High School boys track and field head coach Derek Slaughter’s goal.

Led by the four state titles of senior sprinter Charles Johnson, the Blackhawk boys out-pointed the team they tied with last year — Ridgefield — to earn their second consecutive 2A state championship in competition May 24-26 at Mt. Tahoma High School near Tacoma. Cheney outscored Ridgefield 55-41, not quite the 82 points Slaughter had hoped to achieve in order to set a points record at state, but an important milestone nonetheless.

“Couldn’t have turned out any better,” Slaughter said in a May 31 Cheney Free Press story.

Johnson notched a pair of individual titles and led both relay teams to victory. He turned in a 10.95 second preliminary time in the 100-meter dash, then bettered that with a 10.75 in the finals to win his first championship, beating Olympic’s Adam Johnson by 31/100ths of a second.

In the 200, Johnson was second in the prelims in 21.87, but turned in a 21.53 to easily outdistance Hockinson’s Micah Kinnunen by 48/100ths in the finals. Kinnunen’s top time of 21.84 in prelims was a new personal record.

Johnson wasn’t done. He teamed with Zach Jongeward, Jacob McGourin and Peyton Putney to win the 4x100 relay in 42.52, and hooked up with Kevin Houndonougbo, Carson Brown and Isaiah Dunn to capture the 4x400 title in a season’s best 3 minutes, 22.49 seconds.

All coming within a four-hour period Saturday afternoon.

While impressive, Johnson didn’t win the state team title without some help. Putney added points with a sixth-place finish in the 100 (11.43) and fourth-place in the 200, setting a season record of 22.42.

Brown managed points with an eighth-place finish in the 4a00, a performance that galvanized him in the 4x400 relay.

“He knew he didn’t run his best in the 400,” Slaughter said. “He ran angry in that four by four.”

Last year, Isaiah Dunn didn’t advance out of districts in the hurdles. This year, the senior turned in a time of 41.68 for sixth in the 300 hurdles.

Freshman Cole Omlin experienced some first-time jitters in the long and triple jumps, but turned in a jump of 6 feet, 4 inches for fifth in the high jump.

Slaughter praised the efforts of his athletes, noting that while it’s too early to talk “three-peat,” the cards are there for continued future track and field success in Cheney.

“I have all the faith in the world in my kids,” Slaughter said. “I just try to put them in the right spots.”

John McCallum can be reached at


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