Indians focus on reaching postseason without injuries | Track & field

Success for the Renton High track and field team is more about timing than talent.

“My main goal is get everyone to the end of the season healthy and with a little bit of fire left,” said Renton coach Lance Winmill. “We’ve got some talent; we just need to make sure we don’t overdo it. There’s no point in being fast in the middle of April if you can’t do it late in May.”

Leading the way for the Indians is senior P.J. Benedictus. Benedictus won the 3A state triple jump title last season. He currently has the state’s top triple jump distance among all classifications at 47 feet, 3.5 inches. He jumped 49 3/4 to win the title last season.

“He’s got an event that he’s really passionate about,” Winmill said. “So he’s dedicated quite a bit of time to it. He prepares himself in the offseason very well and his goal is to come back and win the state title again.”

His main competition so far is Will Hallberg of 2A South Whidbey. Benedictus and Hallberg are the only two Washington athletes to jump better than 45 feet so far this season.

Benedictus also has top five 2A times in the 200-meter dash and long jump. He accepted a track and field scholarship this winter and will compete at Washington State University next season.

Newcomer Justin Bennett is turning heads with impressive spring performances so far this year. The senior has the top 2A times in both the 100- and 200-meter dash.

Junior Immanuel Carter has top 10 2A performances in the 400 and long jump. Junior Adriel Paine made districts in the 800 last season and should get at least that far again this year.

Benedictus, Carter, Bennett and Robert Reeves III have the state’s best 4 X 100 relay time among all classifications and should be a state contender in the event.

For the girls team, senior Amadi Bentley returns after a standout junior year. Bentley took third in the 100-meter hurdles and 10th in the 300-meter hurdles at the 3A state meet.

So far this season, she has top 10 2A times in both events as well as the 100.

Freshman Joy Barnes will anchor the distance group. Barnes made the state meet in cross country in the fall. Senior Amy Tat made districts in both the 1,600 and 3,200 last season.

Seniors Vanessa Tran and Jenifer Hoang give the team depth in throws. Senior Tricia Bui made districts in pole vault and has already topped her best height from last season.

Renton Reporter Sports Reporter Adam McFadden can be reached at amcfadden@rentonreporter.com or 425-255-3484, ext. 5054.