It is always a huge deal when student athletes rise to the occasion and overcome the competition, or even their own best performances. To take it to the next level and continue the student-athlete journey at the collegiate level is something only a small percentage of high school athletes ever get to do.

On Sunday, July 1, it was one of those big days for two Chief Leschi Warriors.

After successful high school careers with Chief Leschi in cross country and track and field, Honor McKenney and Maartin Cornyn sat down at a table in Chief Leschi Stadium and signed their names to documents that will see them continue their scholastic and athletic careers at the college level.

McKenney and Cornyn will be taking their considerable talents to Olympic College in Bremerton in the fall. For a smaller school the size of Chief Leschi, this is some fantastic news for not only the student body, but the entire school administration.

While it’s great to for a coach to see their student-athlete do well in their sport, it means even more when they take care of business in the classroom and prepare themselves for the next step in their education.

“Absolutely, I’ve always focused on academics with my student athletes,” said Chief Leschi track and field head coach Mike Williams. “And this definitely is a result of that.”

Williams had arguably the best track and field team in school history this past spring, and to see two of his best ready to move on to the next level in the fall has him feeling rather proud.

“Honor and Maartin are two amazing young people,” said Williams. “They have represented Chief Leschi a combined eight times at the state cross country and track and field meets. Both of them have also worked as camp counselors for the Puyallup Tribe G.R.E.A.T. program summer camp.”

McKenney ran cross country, but it was in the sprints in track and field where she really shined. By the time the 2018 track and field meet had concluded, McKenney would own three all-time Chief Leschi records. McKenney owns the 100-meter dash record at 13.06 seconds, the 200-meter dash record at 27.46 seconds and the 100-meter hurdle record at 17.60 seconds. Running into a headwind at state, McKenney medaled in the 100-meter dash, finishing in eighth place.

Maartin was a steady worker in cross country, having advanced to the 1B/2B WIAA State Cross County Championships in all four years as a Warrior. After recovering from a shin injury in late summer, Cornyn had a season-best mark on Oct. 28, at the District IV 2B meet with a time of

17:16.1. Cornyn was on pace to match or break that mark at the state meet the following week, but was slowed by a bout of cramps that hit him mid-race.

Despite two of his best leaving the program via graduation, Williams has a positive outlook for the track and field program next season.

“I feel there is potential for a lot of success for next year’s program with the returnees,” said Williams.

One of those set to return is senior-to-be Kahea Baker. Also a quarterback and all-league basketball player, Baker nearly won the state championship in the discus, falling just 11 inches shy of the top spot. Still, earning a silver medal with an incredible toss of 141-04 feet is something that should set up Baker for another run at the state championship next season.

Dominic Sisley-Lacey broke the all-time Chief Leschi record in the 100-meter with a time of 11.45 seconds at the Wilson Spring Break Open on April 7. He also broke the 200-meter record with a time of 23.59 seconds at the Pacific League Sub-District Meet on May 11. The Chief Leschi boys’ 400-meter relay team made up of Sisley-Lacey, Baker, Jordan Komakhuk and Isiah Horton also broke the all-time Chief Leschi record with a time of 45.91 seconds at the 2B District 4 Championships on May 18.