Lake Washington’s Franco Oliveri, far right, hands the baton off to anchor runner Cody Wilson in the 4x100 relay at districts. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Lake Washington’s Franco Oliveri, far right, hands the baton off to anchor runner Cody Wilson in the 4x100 relay at districts. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Relay world: A story of eight Kangs

LW 4x100 runners are among Kirkland athletes headed to state

Communication, motivation and friendships are some of the primary factors in forming a top-notch relay team.

When the baton is passed on each time, the races get more enthralling and every relayer has a hand in what transpires from the first leg to the finish line.

Over at Lake Washington High, the boys and girls 4×100 relays won 3A KingCo titles and each took second at districts. They are moving on to state along with LW’s district first-placer in the javelin, Brady Gockel (178-09), and a host of other Kirkland athletes. Gockel also won KingCo with a 177-02 the week before.

State is May 24-26 at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma. For a full list of qualifiers, visit

For the LW boys — who took first in the district team standings — the 4×100 relay consists of Samuel Showalter, Xavier Betancourt, Franco Oliveri and Cody Wilson, which notched a 42.90 at districts.

On the girls’ side, there’s Kaysha Walford, Thayer Davis, Taryn Chisholm and Yael Pasumansky, which timed in at 49.72 at districts.

Here’s their reactions to being part of the 4×100 relays. (Most of these athletes have qualified for state in other events as well.)

Betancourt: It’s amazing because it’s my first year running for LW and I’m part of the 4 by 1. It’s just impressive to run with them, it’s such a nice experience. This is my eighth time running with them in the relay, so we’ve been improving a lot, one second (each time) almost from the first time we run. We’re doing good.

Showalter: It’s really fun, lots of laughs together, but also take things seriously. Especially getting into districts, it makes it fun because we’re finally getting (to run) with some faster teams, so every time we get more competition, it gets more and more fun each time.

Oliveri: This is my last high-school sport that I’m gonna do, and I’m glad to spend it with these guys because these are some of the best friends I’ve ever had and the personalities are amazing. It’s the most fun I have at any practice with these guys.

Wilson: It was interesting at the beginning of the year, because I didn’t know who was gonna be on board, and then finally we got it in a system, we got the same guys. I think we just all clicked and the chemistry (worked) really well. As we ran today, we PR’d, so we finally broke 43, which is impressive to do and put us in the top runnings for state, so I’m excited to see what next week has for us.

Chisholm: We work really well together, and we all work really hard on our handoffs. We had a rocky start (at districts), but we really pulled it together, and this season we’ve already PR’d pretty much every single meet.

Pasumansky: I’d say we’re pretty easy-going. We all kind of goof around until a few minutes before we have to run, and then we kind of have a serious talk and make sure we’re all good, then go off to our spots to start. I love running the anchor. Last year I ran first leg, so it’s been an adjustment, but it’s been really fun.

Davis: We practice every day for this, we do handoffs a lot and I honestly think it’s just our team chemistry. We’re a really close team and we all love each other a lot, and I think working together is really inspirational for us and just makes us want to do the best for each other.

Walford: (As the lead runner) I’m just trying to get it to Thayer as fast as possible. It’s a lot more motivating when I have something to give rather than just finishing for myself. I wanna kick it off good and have our team do good. For the 4 by 1, the handoff is what stresses me out the most. It’s always on my mind. Communication is pretty big ‘cause if I’m coming in faster or slower than normal, I’ll have to tell her either to slow down or I’ll slow down for her to give (the baton).

Kang Yael Pasumansky, left, begins running the anchor leg of the 4x100 relay after taking the baton from Taryn Chisholm at districts. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Kang Yael Pasumansky, left, begins running the anchor leg of the 4×100 relay after taking the baton from Taryn Chisholm at districts. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

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