By David Krueger Herald Writer
A pair of talented freshmen are helping revitalize the Lynnwood track and field program.
And rewriting the Royals’ record book in the process.
Jordyn Edwards and Mikayla Pivec have burst onto the Lynnwood track and field scene this year, with Edwards setting three Lynnwood records within a two-hour period during the 4A Bi-District Championships last Friday while Pivec has the top mark in the 800-meter run, javelin toss and, as of Thursday, the top mark in the 1,600.
“I’ve been blown away by the kind of times these girls are putting down at this point,” said Lynnwood track and field coach Duane Lewis. “I knew that Mikayla was an outstanding runner the last couple years at the middle school, but Jordyn has really come into her own. I’ve had other coaches just look at her and drool over the potential that she’s got.”
At the bi-district meet, Edwards won the 400 run in 57.01 seconds, got second in the 200 (25.35) and ran a leg in the Royals 1,600 relay team that finished with a time of 3:55.56, 4.34 seconds faster than the previous school record. Edwards qualified for state in all three events.
Pivec, Edwards, Grace Douglas and Hannah Lemm already qualified for the state final in the event, qualifying with the third best time of 3:57.14 on Thursday. (She will compete in the 400 and 1,600 relay finals today.)
Edwards’ time in the 400 is the second fastest time in Washington’s 4A classification this season, while she is also ranked No. 8 in 4A in the 200.
Pivec and Edwards also both contributed to the Lynnwood basketball team, which went 22-2 and made it to the regional round of the state tournament this year. Edwards averaged 10.1 points and 3.2 steals per game while Pivec scored 10.6 points and grabbed 13.3 rebounds.
Lewis recalled the Larry Eason Invitational in Snohomish on April 13, when Edwards won the 200 and placed second in the 400 in “her first big meet.” Her father, Lynnwood girls basketball coach Everett Edwards, was in the press box, when the following happened:
“Someone text him and said, ‘I think your daughter may be a better runner than basketball player,’” Lewis said. “And she’s a really good basketball player. (Everett Edwards) turned to me and said laughing, ‘Whatever she can get a scholarship in.’
“I think she’ll get plenty of offers in both.”
Pivec, who also ran on that 1,600 relay team that is ranked No. 3, has one of the top-10 times in 4A in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs in the state this season. She also has the second- or third-best javelin toss for a freshman in the country at 127 feet, 3 inches, according to Lewis. That toss beat the old Lynnwood girls record by about 15 feet.
On Thursday she finished sixth in the 1,600 at the 4A state meet with a time of 4:59.23, breaking a school record from 1976. (Pivec failed to qualify for today’s 800 final on Friday).
“She could have all three of our distance records before she’s done,” Lewis said.
The freshman has spent the season working with a Royals legend, former Lynnwood runner Stephanie Tastad (formerly, Stephanie Malnack) who ran track at the school from 1987 to 1991. Tastad is in her first year as an assistant coach of the track team.
She has spent the season watching her records slowly fall because of Pivec and Edwards.
“I’m super proud. We did it between 1987 and 1991, and she’s doing it now and Jordyn’s doing it now,” Tastad said. “And seeing them experience that kind of success and having as much fun as I did on my team with my friends, I wouldn’t take that away from everybody.”
Tastad now works for “Where to Eat,” a restaurant magazine for tourists. The Lynnwood alum, who also coaches cross country for the Royals, said the girls are very courteous after breaking a record.
The former Royal still owns the 3,200 record, but fears that won’t be the case for long. Tastad jokes that she was the first freshman to set all the records, and they can’t take that away.
“I was talking to Mikayla and I said, ‘You’re going to try to get my record aren’t you?’” Tastad said. “She’s like, ‘I think I might try to.’ They’ll break all my records, but I was the first freshman at Lynnwood to win a state title. So I have that. But the two of them have just been really fun to watch.”
Tastad also sees another potential reason for the duo’s success.
“This didn’t happen before I got here,” Tastad said with a laugh. “I’m pretty sure it’s the coaching.”
Tastad participated in 13 events in the state meet over four years (the maximum is 16). She was a big part of Lynnwood winning the team title in 1990. She hopes that isn’t the Royals’ last title and thinks Edwards and Pivec could be key components of a Lynnwood track and field turnaround.
“It’s awesome. It’s taken a long time for the Lynnwood High School program to get to this point,” Tastad said. “They’re both super great kids. They’re both respectful and team players and super hard workers. They’re great leaders to have on that team. I think it’s going to pull a lot of other kids into the program because it’s causing excitement.
“I’m really excited for this weekend. I’m really looking forward to the girls, and the guys too, having success on that track. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this program again.”
Lewis, who has coached at Lynnwood High School for 42 years, said Edwards and Pivec are two of the top athletes he’s ever had on his team.
“I’ve been at Lynnwood forever, and this is probably the two best girls, in terms of physical talent, I’ve had at the same time since I’ve started there,” Lewis said. “They’ve already broken some school records and hopefully they’ll get a couple more before state’s over.”