Seeing double: E-W track team sports four sets of twins

Victoria and Theo Lebesis, one of four sets of twins on the Edmonds-Woodway track team. (Photo by Jennifer Budnick)
Victoria and Theo Lebesis, one of four sets of twins on the Edmonds-Woodway track team. (Photo by Jennifer Budnick)

The odds of having twins is roughly 1 in 30. The odds of having four sets of twins on the same high school track team? Well, good luck researching that one. But this year’s Edmonds-Woodway track team has just that.

Seniors Theo and Victoria Lebesis not only compete for the same team, but they both specialize in the same event, the javelin. Last week’s Edmonds School District meet saw Theo and Victoria take home first and second, respectively, in the boys and girls events, with Theo also adding discus and shot put victories. Both the seniors began participating in “field events” in middle school and according to Victoria, “it just came naturally.” The twins’ cousin, Spiro Lebesis, threw for Greece, competing most recently in the 2012 Olympic games.

Theo, who also plays football and basketball, and Victoria, who plays basketball, share more than just their skill at the javelin. “We have a good relationship,” says Theo. “We help each other. Sure we butt heads once in awhile, but we are very close.”

The twins are both heading to Central Washington for college next year. Both have talked with the track coach and hope to continue throwing there, but at the same time are ready to just enjoy college.

Chukwuma and Obioka Okereke, another set of twins, are juniors. Chukwuma is the highest-ranking Warrior in the triple jump and his brother, who has battled hamstring injuries all year, is a renowned sprinter.

Grant and twin sister Brittany Whitcutt represent one set of the sophomore class of twins at E-W. Grant has the best results for the boys team in high jump, long jump and pole vault. Brittany has the highest jump in the girls’ pole vault.

Sophmore sprinters Anindo and Avishek Khan round out the twin pairings. Anindo’s best event is the 800 and 400 while Avishek has fared well in the hurdles.

Both the Edmonds-Woodway boys and girls track teams are tied for fifth place after the first day of the Wesco championships, that are being held at Arlington High School. Plenty of action remains Friday with finals yet to be run in the majority of the races. Here are Wednesday’s results for the Warrior athletes — including those who are not related — and what to look forward to:

Women’s 100m prelim: Djenne Dickens 12.32 (2nd,) Claire Popke 12.59 (3rd,) Fatou Jatta 12.99 (6th)
Men’s 100 m prelim: Tanner Berndahl 11.15 (3rd,) Sterline Mahan 11.42 (7th)
Women’s 200 m prelim: Dicken’s 25.53 (1st,) Popke 26.73 (3rd,) Ella Spillane 27.2 (6th)
Men’s 200 m prelim: Berndahl 22.6 (2nd)
Women’s 800m prelim: Hailey Kettel 2:22.74 (3rd)
Women’s 1600m : Kettel 5:17.6 (5th) Final
Men’s 1600m : Miler Haller 4:26.8 (5th) Final
Women’s 100 hurdles prelim: Rachel Stone 16.54 (6th)
Men’s 110m hurdles prelim: Justin Gunn 15.51 (5th)
Women’s 300m hurdles prelim: Rachel Stone 47.58 (4th)
Women’s 4 x 100 Relay prelim: Spillane, Dickens, Jatta, Popke 49.47 (1st)
Men’s 4 x 100 Relay prelim: Nate Gonzales, Jared Yu, Mahan, Berndahl 45.20 (5th)
Women’s 4 x 200 Relay prelim: Jatta, Sarah Van Citters, Hannah Thuesen, Popke 1:46.94 (2nd)
Women’s 4 x 400 Relay prelim: Thuesen, Dickens, Spillane, Kettel
Men’s Shot Put: Theo Lebesis 45’ 5” (6th) Final
Men’s High Jump: Grant Whitcutt 5’ 10” (4th) Final
Men’s Long Jump: Whitcutt 20’ 0” (5th,) Chukwuma Okereke 19’10” (7th) Final
Women’s Javelin: Victoria Lebesis 103’5” (6th) Final
Women’s Long Jump: Van Citters 15’6”(4th,) Rachel Alexander 14’11” (7th,) Fernanda Vida 14’10” (8th) Final

Wednesday’s top eight finishers in the preliminaries will run in the finals on Friday.

In addition, the following is a list of the athletes who will participate Friday, ranked in the top 10 in their respective events, along with their qualifying time/distance and seeding:
Women’s 3200 Kettel 11’37” (5th)
Men’s 3200 Haller 9:12 (2nd)
Women’s Shot Put Kiera Towell 34’9” (2nd)
Women’s High Jump Rachel Alexander (1st)
Women’s Pole Vault Brittany Whitcutt 8’0” (5th)
Wonen’s Triple Jump Alexander 32’10” (3rd)
Kylie Rardin 32’10” (3rd)
Men’s Triple Jump Okereke 40’8” (4th)
Men’s Javelin Nick Venema 158’ (2nd) Theo Lebesis 154’ (3rd)
Men’s Discus Theo Lebesis 146’7” (2nd)
Men’s Pole Vault Whitcutt 12’ (3rd)
Men’s 800 Grady Okerson 203:20 (8th)

The top eight finishers in each event advance to next week’s Bi-District meet, which determines the qualifiers for the State meet the following week.

— By Jeff Smarr

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