RICHLAND -- Travis Kafentzis has a lot to live up to.
Having his last name and attending Richland High School leaves no other possibility.
Nearly everyone connected to Richland knows his last name -- from his classmates to his friends to his coaches to his opponents. It's a legendary name.
Rather than wilt under the pressure, though, Kafentzis is answering the call.
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The 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior will compete in the 110-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles, high jump and the 4x100 relay at today's Class 4A Eastern Washington Regional meet at Spokane Falls Community College.
"The pressure helps a lot," he said, "as long as you can keep it under control."
He has 12 aunts and uncles, many of whom starred for the Bombers, including his father Andy.
Four of his uncles -- Kent, Kurt, Kyle and Mark -- all went on to play in the NFL. He also has had many cousins make their way through Richland High's football stadium and around its track.
While Travis never starred on the football field, he has a chance to make a name for himself in the next 10 days on the track.
"He just kind of came on last year," Richland track coach Jim Qualheim said. "This year he has taken it pretty serious. I think he has a chance to go to state in the high hurdles and the high jump and has a good shot on the 4x100 relay team."
Kafentzis came into his own as a junior, making the state meet in the 110 hurdles and finishing seventh.
In the offseason, though, under his brother Tyler's tutelage, he started lifting weights and working on plyometrics. He has put on 25 pounds and increased his speed.
It has all paid off for Kafentzis this season, as he won district titles in the 110 hurdles and the high jump last weekend in Yakima.
The fact he is even competing in these events is a break from family tradition. Most of his father's generation competed in the javelin and long jump.
"I'm definitely blazing my own trail," Travis said. "None of them hurdled, though some of them sprinted.
"I feel a lot of pressure to be the best -- especially in the family."
While some of his classmates have given him grief over the years because of his last name -- mainly because their fathers didn't fare too well in showdowns with Travis' uncles on the football fields of the Tri-Cities -- his close friends on the team say that he has learned to work through the pressure.
"I just think he's being his own person, making his own history," Richland senior Jake McKinney said. "I'm sure at family reunions, though, he has a lot to live up to."
Travis' other best friend on the track team, Gage Reynolds, admits that they rib him a bit.
"We used to give him crap," Reynolds said. "We would ask him when he's gonna be as good as his cousins and uncles.
"He knows he has pressure, but he doesn't let it get to him like a lot of other people would."
Kafentzis has continued to roll with the punches and has gotten strong enough in track that he earned a scholarship to Spokane Falls.
"This last year he has developed into an athlete," Tyler Kafentzis said of his younger brother. "He wants to go to college and be a decathlete -- he definitely has the genes for it. It will help him out there."
And if he is successful in the decathlon, his dream of blazing a new trail in the Kafentzis family tree will be complete.