Falcons make tracks in Cheney

"Track and field is not a full-contact sport. But if it were, South Whidbey would probably do pretty well. At last weekend's state track meet in Cheney, the running was a little rough for a South Whidbey girls relay team team. In the midst of a meet in which the Falcon boys were seventh overall and the girls were 14th, the girls 4x200 team got a rude awakening in a race they stood a chance of winning.Leading in the finals after Dail Bates and Andrea McGillen pushed South Whidbey out front, senior Kenady Reuland took a handoff and plunged into the third leg of the race. Though she fell back to third place during her 200, Reuland made a smooth handoff to sophomore Lindsay Binford, who was expected to run a dynamite anchor leg. But as Binford grabbed the baton, a runner from Pullman weaved into Binford's lane and knocked her to the ground. Back on her feet in just over a second, Binford finished the race, stopping the clock at 1:52.61 -- less than two seconds slower than the team's best time of the year.The team placed seventh in the race, while Pullman was third. Doug Fulton, the Falcon head coach, said meet officials claimed not to have seen the lane violation and did not disqualify the Pullman team.Outside of the 4x200, the rest of the meet's excitement for South Whidbey came from performances unhindered by outside interference. Andrea McGillen took the highest individual placing for the Falcons, leaping into a strong headwind to place second in the triple jump on a 36-foot, 6-inch performance. She was also a standout in the pole vault, equalling her best height of 9-6 to place fifth.Kellie Horn and Caitlin Robinson added to the girls new reputation as a strong field events team. Horn placed third in the high jump with a personal best performance of 5-2, while Robinson place 11th at 4-10.In the sprints, Dail Bates had to struggle to an eighth place finish in the 100 after her blocks slipped on the start. She also teamed up with Melissa Poolman, Kenady Reuland, and Andrea McGillen in the 4x100 to place eighth overall.Boy Falconsgo the distanceIn their own relay drama of sorts, the boy Falcons had to scramble Saturday morning to field a complete 4x100 team after an injury sidelined sprinter Matt Steiner. Along as an alternate, sophomore Joe Candelario filled the vacancy and helped power the sprint team to an unexpected fourth place.Bringing in the big points for the Falcons was junior Braden Giswold. In the 800, Giswold ran with teammate Brett Perkins, who had set a personal best time the day before in the preliminaries. Running the finals, Giswold rallied from fifth place in the homestretch, passing two rivals to take third. Perkins was seventh. Freshman Brandon Bilyeu, who did not make the finals, did set a personal and South Whidbey freshman record in the 800 prelims, running 1:59.69.The storyline in the 1,600 was similar for Giswold. Stuck in fourth place with 100 meters to go, Giswold powered past Vashon's Owen Farcy to make top-three in a second individual race. He then capped his state meet with the help of Perkins, Brandon Bilyeu, and Andy Wills in the 4x400. Owners of the best time in the state two weeks ago, the foursome struggled on the windy track, placing third 0.4 seconds behind Pullman.Other placers for the Falcons were Matt Steiner in the discus (10th), and Bruce Hymas in the 3,200 (15th)."

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