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Falcons take second at track bi-district

"Nine boys and eight girls will make the long drive from South Whidbey to Cheney this afternoon, where they will spend three days trying to win a state championship.The 17 athletes qualified for this weekend's state meet Saturday during one of the best performances by South Whidbey High Schools boys and girls track teams at a by-district meet. Competing at Silverdale Stadium last Saturday, each team placed second in 17-team meet, close behind track and field powerhouse Steilacoom.The two Falcon teams took different roads to their team finishes. The boys team used distance events and relays to amass most of their 85 points, whereas the girls took scoring places in 14 of 18 events with one of the most balanced lineups the team has ever had.As has been the case for the past three seasons, it was the Falcons' Killer B's - seniors Braden Giswold, Bruce Hymas, and Brett Perkins - that grabbed most of the points. The distance-running trio mobbed the field in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 meter runs, with senior Giswold taking wins in the 800 and 3,200 and second in the 1,600 behind Vashon's Owen Farcy. Giswold said Farcy and the state's other top distance runners will have a more difficult time staying with him at state.I just plan to run faster than everybody else, he said.Hymas was close behind, placing third in the 1,600, fourth in the 3,200, and fifth in the pole vault. Perkins was second behind Giswold in the 800, then teamed with the quicker B, sophomore Andy Wills, and junior Joe Candelario to set a new school record of 3:23.94 on the bi-district champion 4x400 relay team. That relay was so fast that Perkins, the team's anchor runner, finished almost 100 meters in front of the second-place team.In the sprints, Wills qualified for the state meet with top-five finishes in the 100 and 200, while Candelario became the first boy Falcon in more than five years to make the state grade in the 400. Also moving on to the big show is the 4x100 team of Wills, Candelario, Tim Gathings, and Nick Plastino.For the girls team, it was again the sister act of Andrea and Katy McGillen that did most of the damage for the Falcons. Andrea, a senior, was the busiest Falcon, competing in the long jump, triple jump, pole vault, and 4x100 relay simultaneously. She won all three of her individual events and helped pace the relay team to third place.It's hectic, but it's gotten the job done so far, she said of her whirlwind schedule.McGillen, the 1998 state triple jump champion, will get more time to rest during the three-day state competition schedule, as will her freshman sister, who hardly got a chance to cool her springs between her fourth place finish in the 100 hurdles, her third place result in the long jump, and her winning 5-4 leap in the high jump.Elsewhere on the track, senior Sarah DeGraaf qualified for her first individual state appearance with a fourth-place finish in the 3,200. Junior Karen Schwager was tops for the Falcons in 1,600 with a fifth-place performance.In the sprints, senior Dail Bates made a state spot for herself in the 100 by placing fourth. Melissa Poolman grabbed the same placing in the 400 for her state trip. Both ran legs on the Falcons' third-place 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.Unique among all the Falcon athletes was senior Kelli Berry, who finished third in the javelin. She will be the only South Whidbey throwing specialist to compete in Cheney.The state meet will be held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. "

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