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‘State Train’ loads 16 Falcons to state track meet
Mark Eager, the head coach for South Whidbey’s track and field team, donned a different lid at the tri-district track meet last week at King’s High School.
He told his runners, jumpers and throwers he would be the conductor of the “State Train.” His prediction came true at the tri-district meet where 16 Falcon athletes qualified for the state 1A track championship.
“We might need to add a caboose,” Eager wrote in an email.
Three South Whidbey athletes qualified for the state meet at the first day of the qualifier during prelims.
Lillianna Stelling, a senior, will compete in the 3,200-meter race after she ran the eight-lap course in 11:22.12 during the prelims.
Angelina Berger, a senior, won the shot put with a mark of 38 feet and claimed the discus title with a distance of 119 feet, 11 inches. She beat her competition by more than seven inches in the shot put and five feet in the discus.
Nick French placed fourth in the boys javelin with a throw of 159 feet, 4 inches.
Stelling also qualified as an alternate (seventh place) in the 1,600-meter race in 5:19.63.
Berger will be joined by sophomore Kristen Schuster in the discus. Schuster launched the discus 104 feet, 8 inches for her second-farthest throw of her career. She also set a personal best in the javelin at 89 feet, 6 inches, but placed 12th and missed the qualifying cut by more than 10 feet.
South Whidbey sent each of its girls relays to state. The 400-meter relay team of Tera Applegate, Madi Boyd, Maia Sparkman and Anna Hood qualified at sixth place in 51.53 seconds, the ninth-fastest among 1A girls relay times.
Swapping senior Sylvie Kaul-Anderson in for Applegate with the other relay runners for the 800-meter relay, the girls placed fifth in 1:49.72.
For the 1,600-meter relay, the Falcons brought in senior distance runner Nora Felt in place off Sparkman and placed sixth in 4:11.89.
“That’s the fastest women’s 4x400 at South Whidbey in 17 years,” Eager said.
Applegate, a freshman, cruised in the 100-meter hurdles for her career-best time of 16.27 seconds and a third-place finish. Shaving half-of-a-second of the short hurdle race is quite a feat, her coach said.
“That’s a big drop in such a short race,” Eager said. “Get used to hearing her name the next three years.”
On the boys team, South Whidbey qualified five athletes. Four of those Falcons, Brandon Asay, Kale Reichersamer, Hunter Parrick and Cole Zink, made the state cut as members of the 1,600-meter relay team in 3:35.85.
“I told them at this level you have to PR or you’re staying home,” Eager said. “For some athletes that’s a lot of pressure. Other kids take up the challenge and respond.”
Zink qualified for the 1A meet in the 800-meter race by burning his previous best time for 1:59.10, which put him at sixth place.
Jordan Parrick, a junior, will travel to Cheney as an alternate in the 300-meter hurdles with his time of 43.59 seconds, his best time ever.