Injuries little object in Shelton

Running here at last week
Running here at last week's Westling Invitational, senior miler Karen Schwager continued to dominate the event at Saturday's Shelton Invitational, where she outsprinted two other runners on her way to first place and a personal best time of 5:21.72.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

Though they were a little banged up going, the Falcon boys and girls still had wheels when it counted last weekend.

At the Shelton Invitational, South Whidbey's girls made strong showings in distance events, hurdles and field events, while the boys -- hampered by injuries to miler Brandon Bilyeu and sprinter Andy Wills -- still had some jumping and sprinting success.

Running the best race of the day for both teams was senior Karen Schwager, who again outran her previous best in the 1,600. At the front of the race as she was during last week's Westling Invitational, Schwager had more of a challenge down the finishing stretch as she went shoulder to shoulder with Prairie High School's Audra Sitten and Shelton's Alison Clark. She edged both runners by less than half a second and hit the finish line as a 5:21.72 winner.

Also running breakthrough races in Shelton was freshman Becky Gabelein. She overcame an eighth-place finish in the preliminaries of the 100 hurdles to overtake sophomore teammate Katy McGillen with a 17.09-second fifth-place run in the finals. McGillen, who would go on to place in the long jump, high jump and javelin and lead all Falcon scorers, was sixth in the race.

Gabelein kept running and jumping with the best of them in the 300 hurdles, placing third in the race with a time of 49.32 seconds.

Also placing for the girls were Kelly Horn in the long and triple jumps, Caitlin Robinson in the 300 hurdles, and Kimery Hern, who placed ninth in the discus with a 99-foot, 4-inch toss.

Missing from the girls lineup were sprinters Claudia Gil-Osorio and Melissa Poolman, whose absence in the 4x100 relay relegated the girls to eighth place.

The boys had similar problems. After running their fastest race of the year in a preliminary heat of the 4x100, the Falcon boys had to run the finals without Andy Wills, a move that added more than a second to their previous time and dropped them to sixth place in the event. Also falling victim to injury was Brandon Bilyeu, who pulled out of the 800 after finishing 17th in the 1,600 on a case of plantar fascitis.

The top finisher for the boys on the day was sophomore Nick Plastino, who dashed to third place in the 100 meter event. Also placing well was Kyle McGillen, who was 12th in the long jump, and sophomore James Sundquist, who ran a personal best time in the 3,200 to place 11th overall.

The Falcons run their last dual meet of the season Thursday in Lakewood. The compete for the North Cascades Conference title next Tuesday at Lynden Christian High School.

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