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McGillens fly times 3 in track team wins
After "working on" two of his best athletes for more than two seasons, South Whidbey High School track coach Doug Fulton -- and Falcon track fans -- got to see Katy and Kyle McGillen compete in the triple jump last week.
Following in the hop, skip and jump marks made by their older sister, Andrea, when she won the state championship in the event two years ago, the junior twins had the best triple jumps of the day last Thursday during a North Cascades Conference triangular meet in Lakewood. It was the first appearance in the event for both the brother and sister.
As both the South Whidbey boys and girls track teams headed toward victories in the meet, Katy McGillen hit what might have been the best jump by a 2A girl in the state this year, while her brother -- whose 40-foot, 8-inch jump was somewhere between 5 and 6 feet longer than his sister's -- made one of the best marks by a Falcon boy in several years.
Fulton said neither he nor meet officials are exactly sure how far Katy McGillen jumped. The distance he recorded, 35-8, would be the best in the state this year. But the official mark recorded by meet officials was 34-4.5, good enough to be the second-best in the state. Either way, Fulton said, McGillen is now likely to be a top contender in the event at the state meet in May.
A number of other Falcons turned in top performances at the meet as well. The girls team, which outpointed second-place Lakewood 124-30, took 15 victories in 17 events on the day. Winners included Jordan Tobler in the shot put, Kimmery Hern in the discus, three Falcon relay teams, Claudia Gil-Osorio in the 100-meter dash, Rita Jones in the 200, Katherine East in the 400, Becky Gabelein in the 300 hurdles, Julie Gabelein in the 1,600 and 3,200, Caitlin Robinson in the high jump and Katy McGillen in the triple jump, javelin and 100 hurdles.
For the boys -- who just got by Lakewood 71-65 -- senior Andy Wills was a double winner in the 100 and 200, while Kyle McGillen took the triple and long jumps.
Also a big story for the Falcons was the return of senior distance runner Brandon Bilyeu to the track. Having sat out last fall's cross country season due to a foot injury, Bilyeu got back on track with a 2:06.06 victory in the 800. Bilyeu competed at the state meet in that event last season.
Also winning for the team was Tanner McInerney in the shot put, James Sundquist in the 3,200 and the 4x400 relay squad of Zach Taylor, Alex Hoelting, JD Peters and McGillen.
A stripped-down Falcon squad then traveled to the Holder Relays in Yakima Saturday. With only about 45 boys and girls available to competed due to the start of spring break, injuries and illness, the Falcons still competed well as the boys took 12th place out of 24 teams. The girls were sixth out of 25.
Most successful for the girls was Katy McGillen. She won the high jump and took third-place finishes in the triple jump and the javelin. Other top placers in varsity races were Becky Gabelein in the 300 hurdles (fifth), Gil-Osorio in the 100 (fourth), and the 4x200 relay team of Gabelein, Gil-Osorio, Suzie Cruchon and Brittany Peterson.
For the boys, Andy Wills was the lone winner, taking the 400 and placing second in the 100.