Sports

South Whidbey will again be competitive in track and field

Before the gun sounds, Falcon sprinters must make sure the placement of their feet, arms and legs are in perfect synchronicity. On Thursday, the team welcomes Coupeville and Oak Harbor for a jamboree. - Jeff VanDerford / The Record
Before the gun sounds, Falcon sprinters must make sure the placement of their feet, arms and legs are in perfect synchronicity. On Thursday, the team welcomes Coupeville and Oak Harbor for a jamboree.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / The Record

Each spring, the track and field at South Whidbey High School blossoms with athletes running, jumping, throwing, leaping, yelling or simply flat on their backs from exhaustion. Boys and girls alike are training hard in preparation for a long season.

“We have pretty good coverage across the events, both on the boys and girls side, and hope to improve on last year’s second-place girls Cascade Conference finish and third place for the boys,” said Falcon coach Doug Fulton. “The girls team has the ability to place in the top four at state again this year.

“We have a talented crop of returning athletes spread out across all disciplines.”

On the girl’s side, McKenzie Walker is the 10th best returner in the 100-meter and seventh best in the 200-meter. Emily Martin is the 15th best 3,200-meter distance runner.

Martin is working hard to get up to speed.

“I started a little out of shape and it feels good to get out there and run,” she said. She plans on running the distance events this season.

And something else.

“I’m trying my hand at pole vaulting ‘cause I wanted to try something new,” she added.

Cayla Calderwood is the ninth best at throwing the javelin, sixth highest in the high jump, third in the long jump and second in the triple.

With three of four girls coming back, the chances of a third straight 200-meter relay state championship are good.

Freshman Paige Miller will be joining Gwen Bakke, Walker and Laurie Robinson, while Laura Barrow will attempt to improve her league third place standing in hurdles.

Nikki Enters is the girls top discus thrower this year.

“We’ve been working on conditioning overall, but I’m personally trying to get both lower and faster in my spin,” Enters said. “That helps me get to the front of the ring faster which helps my momentum.”

The boys sprint relay teams, anchored by Chandler Thompson and Jon Poolman, will be a strength again this year.

“Sprints have always been a strong point for us,” Fulton noted.

Scott Stallman enters this season as the top 2A 800-meter runner in the state. Poolman is strong in the 200-meter and Andy Bennett was last year’s top league sprinter in the 300-meter hurdles, fourth best returner in the long jump and seventh best in the triple jump.

In throwing events, David Monell returns as the league’s third best in shot put, while Zach Idso and Jackson Engstrom are expected to excel in the discus.

At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, the team hosts a jamboree at Waterman Field with Coupeville, Lakewood and Oak Harbor on hand. Each athlete will compete in two events.

“It’s a chance to see how far they’ve gone in their training and to see what needs to be corrected,” Fulton said. “Competition is always good, at any level.”

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