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Falcon athletes shine against top schools
The first track meet of the season was a success for several South Whidbey athletes Thursday, including a few freshman newcomers.
Athletes from Oak Harbor, Coupeville and Lakewood were in town to test themselves against each other and the host Falcon team.
Under jamboree rules, there were no relays run, and each athlete entered two events instead of the normal four.
Even so, the action was hot and heavy, aided by unusually good weather conditions compared to the rain, snow and ice seen at last season’s opener.
In the 100-meter sprint, South Whidbey’s Chandler Thompson took second in
11.66 seconds, a few tenths behind Oak Harbor’s Stephen Lewis. But Falcon freshman Elijah Ferguson was a surprise third at 11.91.
“My start could have been a little better,” Thompson said. “But I widened my stride to stay even with the Oak Harbor guy. First meet, I’m happy.”
Jon Poolman placed first for the Falcons in the 200-meter in 23.03, Jasper Tyler was second in the 400-meter at 55.77 and Scott Stallman was first in the 800-meter with 2:02.01.
Those results bode well for the relays, since Stallman, Poolman and Thompson are the returning core of the boys team.
It was a PR for Tyler.
“I thought at first there was a false start as I jolted a split second before the gun,” Tyler recalled. “The Oak Harbor guy was with me all the way, but I think I did OK.”
In the 110-meter hurdles, Andy Bennett was second for South Whidbey with 16.95.
South Whidbey excelled in the shot put, taking the top four spots. Jackson Engstrom was first with 43 feet, 11.5 inches, followed by David Monell at 40-02, Kevin McDonald with 37-09 and Chris Monell at 37-06.
Engstrom admitted putting the shot was his preferred event, but expressed concern over his discus throw.
“I felt myself going to the right and then over-compensated to the left,” he said. “I’ve been working on my rotation, my approach to the throw, and found it helps the discus go a lot farther.”
Zach Idso was first in discus with 114-04 and Kinloch was fifth at 108-09.
Bennett had a personal best in the long jump, placing first with 20 feet, 8.5 inches. Will Hallberg was second at 20-02.75 and Ferguson fourth at 19 feet even.
Bennett said he’s going to concentrate on the long jump this year; doing the hurdles first makes him not as explosive jumping.
In the girls 100-meter sprint, South Whidbey freshman Bailey Auburn was first in a blistering 14.03.
Laurie Robinson also took the top spot in the 200-meter at 29.33.
Fellow Falcon Laura Barrow, despite hurting a hamstring halfway down the track, placed second in the 100-meter hurdles in 17.90.
“My start was a bit slow, but it was good for me until the middle when I got hurt; but I was tight to start with,” Barrow said.
In the 1,600-meter distance run, Emily Martin was fifth at 5:48.50.
“The tough part of distance running is the middle lap, when your legs feel bad and you know you’ve still got half the race left,” Martin said. Teammate Caroline Habel, placing 12th at 6:18.20, agreed.
“Well, I’m just out of shape and my legs felt like blocks at the end,” she said. “I have a lot of work to do, but running races against serious competitors is a big help mentally.”
In the girls throwing events, South Whidbey’s Kelsey Engstrom was first in the shot put with 29-09.5 and Nikki Enters third with 29-06.5. Enters also placed second with the discus at 96-08. Engstrom took second place with the javelin at 76-11.
In jumping events, Robinson placed fourth in the long jump at 13-08.5.