Stallman, Bennett and Hallberg triumph at Westling Invite

Cassie Bosman passes the baton to sister Courtney on Saturday during the distance medley event at the Westling Invite. - Jeff VanDerford
Cassie Bosman passes the baton to sister Courtney on Saturday during the distance medley event at the Westling Invite.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford

It was a great day for South Whidbey track-and-field athletes.

Falcons Scott Stallman, Andy Bennett and Will Hallberg took first-place honors at Saturday’s 26th annual Westling Invite, helping propel the boys team to a third-place overall finish behind Kent Meridian and Garfield, which are both top 4A state track-and-field schools.

South Whidbey’s Cayla Calderwood, Laura Barrow and the distance medley team helped the girls to a fourth place against some of the state’s best athletes.

There were 15 teams on hand, and Kent Meridian took both boys and girls team honors, though they started late due to a four-hour snafu that caused them to arrive via Deception Pass instead of the ferry.

Stallman ran the 800-meters in 2 minutes, 1.42 seconds, a personal best. Bennett long-jumped his way 21 feet, 3.75 inches while Hallberg was the triple-jump champ at 42-09.5.

Bennett is the current state 2A long-jump leader, just ahead of Selah’s Brett Blanshan.

In his first attempt, Bennett flew just a shade over 21 feet but felt he could do better.

“It’s a good first jump, and the cool weather helps,” he said. “The key is to build up as much speed as I can down the runway and have a clean, legal take-off. No speed, no air.”

Bennett also took a second place in the

300-meter hurdles with 41.31, less than a second behind Garfield’s Denzel Robinson.

Calderwood placed second in the high jump (behind Kent Meridian’s Melanie Vertees) with a distance of five feet and second in the long jump (after Oak Harbor’s Shantae Young) at 15-01.25. She finished the day with a third place in the triple jump with 34-11.

“Oh, I almost made that triple,” Calderwood said.

“That event is one of the hardest on the body; you have to be confident and there can be no hesitation.”

Calderwood is currently ranked second in both the long and high jump events in the Cascade Conference, just behind Archbishop Murphy’s Sarah Schireman.

Barrow was third in the 100-meter hurdles with 17.25 and the 300-meter hurdles with 48.94.

The girls distance medley relay team — Caroline Habel, Cassie and Courtney Bosman and Emily Martin — placed second behind Mount Vernon with 13:45.15.

Habel ran the 1,200-meter leg, Cassie Bosman the 400-meter, Courtney Bosman the 800-meter, and Martin the mile.

Martin admitted she may have passed the front-runner a tad too soon.

“I probably should have waited to pass the other girl until about 200 meters out, but we PR’d by four seconds, so that’s very good,” Martin said.

The girl’s 400-meter relay team of Martin, Habel, the Bosmans and Laurie Robinson finished third with 4:34.05.

Other outstanding boys performances included freshman Elijah Fergusson’s seventh-place finish in the 100-meter dash in 11.87; Sam Lee’s sixth in the mile at

4:44.83 and Jasper Tyler’s fourth in the 400-meter in 53.18.

Jackson Engstrom picked up a fifth place in the shot put with a throw of 43-08.5 and David Monell was sixth with 43-05.5.

Monell also threw his discus 120-09 for third and Zach Idso was fourth at 119-10.

“Considering several of our top kids — Chandler Thompson, Jon Poolman, Mackenzie Walker and others — were out recovering from injuries, we did very well,” said Falcon coach Doug Fulton.

Before the main events, some 30 former South Whidbey students who ran for Falcon Hall of Fame track coach Carl Westling, joined him for a ceremonial lap around the track.

On Thursday, April 30, the team travels to Granite Falls as the work-up to state finals in Tacoma — May 29 and 30 — grinds into high gear.

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