South Whidbey takes on 5 top league schools in track

Halfway through the 100-meter hurdles during last week’s track meet, it appeared that Archbishop Murphy’s Danielle Leonard had a leg up over Falcons Laura Barrow and Cayla Calderwood.    - Jeff VanDerford / The Record
Halfway through the 100-meter hurdles during last week’s track meet, it appeared that Archbishop Murphy’s Danielle Leonard had a leg up over Falcons Laura Barrow and Cayla Calderwood.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / The Record

South Whidbey athletes picked up 12 first-place finishes in a major Cascade Conference track and field meet last week.

Despite a foot injury that kept key jumper Will Hallberg off the field — he leads the league in the triple jump — the Falcon boys team placed third with 55 points. Archbishop Murphy was first at 120 points and Sultan second with 82. Coupeville and Granite Falls teams placed fourth and fifth.

South Whidbey’s girls took second overall with 117 points behind Murphy’s 141.

Falcon Jon Poolman led the pack for the boys with wins in the 100-meter race at 11.34 seconds, the 200-meters (23.09) and 400-meter (51.93).

In the 3,200-meter distance run, Sam Lee was first with 10:19.10.

In field events, Jackson Engstrom placed second in the shot put with a distance of 45 feet, ¾ inches. Zach Idso was first in the discus with 139 and Danny Zuver placed second with 124-10.

Though not his specialty by any means, Zuver decided to enter the 100-meter race, where he placed 23 out of 31 competitors.

“Hey, it’s a nice day, I’m a senior, next month I graduate and I’m having a good time,” he said. “So why not run?”

McKenzie Walker has finally shaken off last year’s injuries, as she proved by winning the 100-meter dash in 13.46 and the 200-meters in 27.38. She also placed second behind Sultan’s Rici Morrill in the 400-meter race in 1:03.58.

“I’m feeling a lot better now, my starts are more crisp and I feel I’m peaking at the right time,” she said.

Falcon Lillianna Stelling placed second in the 1,600 distance race in 5:43, and Aly Chapman was third in the 3,200-meter run in 14:19.30.

Laura Barrow placed first in the 100-meter hurdles in 17.19, and teammate Cayla Calderwood was right behind at 17.24. Barrow also won the 300-meter hurdles with 48.44.

Barrow was a bit surprised at her times.

“I had a slow start but managed to pull ahead; the race was very tight all the way,” she said. “I kept my focus and worked through it.”

The 200-meter relay team of Anna Hood, Sarah Cepowski, Bailey Auburn and Ellie Greene took second with a time of 2:02.24.

Kelsey Engstrom was fourth in the shot put with a throw of 27-07. She didn’t do as well in the javelin, placing eighth with 69-03, but said that was OK.

“Throwing the javelin helps me learn my blocks for the shot put,” she said. “It boils down to how best to stop your momentum.”

Freshman Angelina Berger surprised herself and 15 other competitors with a discus throw of 99-07, good for first place. Berger followed that up with an 84-foot javelin throw for third.

Then she ran, taking 17th in the 100-meter dash.

“I had a personal best in the discus and decided that, since this is the final regular meet at home, I’d run, which isn’t normally my thing,” she said. “It was fun, but I’d better stick to throwing.”

Calderwood placed first in the high jump with 4-10, Stelling was second in the pole vault with 8 feet even and Laurie Robinson placed third in the long jump with 13-01.50.

Each athlete can sign up for four disciplines, so Calderwood entered the javelin, discus, hurdles and high jump to prepare both for state finals and a planned heptathlon she has entered at Lake Stevens in June.

“There are seven events over two days, so this is a good chance to get ready for them,” she noted.

Falcon coach Doug Fulton, while conceding his teams don’t have a lot of depth, said that individual performances were outstanding.

“The top four in each event will go to state, but it’s too early to tell exactly who will qualify,” he said. “But we have good kids who are working hard, and we are all having fun.”

Today through Friday, the track team travels to the Cascade Conference championships at Cedarcrest. Districts will be in Sultan on May 19-21, and state finals at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma start May 27.

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