South Whidbey track and field hosted a three-team meet with Sultan and Cedar Park Christian on a sunny Thursday afternoon.
South Whidbey won 21 of 35 events as both the Falcon boys and girls teams finished first over runner-up Cedar Park Christian. At least one Falcon placed in the top three in 29 of 35 events.
The Falcons are competing in the Bellevue Christian Invitational today, the final regular season meet of the spring. South Whidbey will compete in the Cascade Conference Championships on May 4, followed by the class 1A District 1 Championships on May 11-13 at Lynden High School. The top four finishers at district move on to the District 1/2 Bi-District Championships on May 18-20 at King’s High School.
The Falcon girls, the returning bi-district champions, won the meet by 40 points. Four freshmen girls claimed first in their respective events: Mattason Straub (long jump), Emily Vanberg (pole vault), Alison Papritz (400 meters) and Ahnika Burt (200). Other first place finishers on the girls team included senior Bailey Forsyth (100), junior Elizabeth Donnelly (800), junior Sophia Nielsen (110-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump), junior Emma Barker (pole vault), the 4×100-meter relay, 4×200 relay and 4×400 relay.
Forsyth, who is ranked fifth in the state in the 100 according to Athletic.net, won Thursday’s 100-meter dash in 13.12 seconds. It was just .37 slower than her season-best time of 12.75.
Forsyth was satisfied with her performance.
“I had a good start, which is good and what I’ve been working on for a while,” Forsyth said. “I felt really strong at the beginning.”
Forsyth also helped push the 4×400 relay team into eighth place in the state with a time of 4:19.86 on Thursday. Forsyth is also on the girls fourth-ranked 4×100 relay team. She’s confident the Falcon girls have a chance at repeating as the bi-district champions with a strong nucleus of three other girls ranked in the top 10. The three girls are Donnelly (ninth, 800), Nielsen (seventh, 100 hurdles; eighth, 300 hurdles; seventh, long jump; and sixth, triple jump) and Barker (tenth, pole vault).
“So far, it’s been an awesome season,” Forsyth said. “I’m really happy about how things have worked out for both me and the team in general.”
Nielsen, the Falcons’ most versatile athlete, competed in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump. She won all three events, setting a personal record in the 300 hurdles (49.33 seconds) and a season-best in the 100 hurdles (16.21 seconds)
“Today, it just feels like a good day with good weather,” said Nielsen, who will compete in all four of her events in the postseason. “…I hold myself to high expectations. I’m always trying to do better and get as far as I can in the postseason.”
The boys won by a smaller margin of 29 points. Taking first were senior Cory Ackerman (3,200), sophomore Kristopher Dixon (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles), sophomore Owen Boram (javelin), freshman Issiah Gonzales (high jump), junior Romey Rohde (pole vault), the 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay.
Sophomore Matthew Simmons, a returning state participant in the 200, finished third in the 100 with a time of 11.95 seconds.
“I had a really bad start,” Simmons said. “It’s just not what I expected to get.”
Simmons hopes he can eventually drop his time to match or improve upon his personal best of 11.57 seconds, which he set at last season’s district championships.