Falcon track stars gear up for year-end challenges

LANGLEY — Running, throwing, jumping or sprinting alone doesn’t help athletes as they prepare for conference and state finals.

Nikki Enters throws for the Falcons.

LANGLEY — Running, throwing, jumping or sprinting alone doesn’t help athletes as they prepare for conference and state finals.

Thursday, the South Whidbey track and field team welcomed Coupeville for an afternoon of intense competition with a traditional island rival.

Overall, the Falcon girls won with 94 points to the Wolves’ 37. The South Whidbey boys won 66 to 52.

Leading the way for the Falcons was Gwen Bakke in the 100-meter dash in a personal best time of 13.84 seconds. Autumn Waker placed second in 14.82.

McKenzie Walker was first in the 200-meter dash at 27.94. In the 400-meter dash, Laurie Robinson was first in 1:06.63, followed by Erica Johnson with 1:07.73 and Courtney Bosman in 1:08.01.

Johnson won the 800-meter in 2:39.0, Cassie Bosman was second in 2:49.50 and AJ Janda third with 3:11.0.

In the 1,600-meter, Caroline Habel was first at 5:38.90, Emily Martin placed second with 5:40.90 and Cassie Bosman third in 5:53.40.

In the 400-meter relay event, Bakke, Robinson, Lauren Sandri and Walker won in 52.71.

“I’m still a little sore from the 100-meter dash,” Bakke said. “I think the timing of the exchange from me to McKenzie is the key and it takes a ton of practice.”

In the 400-meter relay, Martin, Cassie Bosman, Johnson and Habel were first in 4:47.71.

With Cayla Calderwood still out due to a pulled muscle, Tamara Leonard high jumped in 4 feet, 6 inches for first. In pole vault, Ann Hefflinger and Autumn Waker tied with 7-06.

Jumping coach Mark Eager said Calderwood needed a few weeks off.

“She’s worked very hard all year, so it shouldn’t bother her, but you never know what will happen when they compete, especially at districts and state,” he said.

In the long jump, Sandri won with 16-08.

The girls dominated the shot put. Nikki Enters was first with 27-07.75, Kelsey Engstrom threw 26-05.25 and Christine Johnson 26 feet even.

Enters took second in the discus with 94-0 and javelin with 78-11. Hefflinger was third with 77-06.

Enters noted she wasn’t satisfied with her throw.

“Coach [Jeff] Greene has had us working on ab strength, hips and momentum so that the speed of the turn will get me to the front of the ring,” she said. “That and my release angle are the keys.”

In the boys events, South Whidbey’s Andy Bennett was first in the 100-meter dash with 12.14. Eric Stallman placed third in 12.21.

Stallman was second in the 200-meter dash at 24.67 followed by Jasper Tyler in 24.99.

The Falcons swept the field in the 400-meter as Jon Poolman in 53.52, Bennett in 54.64 and Tyler in 54.74 competed against each other.

“I still try to PR and run my best even if it’s just my friends,” Tyler said.

Bennett agreed.

“I run as fast as possible for the win. But if you lose, at least you know it’s to a teammate,” he said.

In the 1,600-meter distance event, Scott Stallman placed first in 4:54.0 while Nick Rovang, Eric Stallman, Tyler and Scott Stallman won the 1,600-meter relay in 3:39.54.

Bennett high jumped 5 feet for second. In the pole vault, Isaac Bartel cleared 10-0 for first, Ramsey O’Brien was second with 9-08 and Hisashi Sanda third at 9 even.

It was a big day for shot putter David Monell, who threw a PR at 45-4.75 for first place. Jackson Engstrom was second at 38-09 and Chris Monell third with 38-04.

Thrower coach Greene said a three foot increase is called a “pop.”

“It’s such a good feeling when it happens,” he said, giving Monell a big hug.

Monell said he was calmer before the event.

“I’ve been working to improve my form and it paid off today,” he said. “Jackson [Engstrom] and the coach have really been helpful. I feel good.”

Engstrom was first in discus with 118-05, David Monell second at 116-01 and Danny Zuver third with 116-0.

Killian Ross and Adam Rushold took second and third in the javelin with

132-06 and 132-01 respectively.

Explaining the appeal of the javelin, Rushold said the sport is more of a mental challenge.

“You have to run up to the line as fast as possible, then come to a complete stop and throw,” he said. “Stopping at velocity isn’t easy so finesse and technique are really important. It can be pretty intense.”

The Falcon track team travels to Cedarcrest for league on May 7-9 and districts on May 14-16.

On May 23, those who survive head to Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma for a chance at a state title.

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