Personal bests, sunny weather at recent meet | FALCON TRACK AND FIELD

Falcon sophomore Elizabeth Donnelly finished second in the 800-meter race at South Whidbey’s recent home meet.

It’s not often a long jumper shatters a previous mark by 12 inches.

South Whidbey sophomore Sophie Nielsen did just that at a four-team meet Thursday afternoon, finishing first in the event with a personal best of 16 feet, 10 inches.

She credited her training in the weight room and improved concentration for helping her shatter her earlier record.

“I don’t know, I was just feeling it,” Nielsen said. “I just felt really light and then I just went out there and jumped.”

Nielsen’s high mark was among the highlights from an overall strong performance by the girls team Thursday afternoon. Competing in a four-team meet with Granite Falls, Sultan and Coupeville at South Whidbey High School under sunny skies, the Falcon girls team tied for first while the boys finished second.

Temperatures were in the mid-60s through most the meet. It was a complete turnaround from the Falcons’ previous meet at Granite Falls, which consisted of rainy and cold weather and less than stellar performances because of it, said Falcon head coach Mark Eager.

The girls tied Granite Falls with 82 points, with several of the Falcons’ strongest competitors performing well.

Falcon sophomore Elizabeth Donnelly placed first in the 800-meter dash with a time of two minutes and 24 seconds. She placed second in the class 1A state championships last season. Senior Allie Vanbenschoten, who placed fourth in the 300-meter hurdles in 2015, finished second at the meet with a time of 49.22 seconds.

“I did a seasonal (personal best) by three seconds, so that’s really good,” Vanbenschoten said. “I’m progressing exactly how I want to.”

Falcon junior Bailey Forsyth finished second in the girls 100-meter dash and third in the 200. Falcon senior Kendra Warwick and junior Kinsey Eager finished second and third, respectively, in the 400.

Several girl throwers also finished high, with seniors Hailey Simchuk and Morgan Davis placing second in the discus and javelin, respectively.

The boys finished 21 points behind first-place Coupeville.

Among the top performers was senior Kyle Chambers, who finished first in the long jump with a mark of 19 feet and four inches.