OK, so Coupeville didn’t send that big of a team to South Whidbey Thursday and the level of competition was spotty at best.
But that was just perfect as the Falcon boys and girls track teams took advantage of the day to prepare for state.
That didn’t mean everyone was goofing off, however.
South Whidbey’s Julie Antetomaso had a career personal best in the long jump and triple jump with 14 feet, 6 inches and 30-5 respectively.
Other PRs included Laura Barrow with a career best in the 300-meter hurdles at 50.56 and Nikki Nelson throwing her discus 102-3.
It was a big day as well for freshman Ann Hefflinger, who finally cleared the pole vault — only 6-6, but it was a milestone for her after weeks of hard work and some advice and encouragement from senior vaulter Matt Long.
For the Falcon boys, Scott Stallman ran his first 800-meter in 2:07.44, good for a No. 9 ranking in the Cascade Conference.
Other PRs included Chandler Thompson’s 200 under 24 seconds (23.77), Andy Bennett’s 300 in 45.10 and Kevin Kinloch’s 111-04 throw of his javelin.
Everywhere one looked on Waterman Field, Falcons were carefully measuring the length, time, height or distance of their individual disciplines.
“It’s a beautiful day and I like to jump; really high,” Antetomaso said.
Jason Fitz took both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at 15.92 and 41.40.
“This is like a hard practice for us,” Fitz said. “This will be the first time since my freshman year the boys will mount a serious challenge at state in Tacoma.”
Jon Poolman continued his string of triumphs in the 100 and 200-meter dash — 11.87 and 23.57.
“Things are going pretty good so far, but the big test comes next week,” Poolman said.
Falcon coach Doug Fulton is encouraged by the season to date.
“The boys are much improved from a year ago,” he said. “Our strength is in the sprints and jumps with Jason ranked second in both hurdles, Thompson and Poolman ranked in the top five in the 100 and 200, plus the 100 and 400-meter relay events and Matt, who ranks second in pole vault. Bennett, Stallman and Thompson all rank among the top five jumpers.”
Fulton said the goal is a top-three finish.
“The boys were 5-3 this year in league meets overall,” he said.
The girls are again a well-balanced team. They will score well in all events at the league playoffs and should give favorite King’s a definite run for the money.
“The girls finished the season 8-0 in league meets; Lauren Sandri ranks No. 1 in 100 and 200 meters, as does Julie and Josette Serrill in high jump and the 200-meter relay,” he said.
Emma Ruggierio is also at the top of her game in the discus and Katy Gordon is the defending champion in the 3200-meter distance run.
Ruggiero agreed that the season is going well for her.
“I had a PR with 124-3 in the discus,” she said. “With only a couple meets left, a lot of us are peaking just when we should thanks to the advice and encouragement of our coaches.”
McKenzie Walker helped the relay teams take first.
“All I wanted to do was catch that girl from Coupeville. Catch her, pass her and beat her,” Walker said.
To qualify for districts, athletes must rank in the top eight at the league contest at Cedarcrest May 9.
The two top 2A athletes in each event at Bellingham May 16-18 qualify for state at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma May 25-26.
“King’s has great depth and will be hard to overcome but the girls will provide a few surprises next week,” Fulton added.
Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.