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Archive for the ‘Track’ Category

Jeff and Cindy Rhubottom. (Contributed photos)

   A flashback to the days when Rhubottom terrorized Wolf rivals on the hardwood.

   The socks were extraordinary, and so was their ability to put the ball in the hoop.

“Respect yourself. Respect your school.”

Jeff Rhubottom was one of the best athletes to ever walk the hallways of Coupeville High School, and he lived by that credo.

A 6-foot-4 tower of power, the 1978 Wolf grad was a 12-time letter winner (four times each in football, basketball and track and field), a two-time All-Conference hoops player and the school record holder in the high jump for more than a decade.

While fellow football player Rich Wilson (6-4) nipped Rhubottom’s mark (6-2) in 2000 — and retains the school record 17 years later — Rhubottom’s legacy still looms large.

He torched the basketball nets for 459 points his senior season in 1977-1978, the second-best single-season mark ever put up a Wolf, boy or girl.

Over the course of four seasons, while sharing the ball with some of the biggest scorers and sweetest shooters in CHS hoops history, he finished with 1,012 points.

In 100 seasons of Wolf boys basketball, only Jeff Stone (1137), Mike Bagby (1104) and Rhubottom contemporary Randy Keefe (1088) have topped that.

While he enjoyed his other sports (he was a tight end/outside linebacker in football and a sprinter, relay runner and state meet-qualifying high jumper on the track oval), basketball was always Rhubottom’s favorite.

“Making the starting five on the varsity squad in basketball my sophomore year” was a particular highlight, which allowed him to “play with great athletes like Bill Jarrell, Randy Keefe, Marc Bisset and Foster Faris.”

That unit played for legendary CHS coach Bob Barker, a man who had a huge positive impact on Rhubottom.

“Coach Barker (was a favorite) for his professionalism,” Rhubottom said. “I remember him quoting as he was handing out our red blazers, ‘You’re representing yourself as an athlete and you’re representing Coupeville High School’.”

CHS football coach Pat Lippincott and track guru Craig Pedlar (“great teacher, great coach”) also helped shaped the young Rhubottom into the man he became.

“Coach Pedlar brought Michael Ellsworth, Jeff Fielding, and myself to the State A Finals in Yakima in 1978,” Rhubottom said. “It was great to be involved with great athletes of the school.

“It’s what you did on Friday nights.”

Whether it was standing tall at the state tourney or ripping through the line to block a punt against Concrete, before scooping up the loose ball and taking it to the house for a touchdown, Rhubottom played with passion, for himself and his teammates.

“I loved and respected the athletic program, playing with great athletes in a small town.”

The lessons he learned as a Wolf benefited Rhubottom as he went on to build his own family (he has a son, Jeff, Jr.) and a career in the painting business.

“Working hard and being responsible and trying to stay in the best physical shape as the years go by. Keeping active,” have been his guiding principals.

Rhubottom considers himself “totally blessed,” having been married to Cindy, “the most beautiful, loving wife, mother, and grandmother” until she lost her battle with cancer in September, 2016.

Being “surrounded by loving new and old family” has helped him greatly.

As he looks back at his own career, Rhubottom calls on today’s Wolves to seize the day.

“Respect yourself. Respect your school. Give 110%. Enjoy the experience,” he said. “Have fun, because it goes by quick.

“Keep active. Always love the sport,” Rhubottom added. “It was fun to take a trip down memory road of my athletic career at Coupeville High School. These are memories I will cherish forever.”

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Henry Wynn heads into his senior year. (Photos courtesy Jennifer Wynn)

Wynn hangs out with CHS track coach Randy King.

Henry Wynn is a bit of a trailblazer.

Already a track star at Coupeville High School, he joined Danny Conlisk last year in making the trek to the South end of the Island to also pursue a cross country career.

While CHS has a proud history in the sport, it’s not a current one, as the school doesn’t field its own program — though rumors abound that one might resurface in 2018.

That won’t help Wynn, who starts his senior year this fall.

So, he’ll spend another season training and traveling with South Whidbey, then competing as a Wolf alongside Conlisk, a junior, and younger brother Sam Wynn, a freshman.

During his junior cross country season, Henry Wynn competed in six races, setting a PR during the Olympic League Championships and finishing 26th at districts.

When the spring rolled around, he was right back at it on the track oval, where the highlight was a second-straight trip to state in the 4 x 400.

Wynn, who also skies and plays badminton and soccer, lives for the life of a runner.

“Track (is my favorite), because it’s a challenge for each individual,” he said. “I just enjoy playing.”

He hails his “determination” as his biggest strength while competing, and would like to focus on achieving “more consistency in training.”

“I hope to do really well in both cross country and track, without any injuries,” Wynn said. “I hope be on a track team in college.”

When he’s not training or competing, he keeps busy with a wide range of interests, from sailing to “art, classical music and reading.”

Wynn excels in the classroom (“biology is my favorite subject”) and participates in Big Brothers, Big Sisters to give back to his community.

While running is largely a solitary pursuit, he has a large support crew which he greatly appreciates.

“All my coaches have helped me and my parents. Also, what I’ve learned at my summer track camps has made a big impact on my training.”

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Sam Wynn heads off on an adventure. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Wynn)

There’s a new runner on the course.

Sam Wynn, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School this fall, is joining older brother Henry and Danny Conlisk in pursuing a cross country career.

For now, that means training and traveling with South Whidbey, then competing as Wolves. The trio stay with the Falcons through the regular season, then break off come postseason time.

Rumors abound CHS might have its own cross country team in 2018, reviving a program with a rich history, including two individual state champs in Natasha Bamberger and Tyler King.

Until then, the current Wolf trio will make the trek South, and Sam Wynn, who was a strong track runner in middle school, will continue to work on fine-tuning his running skills.

“I would say an athletic strength I could have is following my coaches directions.

“I want to work on becoming much faster in both long and shorter distances,” Wynn added. “Improve my mile/5K times and become all-around faster and better.”

Wynn, who also plays soccer, skis and sails, doesn’t play favorites, but enjoys all of his activities.

“I wouldn’t say I have a absolute favorite sport, but currently I’m really enjoying both soccer and cross country,” he said. “I like having a good team and I would like to be able to enjoy winning more often.”

When he’s not involved in sports, Wynn can often be found around the stage, where he’s taken part in school drama productions.

As he pursues a new chapter in his life on the cross country course, he is grateful for the support crew which stands strong behind him on a daily basis.

“My family has always helped me stay fit and active and has always supported me in sports.”

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   CHS track stars (l to r) Henry Wynn, Thane Peterson and Allison Wenzel spent four days working with UW coaches. (Photo courtesy Susan Wenzel)

A trio of Wolves took the next step in their evolution as track stars.

Coupeville High School seniors Allison Wenzel and Henry Wynn and sophomore Thane Peterson recently attended a four-day camp at the University of Washington to hone their skills.

The camp, run by U-Dub coaches, gave high school athletes insight into several components of being successful.

They each trained in specific events, while also getting advice on stretching, personal fitness and wellness, mindfulness, treating and preventing muscle injuries and health and nutrition.

The hunt for scholarships and what it’s like to be a college-level athlete were also addressed.

Wenzel used the camp to work on javelin and discus, while Peterson joined her in discus and Wynn was schooled in short distance running.

It was Peterson’s first trip to the UW camp, while Wenzel and Wynn were making their second visit.

The Wolf athletes came away impressed with what they gained from the camp.

Allison said she highly recommends it!,” said mom Susan Wenzel.

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Alana Mihill has it made in the shade. (Susan Hulst photo)

Alana Mihill is a quiet assassin.

The Coupeville 7th grader doesn’t waste her time chattering away but simply goes out and gets the job done.

The younger sister of CHS soccer star Laurence Boado, she played basketball and competed in track and field during her first year of middle school sports.

Mihill, who was born in Hawaii but moved to Coupeville when she was two, competed in a number of events this spring.

She ran the 200 and 800, threw the javelin and carried the baton as a member of the Wolves 4 x 400 relay unit.

A fan of her science and gym classes (“My favorite is gym because we don’t have to sit the whole time”), she enjoys spending time taking her dog for walks.

Mihill hails CMS track coaches Elizabeth Bitting and Jon Gabelein for their inspiration, and enjoys both of her sports for allowing her to “be active and have fun.”

Whether playing hoops or competing on the oval, she keeps chugging away like the Energizer Rabbit.

“My strength is endurance,” Mihill said. “And I would like to work on my speed.”

The team aspect of basketball gives it a slight edge over the often solo lifestyle of a track athlete when she picks her favorite sport.

“Basketball, because there is less individual pressure,” Mihill said. “I would like to continue in basketball and work on shooting baskets.”

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