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Archive for the ‘Track’ Category

Zoe Trujillo, the newest member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She made it look effortless.

Even if I know it wasn’t.

I know she worked hard behind the scenes, just like her sister. Her family has always embraced hard work, sacrifice, and commitment.

But when Zoe Trujillo played, she made it look effortless.

Sporting killer socks, a young Zoe eyeballs her rivals on the basketball court.

It’s not always easy to be the younger sister, to follow the path laid down by an older sibling, especially if that person was a one-of-a-kind athlete and human being.

But Zoe Trujillo, like big sis Valen, always rose to the moment.

Put her next to a volleyball net, place her on a tennis court, or drop her into the world of track and field, and the little sister crafted her own highlight reel, made her own memories.

Zoe was lethal when unleashed, gracefully twirling into the air, pausing for a second or two in mid-flight to survey the scene on the other side of the net, then ripping off a laser of a spike.

She was a big hitter and a big part of the success of a Coupeville High School volleyball program which never finished lower than second-place in league during her four years on campus.

Her senior season in the fall of 2019 was a particular highlight, for the Wolves and for Zoe.

Led by an eight-pack of seniors, including the younger of the Trujillo sisters, CHS opened 7-0, went 13-2 in the regular season (losing only to state power King’s) and finished 14-5.

Narrowly missing out on a trip to state, those Wolves tied the program’s record for wins.

Some of the biggest moments, the ones which provided the most bang for the ticket buyer’s buck, came when Zoe elevated and smashed.

Zoe and Maddie Vondrak get down with their bad selves.

It was there, in those displays of crackling power and shimmering intensity, where she made the gym walls rock and mom Amy bounce happily in her seat.

Dad Craig spent a lot of his time toeing a line down on the floor, and, as a properly impartial linesman, had to pretend to be impassive when his younger daughter whistled a winner past his shoe.

It was only after the set or the match was complete, and he had returned to dad status up in the bleachers, that he beamed like a lightbulb powering up, glowing with the pride which his daughters brought out in him.

Zoe played a different position than Valen on the volleyball floor, the former an outside hitter, the latter a libero.

But both always carried themselves with a quiet grace, filled with a burning intensity, but always calm, composed, and attentive to the words of their coaches and the feelings of their teammates.

That carried over to the tennis court, where Zoe swatted her shots in a manner which, and stop me if you’ve heard this before — often looked effortless.

Zoe flicks a winner on a rainy spring afternoon.

She was a nimble player, mixing power with a nice touch, and advanced to districts as a young doubles player, before stepping away from the sport.

There was also a stint with the CHS track team as a sophomore, where she threw the javelin, competed in the long jump and triple jump, and ran in both the 200 and 4 x 100 relay.

While she never played basketball in high school, much like her older sister, Zoe showed promise on the hardwood during her middle school days.

But it was volleyball which lured her in, captivated her, and let her express herself best across six seasons in a Wolf uniform.

Through some of the biggest wins and toughest losses in program history, Zoe soared and delighted.

When she left the floor after her final prep match, she was taller, stronger, more confident, more polished than she had been when she first pulled on a Coupeville uniform.

But, from the earliest days as a middle school athlete to her senior swan song, one thing remained the same — Zoe was always, without fail, a class act.

Today, we’re revisiting her days as a Wolf, because we’re about to welcome her into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find her hanging out up at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

Inducted for her talent, her temperament, her grace, her humility, and for her heart, Zoe joins Valen in our digital shrine — two sisters who worked their own magic, in their own way.

Each chose a path, accomplished great things along the way, and are now off to top those school-day achievements with success in the adult world.

Zoe never coasted on the value of her last name or on the talent she was born with.

She worked for everything, and she earned everything.

Even if she did made it look effortless.

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Raven (left) and Willow Vick – bright, shining superstars. (Maria Reyes photo)

Kindness matters.

Long after the memories of their high school athletic achievements fade, Willow and Raven Vick will be remembered for the grace they showed others.

Through their schools days in Coupeville, from little tots to whip-smart high school grads, the twins amazed and dazzled.

As they grew up, they each found their own path, forged their own personalities, reached their own goals.

But, together or apart, they have one thing very much in common — the way they treat those around them, in good times and bad.

Willow and Raven benefit from having great parents, and Brian and Maria have much to be proud of when they watch their daughters.

That extends to the community which has helped shape them, and been shaped, in a very positive way, by the duo.

As they have followed their path through Cow Town, the Vick sisters have excelled in the classroom, in the music world, and on the sports field.

Always up for a photo shoot with dad. (Brian Vick photo)

They both played volleyball, finishing their prep careers as part of a highly-successful Wolf team which tied the program record for wins a year ago.

Coupeville started 12-1, won 14 matches in all, and claimed its fourth-straight top-two league finish and 10+ win season.

Along the way, the Wolves benefited from Raven’s crackling serves and Willow’s hustle and heart.

While the Vicks were denied a senior track and field season by the COVID-19 shutdown, they both took advantage of their time at the oval in previous seasons.

Raven celebrates after a successful track meet. (Brian Vick photo)

As a junior, Raven threw the shot put, discus, and javelin, competing in the league championships in all three events, and making it to bi-districts in the latter event.

Willow rounded out what would turn out to be her final track season by vying in the discus and javelin as well, along with performances in the 1600 and long jump.

And, like her sister, she qualified for the North Sound Conference Championships in three events.

Earlier in her track career, Willow, who also played for a Central Whidbey Little League juniors softball squad which went 13-3, made a splash.

As a freshman, she bounded past the competition to claim the title in the high jump at the Olympic League JV Championships.

Willow, ready to crank it. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

So, there’s ribbons, and memories, and moments which mattered to Willow and Raven, and to their family, and to their fans.

Add in all the high points in the classroom and with a musical instrument in hand, and you have a pair of young women who exemplify a lot of really great attributes.

They’re strong, they’re committed, they’re smart, they carry themselves with a sense of grace.

But, and in a world where things are out of sorts and 10,000 different versions of suck, Willow and Raven are kind.

Not because they have to be, but because they want to be.

I have seen it in public, with how they interact with their teammates on the court and around the track oval, and I have seen it in private, while sharing a car with them while driving back from volleyball postseason tournaments.

They are the same serene spirits when people are watching, and when they aren’t, and that goes a long way to why I have been so impressed with the twins.

So today, as the duo jointly celebrate their 19th birthday, I want to give back at least a little to them by inducting them into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, if you pop up to the top of the blog, under the Legends tab, you’ll find them there.

Our Hall of Fame, since it’s picked by one person, has no set rules for who gets through the doors.

Sometimes, selection is for awe-inspiring play and big stats. Other times, it’s for being the absolute best you can be, in whatever way you can be.

Willow and Raven make Coupeville a better place. It’s as simple as that.

Through their actions over the years, the twins have soared as high as any prep athletes I have written about, and I know, without a doubt, their accomplishments in the future will likely be extraordinary.

So, Miss Vick, and Miss Vick, thank you.

Thank you for choosing to reach for greatness, and for always being the best of what Coupeville has to offer.

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Ja’Tarya Hoskins, newest member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The chain stays strong.

The Hoskins family has been one of the best to come through Coupeville in recent years, with each kid a standout athlete, student, and human being.

Each link in that chain — Will, Jai’Lysa, Ja’Tarya, and Ja’Kenya — can stand on their own, but they remain stronger because they link together, with family and friends.

Today I want to single one out, and that would be Ja’Tarya, now a freshman at Saint Martin’s University.

She’s off on the first step of earning a law degree, and, if COVID cooperates, she’ll be competing as a track and field athlete for the school.

If not, rest assured Ja’Tarya will find a million other ways to impress all who meet her.

During her time in Coupeville, she was at the heart of great success, most notably (at least for us here at a sports blog) for her stellar work as a multi-sport athlete.

Ja’Tarya was front and center for the Wolf cheer squad, a key member of a group which brought CHS back to the world of competitive competition.

Celebrating Senior Night with mom Benita and lil’ sis Ja’Kenya.

There had been a six-year drought since Coupeville athletes stepped on to the blue competition mats, but they found success almost instantly when they returned in 2018.

That was Ja’Tarya’s junior season at CHS, and she and her close-knit pack of teammates went from zero to 3rd place at state in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

Of course, to get there, the Wolves put in countless grueling hours of work behind the scenes. Then made it look flawless.

A year later, Ja’Tarya capped her run as a Coupeville cheerleader as the Wolves qualified for nationals in their second year back in the sport.

All of her success as a cheerleader was just a small part of her portfolio, however.

Hoskins launches a javelin into the stratosphere. (Brian Vick photo)

In the world of track and field, Ja’Tarya competed in almost every event on the list.

Her biggest moment in the spotlight came in the 4 x 100, where she teamed with Mallory KortuemMaya Toomey-Stout, and Lindsey Roberts to place 5th at state during her junior season.

The quartet hit the tape in 50.54 seconds, and they currently sit on the big board in the CHS gym as school record-holders.

Left to right are Maya Toomey-Stout, Hoskins, Mallory Kortuem, and Lindsey Roberts. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Confident, assured, friendly, intelligent, kind, and strong – they all describe Ja’Tarya, who collected a long line of fans during her time as a Wolf.

For her achievements, yes, but also for the quality of her soul.

Check back in five years, ten years, or whenever, and I fully expect Ja’Tarya will have achieved great success in whatever she attempts.

When that happens, everyone here in Coupeville will be like, “Hey, we knew her when! And we told you she was gonna kill it!”

But, before she gets too famous for us, too accomplished, we can give her a little local honor while it still might mean something.

Today we induct Ja’Tarya into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, where she joins big sis Jai’Lysa, forever immortalized in our digital shrine for being the supernova she is, every day, in every way.

After this, if you stroll past the Legends tab at the top of the blog, that’s where you’ll find her hanging out.

Digitally, at least.

Out there in the real world, Ja’Tarya will be soaring to new successes, making new fans who will be as impressed with her as we are back here in Cow Town.

A bright, shining superstar lighting up the night sky.

Just the way it should be.

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Lucy Sandahl radiates joy, on the court and off. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Lucy Sandahl brings light, happiness, and joy into the world.

And those are things we really need right now.

As the country, and, to some extent, our town, rips itself apart, marinating in ugly arguments, it’s hard at times to see the positives.

Which means we need to look harder, go deeper, and actively seek out things to celebrate.

Today, that spotlight falls on Lucy, and our praise for her is highly deserved.

With that praise comes induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, if you pop up to the top of the blog and look under the Legends tab, that’s where she’ll be enshrined as a member of a select group.

Passing on the game to the next generation. (Cory Whitmore photo)

Lucy graduated from CHS last spring (which seems like four lifetimes ago), and is currently attending Seattle Pacific University with sister Sophie.

Now, I don’t think I will hurt Lucy’s feelings too deeply when I say that, based on her career stats as a Wolf volleyball player and track and field competitor, she’s not necessarily someone who immediately jumps to mind for Hall o’ Fame induction.

But she more than earned her spot in our digital clubhouse of honor because of her spirit, because of her grace, and because there was never a moment when she gave less than her best.

Lucy, as much as anyone I have written about, seemed to take such great joy in being an athlete.

She radiated it, in every photo snapped of her in action, and every time I saw her play in person.

When you’ve just smacked a spicy service ace for an undefeated Wolf volleyball squad, and your teammates are thumping their feet on the floor around you in celebration, it’s easy to look joyous.

One ace, comin’ up. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

But it’s not so easy when you’re battling to keep your lunch down after hitting the tape at the end of a brutal long-distance race on the track oval.

And yet, look at the assembled runners, most bent over in pain, some regretting their choices in life, and there would be Lucy, the smile never far away from resurfacing.

She was hurting, and yet being out there, seizing the opportunity to get the most possible out of her high school experience, running for her friends and family, meant so much to her.

“Is that seven laps … or eight laps?”

We like to say that heart matters in sports, and, if that’s true, Lucy is the perfect example of someone whose heart was three times as big as the young woman herself.

You can call her a role player, and there is nothing but respect in that assessment, because she fully embraced her status.

Which doesn’t mean Lucy didn’t work as hard as possible, in practice or games, forever trying to perfect her craft on the court or oval.

Cause she did.

What I mean is that she was not one to pout or complain about playing time.

Instead, she asked, “What can I do?” and then she pushed herself to deliver.

Lucy believed in her team, always, and was ready to do whatever was needed to help her athletic sisters prosper.

Or at least that’s how it seemed to me as I sat in the stands over the years, watching her career unfold once she and her family arrived on Whidbey after a move here from South Carolina.

It is very easy to root for Lucy, even for those of us who are supposed to be (sort of) impartial, and very easy to come away thinking she is truly a remarkable young woman.

She is a success with the books – the Salutatorian of her class – a success in the sports world, and, most importantly, a success as a kind, generous human being.

Lucy Sandahl is a Hall o’ Famer every day, in every way, and Coupeville is a better town for her having been here.

Senior Night festivities with mom Jeannie, sis Sophie, and dad Michael.

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Ja’Tarya Hoskins went to the state meet in both cheer and track during her time at Coupeville High School. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hoskins teamed with (left to right) Maya Toomey-Stout, Mallory Kortuem, and Lindsey Roberts to smash the CHS record in the 4 x 100.

Brilliant and talented, Ja’Tarya Hoskins can clear any hurdle you throw at her.

The recent Coupeville High School grad, a standout for Wolf cheer and track teams, will head off the Island in the fall to continue her academic and athletic pursuits.

Hoskins plans to attend Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, and will balance studying pre-law with competing for the school’s track team.

The plan is to have her run the 60 meter hurdles during the indoor season, then move on to the 100 hurdles and possibly 400 hurdles when the outdoor season begins.

With a goal of attending law school after she finishes her undergraduate degree, Hoskins chose her new school after careful deliberation.

“I selected Saint Martin’s University because it’s a smaller school kinda like Coupeville,” she said.

“I haven’t visited the campus but looking at the photos it feels like home.”

Saint Martin’s is a private liberal arts school founded in 1895 by monks from the Benedictine Order.

Started as an all-boys boarding school, it first welcomed female students in 1965.

Hoskins joins a track and field team which vies in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the same league her fellow CHS Class of 2020 grad and relay teammate Mallory Kortuem will call home while running in the 400 at Western Washington University.

Saint Martin’s athletic programs compete at the NCAA D-II level.

During her time in Coupeville, Hoskins advanced to the highest level of competition in both of her sports.

As a junior, she was a key part of a CHS cheer squad which claimed 3rd place at the state meet.

That was especially notable, as the Wolves abandoned competition cheer after the 2011 season, working as just a sideline squad for six years before returning to the blue mats in 2018.

Buoyed by their immediate success, Hoskins and her teammates went on to qualify for nationals during her senior season.

In the track world, Ja’Tarya, part of a family of successful Wolf track stars which includes older siblings Will and Jai’Lysa, and younger sister Ja’Kenya, competed in almost every event on the list.

The COVID-19 pandemic denied her a senior track season, but as a junior she teamed with Kortuem, Maya Toomey-Stout, and Lindsey Roberts to place 5th at state in the 4 x 100 relay.

The quartet hit the tape in 50.54 seconds, and they currently sit on the big board in the CHS gym as school record-holders.

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