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Archive for the ‘Track’ Category

Ja’Kenya Hoskins catches some air last spring. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Do we let them ride the bus home or make them walk?” CHS track coaches (l to r) Randy King, Bob Martin, and Neil Rixe ponder the answer. (Brian Vick photo)

They were primed to chase school records and vie for state titles.

Longtime Coupeville High School track and field guru Randy King and his hardy band of assistant coaches had a substantial group of athletes ready for a new season.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic erased the 2020 spring sports season.

While they won’t get a chance to set PR’s and try to punch their ticket to the big show in Cheney, we can still take a moment to honor the Wolves who were making the commitment to track excellence.

The team that would have been was…

 

Girls:

Mercedes Anderson
Megan Behan
Aurora Cernick
Camryn Clark
Ja’Kenya Hoskins
Ja’Tarya Hoskins
Taygin Jump
Ryanne Knoblich
Mallory Kortuem
Mikaela Labrador
Carolyn Lhamon
Sophie Martin
Claire Mayne
Trinity McGee
Cristina McGrath
Alana Mihill
Abigail Ramirez
Jessica Ross-McMahon
Lucy Sandahl
Maylin Steele
Maya Toomey-Stout
Bella Velasco
Raven Vick
Willow Vick

 

Boys:

Aiden Anderson
Reiley Araceley
Isaiah Bittner
Dominic Coffman
Koa Davison
Nathan Farnworth
Jaden Goodrich
Josh Guay
Lucious Halstead
Joven Light
Jean Lund-Olsen
Logan Martin
Alex Murdy
EJ Okaruru
Christopher Ruck
Ben Smith
DJ Stadler
Sean Toomey-Stout
Alex Wasik
Kai Wong

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Lucy Sandahl glides through a race last spring. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

With Washington state schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re offering all Whidbey Island students a chance to be heard and stay connected.

Lucy Sandahl is a senior at Coupeville High School.

 

These past four years running on the track and field team has impacted me in a way that I will never forget.

A lot of people think of track and field as nearly an activity but never a sport; in reality it is and so much more.

It is a place where people can feel welcomed, a place to learn and grow around people who are supportive, and above all it is a family.

We all suffer through workouts together and we all cheer each other on during our events.

I truly couldn’t have made it through the season without all of my teammates support and for that I will forever be thankful.

I would like to thank every single one of the coaches for supporting me through these long four years.

Coach (Randy) King has always been a joy to be around from our pre-practice meetings to our end of the year pasta feed.

He has truly shaped Coupeville’s track and field team into a family and one that I was proud to be a part of for four years.

Coach Bob (Martin) was always there to help motivate and show us that we had exactly what it took to be the best and how hard we had to work to get there.

Coach (Lincoln) Kelley was always there to toughen me up and tell jokes when he knew that I did not have my best race or practice.

Coach (Neil) Rixe was there through it all.

Going into freshman year I had no idea that I wanted to run distance, but I knew I’d be in safe hands with Coach Rixe.

I may not have always loved the long hard workouts like 10 x 400 repeats or ladders but I knew that he had a plan and he knew what was best.

It saddens me that I couldn’t get another shot around that track but I would love to thank my coaches for being there and pushing me to show that it’s OK not to be the best but you sure as hell have to fight for it.

Along with my coaches I would love to thank my parents through this whole process.

I could never have trained without my dad dragging me out to the Kettles or on the track and I couldn’t have made it through a single race without hearing my mom’s signature whistle while dying on the back stretch.

They have supported me through it all and I could never truly say how much that means to me.

Finally, the last people that I want to reach out and thank are the track moms.

Dawnelle Conlisk, Deb Smith, Maria Reyes, Sherry Roberts, Lisa and Beth Toomey-Stout, Heather Kortuem, and of course Nana.

There was never a meet that went by that they didn’t bring food to try and get us to eat even though we were all too nervous, a time where they weren’t cheering on everyone, or a time where they wouldn’t get me out of my head after I was beating myself up after a bad race.

They were there for every single one of us kids and it truly hurts that I didn’t get to spend one more season with them.

Now that it is all over I will be the first to say that I am in no means the best of the best but no matter the day or how my race went I was always glued to the sidelines of the track screaming and cheering for everyone and that is the thing that I am going to miss the most.

Thank you for these past four years; I’m going to miss it so much.

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Brionna Blouin (left) and Allison Nastali would have been part of the Coupeville Middle School track team this spring. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

It was gonna be ginormous.

There were 50(!) athletes ready to turn out for track and field at Coupeville Middle School this spring, much to the delight of their coaches.

But, before the Wolves could get going, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools, then erased the season before it could begin.

It’s a bittersweet moment for CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting, who would have been joined by fellow track guru Jon Gabelein.

“Very disappointing, but so understandable,” Bitting said.

“And our (high school) senior volunteer coach, Coach Kenji (Jaylen Nitta), was looking forward to coaching this season as well. He is very disappointed.”

While the trio of Wolf coaches won’t be working with their athletes at the track, Bitting, who also coaches in the fall, is already looking ahead with the hope prep sports will return.

“So I figure in the next few weeks I’ll send out an email for cross country!!!” she said with a note of conviction in her voice.

 

The 2020 CMS track team would have been:

 

6th grade:

Cody Badger
Teagan Calkins
Aleksia Jump
Jeann Nitta
Brynn Parker
Malichi Somes
George Spear
Liza Zustiak

 

7th grade:

Chase Anderson
Edie Bittner
Preston Epp
Mia Farris
Oktober Frost
Isabella Gaspio
Tavan Hughes
Katie Marti
Chloe Marzocca
Candace Meek
Jack Porter
Johnny Porter
Landon Roberts
Lyla Stuurmans
Nicholas Wasik
Savina Wells
Laila Wenzel

 

8th grade:

Brielle Armstrong
Brionna Blouin
Ryan Blouin
Alex Clark
Jackie Contreras
William Davidson
Logan Downes
Nick Guay
Issabel Johnson
Lauren Marrs
Erica McGrath
Hank Milnes
Ava Mitten
Allison Nastali
Timothy Nitta
Zane Oldenstadt
Alena Osborne
Skylar Parker
Desi Ramirez
Mikey Robinett
Olivia Schaffeld
Isabella Schooley
Ethan Smith
Cole White
Reese Wilkinson

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Mallory Kortuem commands the soccer pitch. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

She sort of snuck up on me.

As her high school career has played out, Mallory Kortuem has been the quiet assassin, piling up records and awards while seeming content to reflect the spotlight onto her teammates.

The Coupeville High School senior, who should be enjoying one final trip around the track oval this spring, has never been one to scream and beat her chest in public about her accomplishments.

But dang, Mallory.

If you step back and look at the entire run of her prep days, it’s more than just merely impressive.

The youngest of Alex and Heather Kortuem’s children is legitimately one of the best athletes to ever pull on a Wolf uniform, ever. End of story.

That Mallory has always seemed like a super-quality person away from the pitch and oval as well, just makes it easier for those of up in the stands to hail her as one of the greats.

Momentarily at rest, Mallory hangs out with Sherry Roberts (left) and mom Heather Kortuem.

So, without further ado, we welcome her today to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

It’s not quite the same as getting to stand on the podium in Cheney in late May, hailed as a state champ, a path she seemed destined for before the coronavirus pandemic split the world into a billion pieces.

But, I hope it means something to her, at least a little.

As she goes forward into the world, ready to reach new goals and captivate her ever-growing legion of fans, Mallory can know that here on the blog she’ll live on in local lore, forever a prairie phenom.

Pop open the Legends tab up at the top of the page, and you’ll find her, a blur of speed and toughness, momentarily at rest.

Mallory has been at the forefront of two Wolf programs during her days at CHS, and it never seems like there was a moment where she was a raw rookie.

She always seemed like a grizzled vet, her cerebral skills matching her physical gifts, whether she was a new-to-the-scene freshman or an about-to-depart senior.

Put her on the soccer pitch and she could control a game from any position.

She had a deft touch with the ball and a wicked leg, and showed off an uncanny ability to spin around defenders and leave goalies grasping at air when she got to play up front.

If Wolf coaches had used Mallory in a traditional scoring position her entire career, I have little doubt she would be up at the top of the all-time CHS scoring list with players like Mia and Kalia Littlejohn and Genna Wright.

Instead, she spent a lot of her playing days on the backside of the field, using her speed to corral breakaways and her toughness to knock potential scorers off the ball.

As a defender, Mallory took no crap from nobody.

Kortuem fights off a rival.

I’m sure there were opposing players who looked at her slender build and thought they could bully her.

They quickly changed their minds.

Mallory not only wasn’t afraid of getting in close and scrapping with rivals, she seemed to derive a considerable joy out of beatin’ the snot out of them, then leaving them eating the grass as she sprinted away with the soccer ball.

Dirty? Never. Willing to back down? Let’s capitalize that NEVER.

Upholding the tradition set down by scrappy Wolf ballhawks like Micky “Two Fists” LeVine, there was no bend, no break in Mallory’s game.

Her team might win. It might lose. But she was going to make sure you remembered her long after the final score faded into memory.

But, as good as she was on the pitch, Mallory has made an even-bigger splash in the world of track and field.

Entering what was supposed to be her senior season, she had already splashed her name all across the school’s record board in the CHS gym.

Mallory currently holds four school records, tying her with fellow Hall o’ Famer Maya Toomey-Stout for top honors.

Speed demons Kortuem and Maya Toomey-Stout. (Dawnelle Conlisk photo)

And those records have come in a variety of events, from the 400 and pole vault to running legs on super-quick 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay units.

In the pole vault, her top mark of eight feet, 10 inches is almost two-and-a-half feet above what any other Wolf girl has ever reached.

Meanwhile, in the 400, an event in which Mallory finished 2nd at state as a junior, she passed Makana Stone, proving I was completely, 1000% wrong when I thought that record would live for decades.

With four state meet medals entering her senior campaign, Miss Kortuem had a chance, pre-pandemic, to finish as one of the most-decorated CHS female track stars of all time.

But even if spring sports don’t start back up, and she doesn’t get the chance to chase Lindsey Roberts (eight medals), Stone (7), and Natasha Bamberger (6), it will take absolutely none of the luster off of her brilliant run.

You can only control what you can control, and when that control was left in Mallory’s hands, she never failed to impress.

One of the best, ever. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

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If Coupeville track stars like Raven Vick (left) and Ja’Tarya Hoskins get the chance to compete this spring, they will face a shortened season. (Brian Vick photo)

If there is a spring high school sports season, teams can play shortened games in an effort to complete as much of the schedule as possible in a very short time.

That recommendation was offered Wednesday by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

Currently, all schools in the state are shut down through April 24 on the orders of Governor Jay Inslee, as the fight to blunt the spread of coronavirus continues.

If students return to school at the end of the six-week shutdown, with the first classes April 27, they will have to put in 10 practices and then can begin games.

The WIAA previously announced it would offer a waiver, allowing schools to conduct 10 practices in five days time.

It also stated state championships will not be played later than Saturday, May 30, so as not to conflict with graduations in June.

That means if the six-week shutdown is lengthened at all, spring sports could be in jeopardy.

If Washington goes the route of states such as Kansas and cancels classes through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, there would definitely be no spring athletic season.

But, under a best-case scenario, with schools reopening April 27, games could begin as early as May 2.

The WIAA has directed each league and district to determine its own means of qualifying teams for the postseason, and has said it will allow teams which are not in the playoffs to continue regular season games through May 30.

While it’s highly-doubtful schools could play, say, an entire 20-game baseball season in four weeks time, shortened games and multiple contests on the same day will be allowed.

WIAA guidelines for each sport Coupeville High School plays:

 

Baseball:

*Pitch count, which is a daily limit and not a game limit, will still be enforced.

“Care should be taken to insure that pitchers are not exceeding their arm strength and conditioning during this shortened season,” the WIAA said. “Coaches have an obligation to take care of their pitchers.”

*Teams will be allowed to play shortened games, with five innings being a complete game.

*May 19 is the final day for teams to qualify for regionals, with state championships May 29-30.

 

Boys Soccer:

*Teams will be allowed to play shortened games, with one half of play constituting a complete game.

*May 19 is the final day for teams to qualify for state. The tourney will be played May 23, 26, 29, and 30.

 

Girls Tennis:

*Athletes will be allowed to play multiple matches in the same day, but can not exceed nine sets per day.

*May 24 is the final day for individuals to qualify for state.

 

Softball:

*Teams will be allowed to play shortened games, with five innings constituting a complete game.

*May 24 is the final day for teams to qualify for state.

 

Track and Field:

*If an athlete competes on their own at an invitational during the shut down, their marks don’t count toward automatic qualifying standards for state. These standards must be met during school-sponsored meets.

*Athletes will still be restricted to competing in a maximum of four events during school-sponsored meets.

*May 24 is the final day for qualifier meets, with the state meet set for May 28-30.

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