Posts Tagged ‘Chad Gale’

Natasha Bamberger, always and forever legendary. (Dawnelle Conlisk photos)

Almost four decades, and no one has touched them.

The oldest marks on the Coupeville High School track and field record board were set 39 seasons ago, back in 1984 by five-time state champ Natasha Bamberger.

All these years, and athletes later, her marks in the 1600 and 3200 still stand, two of six records which still tower from the Greed is Good decade.

The ’80s are still repped on the big board in the entrance to the CHS gym, thanks to Bamberger, Chad Gale (long jump, 110 hurdles, and 300 hurdles), and the boys’ 4 x 100 relay unit.

Meanwhile, four records set in the ’90s endure, thanks to Jennie Cross (shot put, discus), Allyson Barker (triple jump), and Yashmeen Knox (high jump).

In an enduring quirk, Knox and Rich Wilson, who set the boys’ record in the high jump in 2000, remain the only husband/wife duo to both appear on the board.

While a handful of long-term records remain in place, the most recent additions to the record book came in the 2019 season, when 10 of 35 marks were toppled.

The pandemic prevented anyone from competing in 2020, and the past two springs, while full of individual and team success, didn’t produce any new school records.

With a new season kicking off next week, which direction will 2023 take?

Only time will tell.

The best track and field marks in Coupeville High School history.

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Natasha Bamberger, here coaching CHS cross country in 2018, has held school track records for 36 seasons. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Not all CHS track and field records are from the last year or two. Some athletes have stayed on the chart for decades. (Dawnelle Conlisk photo)

They have endured. Some for three decades.

Track and field records are set to be broken, and often are in the very next race.

But a few achievements seem to last forever.

When you look at the Coupeville High School record board which graces the entrance to the CHS gym, it leans towards the athletes of the current generation.

Ten of 35 records were set just last spring, during the 2019 season.

But, somewhat surprisingly, just as many marks on that board come from athletes who haven’t competed in Coupeville in the last 20+ years.

Entering this spring, and the season which may never happen thanks to a pandemic, four school records endure from the 1990’s, while another six have held on from the 80’s.

Going in reverse, it starts with Yashmeen Knox, who soared five feet, two inches in the high jump back in 1999.

Side note – Yaz went on to marry fellow CHS track star Rich Wilson, who set the Wolf boys high jump record of 6-04 in 2000.

While he technically doesn’t fit into this story, as his mark wasn’t from the ’80s or ’90s, his big moment still sits on the board as well, 20 years later.

And hey, how many schools can say that their all-time high jump record holders got married?

I’m willing to bet it’s like … one.

Anyway, step a few years back from there and you meet Allyson Barker, whose performance in the triple jump (35-05.50) has stood as the CHS benchmark since ’95.

Throwers have come and gone, but Jennie Cross has yet to be matched, with both her shot put (36-09) and discus (120-03) records untouched since the ’90 campaign.

And then we head back into really faraway times, with six marks enduring from the days of Ronald Reagan, Pac-Man, and a time when the shorts were short and the socks were long.

You can make an argument for Chad Gale having been the most-dominant male athlete in CHS track history, and the board would back you up.

Reed-thin (but it was all muscle), he rocks a ‘stache in photos from the time, forever daring any modern-day track stars to make a run at his marks.

They never quite get all the way there, however.

Gale still stands as the school record-holder in the long jump (22-08 in ’88), 110 hurdles (14.8 in ’88), and 300 hurdles (39.9 in ’86).

That 1986 season also produced the best 4 x 100 relay team to ever suit up in CHS uniforms, with Bill Carstensen, Tony Killgo, Jay Roberts, and Rick Alexander hitting the tape in 43.9 seconds.

But ultimately, no one has endured at the top of the mountain as long as Natasha Bamberger, the most-decorated female athlete in school history.

A four-time state champ in track, she also earned the crown in cross country during the ’85 season, and is the only Wolf, girl or boy, with five individual state titles.

Kyle King tops the boys side of the ledger, with five track titles in the mid-2000’s, with one of his golds coming as a member of a 4 x 4 relay team.

Bamberger, who later returned to her alma mater to coach cross country, captured her first state titles in 1984, winning in both the 1600 and 3200.

Her marks in those events (5:09.6 and 11:23.7) have endured atop the big board for 36 years, holding out against the best efforts of distance runners from Adrianna Royal to Catherine Lhamon and beyond.

Records are set to be broken, it’s true.

But then there are a few where you say, these marks? They’re gonna live forever.

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Coupeville High School’s track and field record board, freshly updated and ready to provide inspiration to new stars. (Photo by Dawnelle Conlisk)

Time has not caught up with Natasha Bamberger.

It’s been several decades since the Coupeville supernova won her fifth, and final, state title as a runner, but school records she set way back in 1984 still stand as we careen towards 2020.

With the 2019 track and field season in his rear-view mirror, Wolf coach Randy King has updated the school’s record board, and there are many tales to be told.

The past spring was full of success, with 10 of 35 records falling.

The biggest splash came from Maya Toomey-Stout and Mallory Kortuem, who slapped their names on the big board in four events each.

Both Wolves capped their junior seasons by claiming possession of two individual marks (long jump and 100 for the former, pole vault and 400 for the latter), while helping 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay units snap previous bests.

Hot on their heels was Danny Conlisk, who shattered marks in the 100, 200, and 400 as a senior, then went out and won state titles in the last two of those events.

That trio join Chad Gale (long jump, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles) and Lindsey Roberts (100 hurdles, 4 x 1, 4 x 2) as the only Wolves who currently hold three or more school records.

Speaking of Mr. Gale, his performance in the 300 hurdles joins a 4 x 100 relay team of Bill Carstensen, Tony Killgo, Jay Roberts, and Rick Alexander, as the second-oldest records still standing.

Both marks were set in 1986, two years after Bamberger torched the joint in the 1600 and 3200.

On the boys side of the board, there are no remnants of the ’90s left, though four of 17 marks still hail from the ’80s.

The girls go in the other direction.

While Bamberger’s records are the last from the ’80s, there are still four marks remaining from the ’90s, with Jennie Cross (shot put, discus) about to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of her titanic throws.

And, in a delightful quirk of fate, all three Hoskins sisters — Jai’Lysa, Ja’Tarya, and Ja’Kenya — are on the record board, and all pop up in a different relay event.

When new names go up on the board, it inevitably means someone has to come down, and it still strikes me as odd to watch great athletes such as Jacob Smith, Lauren Grove, and Sylvia Hurlburt be removed.

While their records may have been broken, though, the passage of time and the altering of the big board doesn’t take a single bit of shine off their careers, or that of Janiece Jenkins or Kim Warder, or any of the others who once held a spot atop Wolf history.

The board exists to immortalize the big moments, and to give the next generation — and there is always, relentlessly, a new generation coming — something to aim at.

When Lauren Grove was on the cusp of her freshman year, she looked up at the record board and told me, boldly and with absolute conviction in her voice, “I will be up there.”

She made it, in multiple events. When she finished her prep track career, she walked away, head held high, exactly the way she deserved to exit.

Right now, very likely, there is another 8th grader, staring up at the new, updated numbers, and saying to themselves, or someone else, “I will be up there.”

Likely standing right behind that young girl is Maya Toomey-Stout, slight smile on her face as she savors that momentary pause between volleyball practice and going out to train on the track by herself in the fading light.

The words of “The Gazelle” are probably half-whispered.

“You have to go through me first.”

And thus another chapter begins to unfold.

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   Chad Gale fires to the hoop during the ’87-’88 season, the last time a CHS boys basketball squad made it to state. (Photos courtesy Shannon Martin)

Feel the excitement, taste the tension (or is that just sweat?)

The power of Ron Bagby’s late ’80s ‘stache compels you!

Coupeville vs. La Conner — the most enduring rivalry of all time.

   Dan Nieder still sits #16 all-time in scoring for the Wolf boys, at least until Tuesday, when current CHS senior Hunter Smith will likely pass him.

One of the best hoops teams in school history.

Three decades.

That’s how long it’s been since a Coupeville High School boys basketball team stepped onto the court at the state tournament.

Mar 2-3, 1988 are the exact dates, when the Wolves, led by ‘stache-rockin’, short-short-reppin’ coach Ron Bagby, faced off with NW Christian (Colbert) and Bridgeport.

As we head towards the 101st anniversary of CHS boys hoops this Friday, Jan. 19, we’re jumping back in time, thanks to newspaper clippings saved by Shannon (Sherman) Martin.

And, the point totals for one of the highest-scoring Wolf teams to ever wear the uniform:

Timm Orsborn 345    
Dan Nieder 313
Joe Tessaro 260
Brad Brown 253
Chad Gale 225
Tony Ford 80
Tom Conard 
Marc Aparicio 
Brandy Ambrose 
Andrew Bird 
Morgan Roehl
Jason Legat 
Chad Nixon 

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Hunter Smith (top left) is joined in the end zone by fellow record holders (clockwise, from top right) Chad Gale, Brian Fakkema, Nick Streubel, Ian Smith, Joe Kelley, Josh Bayne, Ian Barron, Joel Walstad and Brad Sherman.

Hunter Smith (4) is joined by fellow record holders (clockwise, from top right) Chad Gale, Brian Fakkema, Nick Streubel, Ian Smith, Joe Kelley, Josh Bayne, Ian Barron, Joel Walstad and Brad Sherman.

Imagine a magical world.

In this utopia, a chain-smoking, bee-hived-hairdo-rockin’ lady (we’ll call her Gladys) has been working out of a small office in the back of the Coupeville High School gym complex for decades.

While there she’s been faithfully recording stats and filing them away neatly in frequently-dusted filing cabinets.

Now, come back to reality, where any pursuit of Wolf athletic history involves latching on to whatever scattered records someone pulls out of their dusty attic or spending hours trying not to rip the brittle pages of the bound volumes in the Whidbey News-Times archives.

So, it is, with justifiable trepidation that I approach calling any history definitive.

But, having gone cross-eyed and ink-stained, I am, we’ll say, 98.3% certain that the CHS football records I’m about to present are pretty dang close to being canon.

With one or two niggling doubts still trying to be ironed out.

As you scan these records, the oldest of which hails from 1970 (and yes, I went back WAY before that), remember several things.

One, sacks were not tallied as such in the olden days, so the players of earlier decades may have hauled down a lot of quarterbacks but will never own the record.

Two, the game has changed, with tons of tweaks aimed at ramping up offenses.

Go back in the archives and there are quite a few 6-0 games, and quite a few talented players who never had the chance to put up numbers like the modern day guys.

And three, and this is the biggest of them all — high school football stats, especially at small schools, are notoriously fickle and largely dependent on how good that year’s record keepers were.

But you don’t care about all the rationale, you just want the glossy numbers.

So here you go, my 98.3% correct all-time Coupeville High School football records.

If you disagree, speak up now or forever hold your peace.

And, if you want to argue, have something to back up your story.

Missing stat sheets, newspaper clippings which tell a different tale than what I saw, game film, a time travel machine that allows us to go back and watch it all unfold live.

Bring it on, I say.


Rushing Yards – (320) Ian Barron-1998
Passing Yards – (403) Gabe Eck-2015
Receiving Yards – (202) Chad Gale-1987
Rushing TDs – (6) Ian Barron-2000
Passing TDs – (4) Corey Cross-1971, Brad Sherman-2001
Receiving TDs – (3) Glenn Losey-1970, Brian Fakkema-2001, Josh Bayne-2014
Tackles – (27) Scott McMartin-1981
Interceptions – (4) Brian Fakkema-2002
Sacks — (4) Nick Streubel-2013


Rushing Yards – (1753) Ian Barron-1998
Passing Yards – (1848) Ian Smith-2010
Receiving Yards – (844) Chad Gale-1987
Rushing TDs – (16) Ian Barron-1998
Passing TDs – (18) Joel Walstad-2014
Receiving TDs – (10) Josh Bayne-2014
Tackles – (142) Joe Kelley-2001
Interceptions – (7) Dan Neider-1986, Hunter Smith-2015
Sacks – (10) Nick Streubel-2013


Rushing Yards – (4713) Ian Barron
Passing Yards – (3613) Brad Sherman
Receiving Yards – (1345) Chad Gale
Rushing TDs – (37) Ian Barron
Passing TDs – (33) Brad Sherman
Receiving TDs – (17) Chad Gale
Tackles – (301) Joe Kelley
Interceptions – (12) Josh Bayne
Sacks – (12) Nick Sellgren


Rushing Yards – (2742) 2014
Passing Yards – (1863) 2014
Receiving Yards – (1863) 2014
Rushing TDs – (26) 2014
Passing TDs – (20) 2014
Receiving TDs – (20) 2014
Tackles – (800) 2008
Interceptions – (20) 1986
Sacks – (22) 1996

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