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Wolf track and field athletes won’t visit the red football field at Eastern Washington University next spring. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

There’s a new final destination.

After decades of ending the season in Cheney at Eastern Washington University, the 1B/2B/1A state track and field championships are moving to Yakima.

The decision was approved by the executive board of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association at its meeting Sunday, Nov. 13 and announced publicly Wednesday.

The state meet will now be held at Eisenhower High School’s Zaepfel Stadium, which annually hosts one of the region’s biggest track rumbles, the Holder Relays.

The change was not unexpected, as EWU officials previously informed the WIAA that renovations to the school’s football facility would include removal and relocation of its track oval.

Zaepful Stadium has hosted the state meet before, welcoming Class A and B athletes in 1994 and 1995.

The Yakima facility also hosted the 3A meet in 1981 and the Class A championships between 1976-1979.

Zaepful Stadium, named in honor of Yakima’s John Zaepfel, a longtime coach and athletic director, was renovated to the tune of $4.2 million in 2015.

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Mica Shipley, during her high school days. (Photo courtesy Tammy Akard)

Another year in the spotlight.

Coupeville grad Mica Shipley was back front and center Saturday, kicking off her third season as an NCAA D-I cheerleader.

She and her teammates brought the noise and the pride in Cheney, as Eastern Washington University football rallied to beat visiting Tennessee State 36-29 in the season opener.

The game included a 55-minute lightning delay.

The Eagles, who are looking for a 16th straight winning season, have a jam-packed schedule of big-time games on the horizon.

Two in particular stand out.

EWU travels to Eugene to face the University of Oregon Sept. 10 and plays the University of Florida in Gainesville Oct. 1.

Shipley, the most electrifying woman in sports entertainment, is a junior at EWU.

During her time in Coupeville, she was a cheer captain and helped lead the Wolves back to being a competition squad after a seven-year gap.

Shipley and Co. earned third place at the state meet during her junior season, before competing at nationals the next year.

The cheer supernova also modeled for Glitter Starz, a national leader in custom all-star uniforms, warm-ups, and other cheer essentials.

 

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Coupeville junior Ryanne Knoblich, the second-best high jumper in 2B, celebrates with coaches Bob Martin and Elizabeth Bitting. (Photo courtesy Roberta Madsen)

The Wolves prep for opening ceremonies at the state track and field championships in Cheney. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

They exited in style.

Closing the 2B state track and field championships strongly, Coupeville High School athletes claimed three 2nd place finishes and a 3rd Saturday in Cheney.

The medal windfall propelled the Wolf boys to a 7th place finish in the team standings, while the CHS girls were 27th.

Rainier and St. George’s claimed boys and girls team titles, respectively, topping a field of 38 schools.

Logan Martin lets loose. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Saturday was all about the big finishes, with Logan Martin (discus), Ryanne Knoblich (high jump), and the boys 4 x 100 relay team earning runner-up status.

Aidan Wilson, who ran a leg on that relay, also finished 3rd in the 800 after a first place showing in Friday’s prelims.

The speedy junior was joined by Caleb Meyer, Dominic Coffman, and Reiley Araceley on the 4 x 1 squad, which was nipped 45.04 seconds to 45.11 by Kittitas.

Relay speed demons (l to r) Dominic Coffman, Reiley Araceley, Caleb Meyer, and Aidan Wilson show off their new bling. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

Coupeville actually had four 2nd place finishes, with Martin opening things with a bang Friday in the shot put.

After going two springs without a state meet, thanks to the pandemic, the Wolves sent 16 athletes to Cheney this time around, with six medaling.

They join an exclusive club, as CHS now has 77 track and field medalists in its history, with that group combining to earn 187 medals all-time.

Coupeville, which lost longtime coach Randy King to retirement before this season, was led by the super-powered combo of Bob Martin and Elizabeth Bitting, and the duo are set up for continued success.

Only three of the 16 Wolves at state are seniors — Martin, Meyer, and Ja’Kenya Hoskins — with seven juniors, four sophomores, and two freshmen rounding out the Cheney crew.

“I am beyond happy and proud of this team!” Bitting said. “Their story isn’t finished yet! You should hear them talking about next season!

“What an absolutely wonderful journey this season has been,” she added.

“Here’s already looking forward to next season!”

Carolyn Lhamon (center) hangs out with mom and big sis Catherine, also a state meet veteran. (Photo courtesy Helene Lhamon)

 

Complete Saturday results:

 

GIRLS:

Shot Put — Carolyn Lhamon (16th) 29-02.50

High Jump — Ryanne Knoblich (2nd) 5-00

Long Jump — Knoblich (11th) 14-07

 

BOYS:

800 — Aidan Wilson (3rd) 2:01.35 *PR*

4 x 100 Relay — Reiley Araceley, Caleb Meyer, Wilson, Dominic Coffman (2nd) 45.15

Discus — Logan Martin (2nd) 153-07

Legendary Wolf senior Ja’Kenya Hoskins (far left) and her young proteges — Lyla Stuurmans, Knoblich, and Ayden Wyman. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

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After strong performances Friday, Aidan Wilson is guaranteed to win two state meet medals at the 2B championships. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ayden Wyman (left) and Lyla Stuurmans made it to the big dance as just freshmen.

Cheney is once more the promised land.

After the pandemic shut things down for two springs, the state track and field championships returned to Eastern Washington University, and Coupeville High School athletes are back to setting PR’s and winning medals.

Friday was a mix of finals and prelims for 2B schools, with the Wolves shining in both.

Senior Logan Martin earned Coupeville’s first medal, finishing 2nd in the shot put, trailing only Rainier standout Jeremiah Nubbe, who shattered the meet record.

Martin joins a select group, becoming the 72nd CHS track athlete all-time to win a state meet medal, and the second in his family.

Older brother Dalton earned four as a thrower — but also didn’t lose two seasons to Covid — and Logan gets a crack at a second medal Saturday in the discus throw.

Coupeville has six finals Saturday and is guaranteed to medal in at least two events — the boys 800 and 4 x 100 relay.

Wolf junior Aidan Wilson punched his ticket to the 800 final by running the fastest time of the day among 12 runners in Friday’s prelims.

If he repeats that feat Saturday, he will become the 10th state champion in school history.

Wilson will be busy, as he is also slated to run a leg in the 4 x 1, joining senior Caleb Meyer, and juniors Reiley Araceley and Dominic Coffman.

That unit finished 3rd in the prelims, despite running in ferocious rain.

“Of course, as soon as the boys team hit the track … DOWNPOUR!!,” said CHS coach Elizabeth Bitting.

“My first thought and accurate thought was, ‘Oh COUPEVILLE must be running!’ Mother Nature hates us!” she added with a big laugh.

But the Wolves, and not the weather, spoke loudest, guaranteeing Meyer, Araceley, Wilson, and Coffman will join Martin as medalists.

Saturday’s other finals feature junior Carolyn Lhamon in the shot put, Martin in the discus, and junior Ryanne Knoblich pulling double duty in the long jump and high jump.

While running events feature prelims and finals, all field events are finals, with the full field (12 boys and 16 girls this year) competing for eight medals.

Friday was a busy day for all the Wolves, with freshman Lyla Stuurmans missing out on advancing to the 400 finals by only a hair, and Ja’Kenya Hoskins wrapping up her stellar career.

The Wolf senior, who won a 3rd place medal as a relay runner her freshman season, came back around to compete in three different events in her second crack at state.

Hoskins ran in the 200, 4 x 1, and 4 x 2 Friday.

As the Wolves headed back to the hotel, with one day down and one to go at the big dance, Coupeville’s coaches were thrilled with the performances of their athletes.

“Great day today!!!,” Bitting said. “All ran, jumped and threw great! They all shined brightly!! Left it ALL on the field!

“This is state, baby!!!!”

 

Complete Friday results:

 

GIRLS:

200 (Prelims) — Ja’Kenya Hoskins (14th) 29.09

400 (Prelims) — Lyla Stuurmans (9th) 1:06.12

4 x 100 Relay (Prelims) — Ava Mitten, Issabel Johnson, Carolyn Lhamon, Hoskins (11th) 56.15

4 x 200 Relay (Prelims) — Ayden Wyman, Stuurmans, Ryanne Knoblich, Hoskins (10th) 1:59.60

 

BOYS:

800 (Prelims) — Aidan Wilson (1st) 2:03.70 *PR*

4 x 100 Relay (Prelims) — Reiley Araceley, Caleb Meyer, Wilson, Dominic Coffman (3rd) 45.20

Shot Put (Finals) — Logan Martin (2nd) 46-02

High Jump (Finals) — Coffman (10th) 5-08

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Caleb Meyer is one of three Coupeville seniors set to compete at the 2B state championships. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s the final countdown.

High school sports in the 2021-2022 school year come to a close this weekend with state track meets.

Coupeville is sending 16 athletes, including relay alternates, to Eastern Washington University in Cheney for the 2B championships.

The Wolves will get a sendoff at CHS Thursday morning at 8:15 AM.

Competition at state kicks off that afternoon and goes through Saturday.

It’s the first state meet since 2019, with the pandemic having wiped out the big dance the past two springs.

This isn’t Wolf coach Bob Martin’s first trip to Cheney.

 

Who’s going for Coupeville:

 

SENIORS:

Ja’Kenya Hoskins (200, 4 x 100 Relay, 4 x 200 Relay)
Logan Martin (Discus, Shot Put)
Caleb Meyer (4 x 100)

 

JUNIORS:

Reiley Araceley (4 x 100)
Dominic Coffman (High Jump, 4 x 100)
Taygin Jump (4 x 100)
Ryanne Knoblich (High Jump, Long Jump, 4 x 200)
Carolyn Lhamon (Shot Put, 4 x 100)
Claire Mayne (4 x 100)
Aidan Wilson (800, 4 x 100)

 

SOPHOMORES:

Nick Guay (4 x 100)
Issabel Johnson (4 x 100, 4 x 200)
Ava Mitten (4 x 100, 4 x 200)
Mikey Robinett (4 x 100)

 

FRESHMEN:

Lyla Stuurmans (400, 4 x 200)
Ayden Wyman (4 x 200)

Issabel Johnson (right) is an alternate for two Wolf relay teams.

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