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Nick Wasik ran 134.8 miles this summer, most of any Coupeville cross country harrier. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They blazed their own trail.

Even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Coupeville High School and Middle School cross country runners piled up the mileage this summer.

Under the watchful eye (from a distance) of CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting, the Wolves racked up 891.96 miles on local trails.

Along the way, there were a series of virtual summer fun runs, with the fleet-footed Ayden Wyman and Hank Milnes leading the way.

“Thank you to all who participated in any or all of the virtual races!,” Bitting said. “Some were easier than others, but I hope you all enjoyed navigating them first virtually, then on foot.

“Congratulations to Hank and Ayden! You ran the miles, conquered the races and came out as our top racers!!!

“The both of you will be receiving a tennis shoe keychain as a remembrance of the races you ran. Nice job!!!”

Bitting also doled out Kapaw’s Ice Cream gift certificates to the Wolf runners who racked up the most mileage, honoring the top three at both the middle school and high school levels.

 

Summer mileage totals:

High School:

Hank Milnes – 100.5 miles
Alex Wasik – 86.0
Tate Wyman – 75.7
Reiley Araceley – 61.1
Helen Strelow – 50.5
Cristina McGrath – 22.5
Erica McGrath – 12.5
Catherine Lhamon – 11.5
James Hall – 9.3
Skylar Parker – 8.1
Josh Guay – 2.6

 

Middle School:

Nick Wasik – 134.8 miles
Ayden Wyman – 82.8
Lillian Stanwood – 59.9
Thomas Strelow – 52.5
Jack Porter – 44.48
Johnny Porter – 41.98
Jack Ferrell – 21.8
Brynn Parker – 8.1
Cody Badger – 4.0
Dian Amago – 3.1
Teagan Calkins – 3.1
Sophia Mayne – 3.0
Reilly White – 2.1

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Helen Strelow is a key member of a pack of young, talented Coupeville cross country runners. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wolf harriers put in summer work on Coupeville’s trails. (Photos courtesy Araceley, Strelow, and Wasik families)

They ran strong until the end.

Coupeville cross country runners have been pounding the trails all summer, piling up mileage under the watchful (virtual) eye of CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting.

Wrapping up the final week in which they can work with coaches — the WIAA’s no-contact period kicks in between Aug. 18-Sept. 27 — 11 Wolf runners combined to put in 87.96 miles.

That ran the final summer total out to an impressive 891.96 miles put into the books.

“Great job! We didn’t hit the 1,000-mile mark but you all came SO CLOSE!,” Bitting said. “It’s amazing to see the miles add up from week to week and you all put in that hard work! Good job!!!”

Coupeville runners capped their official summer workouts with another virtual meet, this one the 1.98-mile “Pretty Pratt Run.”

Results:

 

High School:

Reiley Araceley (1st) 14:03
Tate Wyman (2nd) 15:59
Helen Strelow (3rd) 16:09

 

Middle School:

Jack Porter (1st) 15:37
Thomas Strelow (2nd) 16:33
Ayden Wyman (3rd-tie) 18:38
Johnny Porter (3rd-tie) 18:38

 

“In true (virtual) running suspense we had ourselves a pretty awesome race for 3rd place!,” Bitting said. “That race ended in a tie!!! A VIRTUAL TIE. These runners amaze me!”

While Coupeville runners can’t work with coaches again until the end of September, that doesn’t stop the Wolves from continuing to work on their own.

As the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the normal fall sports season has been bumped, with activities such as cross country moving from a September start to March.

As she departed into the official “cone of silence,” Bitting offered her runners a final challenge, with a suggested run complete with hill repeats, and some words of wisdom.

“Thank you to all who participated in any or all of the virtual races!,” she said. “I know this isn’t how you were hoping our Summer Fun Runs would look like, but you continued the hard work, enjoyed some virtual runs and stayed active.

“We are in unprecedented times right now. Be sure you continue to do things that give you peace and happiness.

“I am hoping when we reconnect, in about six weeks, things will look a little different and we could get together for some small group runs.

“In the meantime be safe, stay healthy, and ‘Be Polite & Run On’!!!”

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Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim played on the first-ever Coupeville Middle School boys soccer team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Simpson-Pilgrim goes strong to the hoop. (Morgan White photo)

​Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim is ready to mix things up a bit.

As he heads into his freshman year at Coupeville High School, the promising young student/athlete plans to stay with one longtime favorite sport, while trying another for the first time.

Simpson-Pilgrim, following in the footsteps of older brother Jacobi, who graduated this spring, is already a veteran on the basketball court.

“Basketball is my favorite because it’s fun, and I have stuck with it throughout my whole life,” Simpson-Pilgrim said.

​”I think my strengths are stamina and my physical strength,” he added. “I’d like to work on rebounding.”

While he was a member of the first-ever Coupeville Middle School boys soccer squad this past fall, Simpson-Pilgrim has his sights set on a different sport for his high school days.

He plans to turn out for cross country, which has been bumped from September to March along with other fall sports, as the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Regardless of when he gets to compete, Simpson-Pilgrim plans to be ready to take full advantage of his opportunities.

“I always have something to focus on getting better at and have something to do.” he said. “My goal is to make varsity (in my sports) before my junior year.”

A big fan of his math and PE classes, Simpson-Pilgrim enjoys playing games, listening to music, and hanging out with friends when he’s not pursuing his athletic dreams.

While he strives for success, the young Wolf is quick to give credit to those who are helping him on his journey.

“The people that have the biggest impact on me are my previous (basketball) coach, Greg White, who has been my coach since 2nd grade, and my mom, because she is always a part of my team and helping plan stuff.”

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Hank Milnes recorded the fastest time of any runner in Coupeville’s third virtual cross country meet. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The open trail calls to runners of all ages. (Photos courtesy Porter and Ferrell families)

The official summer workout season is coming to a close for Coupeville cross country runners, but the Wolves continue to pile up the miles.

CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting, who is currently overseeing things for both high school and middle school harriers, has to step away, by WIAA rule, between August 17 and September 27.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the regular school cross country season has been moved from the fall to next March, as well.

None of that means the Wolves can’t keep up their summer activity on their own, however.

With Bitting still able to keep an eye on things, nine Coupeville runners teamed up to record 98.62 miles this past week, pushing the team summer total to 793.41 miles.

Included in that was the third of four virtual races, as the Wolves participated in the 2.89-mile “Don’t Get Lost in the Kettles Run.”

The official summer season wraps up this coming week with “The Pretty Pratt Run,” a 1.89-mile trek, which will take them up around the cemetery.

Runners have until next Saturday, Aug. 15 to record their best times and submit them to Bitting, who will release the results to the media the following day.

 

Results of the Kettles Run:

 

High School:

Hank Milnes (1st) 18:43
Reiley Araceley (2nd) 18:44

“Though the participants in the high school race were a smaller group this week what a great race I can envision in my mind!!!,” Bitting said.

“Running a race virtually is hard enough, but these runners had no idea how close they were to one another.

“Impressive race Hank and Reiley!!! Great job!!!! Woot! Woot!!”

 

Middle School:

Jack Porter (1st) 20:15
Nic Wasik (2nd) 21:47
Ayden Wyman (3rd) 23:53
Johnny Porter (4th) 24:30
Lillian Stanwood (5th) 25:18

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Cross country will join other traditional fall sports in moving to March during the 2020-2021 school year as Coupeville deals with COVID-19. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Don’t call it a cancellation, just a postponement.

Coupeville High School won’t field any athletic teams this fall, but, unlike last spring, it’s not a permanent erasure.

Hopefully.

As the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has shuffled the athletic schedule for the 2020-2021 school year.

This time around, the plan is for four seasons, instead of the normal three.

But, at the same time, the WIAA made things flexible, allowing several “moderate risk” fall sports to be played in either Season 1 or Season 3.

For CHS, that’s cross country and boys tennis, and Wolf Athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed Friday he’s joining next-door neighbor South Whidbey in opting for the latter of the two choices.

“Obviously, we really want to get our kids and coaches going as we know how important physical activities can be, as well as the importance of building school culture that athletics can bring to our school,” Smith said.

“But, during these times, there are so many extraneous factors that continue to come into play: safety, phases of other schools/counties, opponent availability, etc. that our league and ourselves have made the decision that this is the best opportunity to get our student-athletes in the best possible scenario to get to have a season(s).

“We are hopeful and will continue to work towards workable solutions to provide our students with the most positive and successful experience we can but need to remind everyone that flexibility is going to have to be at the forefront of this school year.”

The plan now is for basketball to open the athletic year, with the first practices set for the final week of December, and games starting in January.

With seasons compressed, all sports will be allowed to play up to 70% of a normal regular-season schedule.

Playoffs and championship events are to be determined.

The proposed lineup:

 

Season 1:

No athletics offered at CHS

 

Season 2:

Boys/Girls Basketball

Practice starts: Dec. 28
Competition starts: Jan. 4
Postseason: Feb. 22-28
**Phase 4 for games**

 

Season 3:

Boys/Girls Soccer

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Boys Tennis

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: June 21-27
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Competitive Cheer

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for competitions**

 

Cross Country

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: April 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for meets**

 

Football

Practice starts: Feb. 17
Competition starts: Mar. 5
Postseason: Apr. 19-May 19
**Phase 4 for games**

 

Volleyball

Practice starts: Feb. 22
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Season 4:

Baseball

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Girls Tennis

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Softball

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Track and Field

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for meets**

 

Middle school sports also shut down:

In a normal year, Coupeville Middle School opens with volleyball and boys soccer, then goes to girls and boys basketball, before finishing with track and field.

That will be upended this school year, but nothing official has been decided yet.

“We are waiting for directions from WIAA and our District 1 team,” Smith said. “There is a committee looking at options but nothing has been decided other than no middle school sports until at least late December just like high school.”

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