Posts Tagged ‘cross country’

Henry Wynn heads into his senior year. (Photos courtesy Jennifer Wynn)

Wynn hangs out with CHS track coach Randy King.

Henry Wynn is a bit of a trailblazer.

Already a track star at Coupeville High School, he joined Danny Conlisk last year in making the trek to the South end of the Island to also pursue a cross country career.

While CHS has a proud history in the sport, it’s not a current one, as the school doesn’t field its own program — though rumors abound that one might resurface in 2018.

That won’t help Wynn, who starts his senior year this fall.

So, he’ll spend another season training and traveling with South Whidbey, then competing as a Wolf alongside Conlisk, a junior, and younger brother Sam Wynn, a freshman.

During his junior cross country season, Henry Wynn competed in six races, setting a PR during the Olympic League Championships and finishing 26th at districts.

When the spring rolled around, he was right back at it on the track oval, where the highlight was a second-straight trip to state in the 4 x 400.

Wynn, who also skies and plays badminton and soccer, lives for the life of a runner.

“Track (is my favorite), because it’s a challenge for each individual,” he said. “I just enjoy playing.”

He hails his “determination” as his biggest strength while competing, and would like to focus on achieving “more consistency in training.”

“I hope to do really well in both cross country and track, without any injuries,” Wynn said. “I hope be on a track team in college.”

When he’s not training or competing, he keeps busy with a wide range of interests, from sailing to “art, classical music and reading.”

Wynn excels in the classroom (“biology is my favorite subject”) and participates in Big Brothers, Big Sisters to give back to his community.

While running is largely a solitary pursuit, he has a large support crew which he greatly appreciates.

“All my coaches have helped me and my parents. Also, what I’ve learned at my summer track camps has made a big impact on my training.”

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Sam Wynn heads off on an adventure. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Wynn)

There’s a new runner on the course.

Sam Wynn, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School this fall, is joining older brother Henry and Danny Conlisk in pursuing a cross country career.

For now, that means training and traveling with South Whidbey, then competing as Wolves. The trio stay with the Falcons through the regular season, then break off come postseason time.

Rumors abound CHS might have its own cross country team in 2018, reviving a program with a rich history, including two individual state champs in Natasha Bamberger and Tyler King.

Until then, the current Wolf trio will make the trek South, and Sam Wynn, who was a strong track runner in middle school, will continue to work on fine-tuning his running skills.

“I would say an athletic strength I could have is following my coaches directions.

“I want to work on becoming much faster in both long and shorter distances,” Wynn added. “Improve my mile/5K times and become all-around faster and better.”

Wynn, who also plays soccer, skis and sails, doesn’t play favorites, but enjoys all of his activities.

“I wouldn’t say I have a absolute favorite sport, but currently I’m really enjoying both soccer and cross country,” he said. “I like having a good team and I would like to be able to enjoy winning more often.”

When he’s not involved in sports, Wynn can often be found around the stage, where he’s taken part in school drama productions.

As he pursues a new chapter in his life on the cross country course, he is grateful for the support crew which stands strong behind him on a daily basis.

“My family has always helped me stay fit and active and has always supported me in sports.”

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The only thing that tasted better than this sandwich to Tyler King? Winning state titles.

   The only thing that tasted better than this sandwich to Tyler King? Winning state titles.

It has been 2,297 days since a Coupeville High School athlete last celebrated a state title.

As Oak Harbor wrestler Sam Zook basks in the moment of ruling over every other wrestler who took the mat in the 285-pound class this year in 3A, Cow Town’s dry spell looms a little larger.

To find Coupeville’s last time atop the ultimate podium, you have to go back to Nov. 6, 2010.

It was a Saturday and CHS senior Tyler King was busy crushing the field at the WIAA 1A state cross country championships.

His nearest rival, Todd Jackson of Elma, was an astounding 31 seconds off of his pace, and King could have strolled home backwards using a walker and still won.

It was a bittersweet moment, as King joined fellow harrier Natasha Bamberger, who won the girls title in 1985, as the only Wolves to win a state title outside of track.

I say bittersweet because Coupeville didn’t have an active cross country program during Tyler’s four-year career, so he trained and traveled with Oak Harbor, then a 4A school.

Competing at the highest level, he had steadily worked his way upwards at the state meet, from 98th as a freshman to 22nd as a sophomore and 5th as a junior.

Entering his senior season, King had his eyes on a 4A title, only to be denied when OHHS dropped to 3A.

With the downward movement, school officials also decided to end the agreement they had with Coupeville.

While King could still train and travel with Oak Harbor during the regular season, he would no longer wear Wildcat purple and gold, and, when the postseason hit, he was headed back to 1A as a lone Wolf.

He took the demotion in stride, won every race he entered his final prep season and exited as a state champ.

Then promptly went on to a stellar track and cross country career as a scholarship athlete at the University of Washington, one of the few Wolf alumni to truly excel in big-time college sports.

Meanwhile, Nov. 6, 2010 sits there, and the further away we get from it, the bigger the question becomes — who’s next?

Who will be the next Wolf athlete or team to truly seize a moment and stand astride the prep sports world?

Coupeville has come close, at least in track — Dalton Martin (discus) and Makana Stone (400) were both second-place finishers just this past spring — but never fully grabbed the ring since King.

The Wolves have 17 individual state titles, two in cross country and 15 in track, but are one of the few schools in the state to have never taken a team championship.

That 117-year drought looms large, especially since no CHS team has won a SINGLE game or match in a state tourney since girls basketball beat Zillah 45-41 Mar. 4, 2005.

Overall, Wolf teams are 19-49 at state all-time.

Girls basketball tops the chart with seven wins, while the 2002 softball team came the closest to a title, winning four of five games and finishing 3rd.

So, what’s the point of all of this?

There are two things at play here.

The first is honoring King’s state title, and keeping it fresh in people’s minds, by inducting the moment into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Tyler is already in the Hall for his career (which includes two state track titles to go with his cross country championship), but, after this, the events of Nov. 6, 2010 will also be enshrined under the Legends tab at the top of the blog.

And, secondly, it’s to challenge the current (and future) Wolf athletes.

Step up.

If you want to join the eight CHS students who have won a state title, you need to be willing to do what they did — put in the work, fully commit and believe in yourselves.

CHS is a small school, but smaller schools win state titles all the time.

It is not the size of the student body, but the size of those students hearts and the depth of their desire.

There is no reason to fear any other school out there, or step back when you enter a bigger gym or stadium.

You can rule the state.

There is absolutely no reason Coupeville can not bring home more state titles — as individuals, or, finally, as a team.

Put your phones down. You can pick them back up when it’s time to take a photo in front of a state title banner.

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Coupeville harriers Danny Conlisk and Henry Wynn appear in the official Soutrh Whidbey team photo.

   Coupeville harriers Danny Conlisk and Henry Wynn appear in the official South Whidbey team photo.

Teamwork wins out in the end.

This year’s South Whidbey High School cross country team photo features an unexpected bit of red and black.

The Falcons decided to include Coupeville runners Henry Wynn and Danny Conlisk — who trained and traveled with them since CHS doesn’t have a harrier program of its own — in the official team pic.

So, solid proof Island rivals can work together in photographic harmony.

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   Coupeville cross country duo Danny Conlisk (left) and Henry Wynn hang out before a meet. (John Fisken photo)


   Conlisk gets congratulations from the South Whidbey coaches. (Dawnelle Conlisk photo)

They reached the end of the trail, for now.

Danny Conlisk and Henry Wynn received their cross country letters Sunday, becoming the first Coupeville High School athletes to be honored in the sport in six seasons.

CHS doesn’t have an active harrier program of its own, so the Wolf duo traveled and trained with South Whidbey this year.

Wynn, a junior, ran in six meets, setting his PR in the 5,000 meters (18:47.5) at the Olympic League Championships.

Conlisk battled through leg injuries which ended his season early, but competed in four meets before going down.

He set a PR of 18:36 at the Nike Twilight XC Invitational.

While the Wolf duo had to put out extra time and effort to compete without a school team to call their own, they and their parents felt it was more than worth it.

“Loved this journey with South Whidbey,” said Dawnelle Conlisk. “It truly was amazing.”

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