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Posts Tagged ‘horse sports’

Even as a freshman, Ashley Menges loved being on the volleyball court. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Smashley” rises up to flick a winner.

The end of the road, as Menges and Emma Smith bring a close to a successful run with Coupeville High School coach Cory Whitmore.

Ashley Menges was the glue.

During her four-year run at the heart of the Coupeville High School volleyball program, “Smashley” gave the Wolves a bit of everything.

She could smoke service winners, flip end-over-end to save balls which looked like goners, soar into the heavens to smash spikes, and deliver perfect lil’ set-ups for her teammates to get the glory.

Through it all, the transcendent young woman who ended her career as a team captain, as a key player on back-to-back league title teams, as a state meet veteran who helped CHS to three straight 10+ win seasons, was pure class.

Menges is talented, is a firecracker on the floor, and worked as hard as anyone.

But it was her willingness to take on whatever role was necessary for the betterment of the team which made the biggest impression on those in the stands.

Want her to be a setter? Check.

Want her to be a big-time hitter? Check.

Want her to dominate from the back-line, sacrificing her body (and her stats) to do the dirty work? Check.

Through it all, Menges played with great joy.

Teaming up with Emma Smith and Maddy Hilkey, or Maya Toomey-Stout and Chelsea Prescott, or any of a thousand other teammate combinations, the versatile Wolf ace lived and breathed for volleyball.

Well, when she wasn’t riding her horse and taking all the medals in equestrian competitions, at least.

Menges balanced her love for horses and spikes through a torrid four-year high school run that was all about winning.

As a sophomore, she was part of new CHS coach Cory Whitmore’s first team, which finished 11-6 overall, claiming the Olympic League title with an 8-1 mark.

A year later, Menges and Co. went a flawless 9-0 in conference action (winning all 27 sets they played against Klahowya, Port Townsend, and Chimacum).

After finishing 12-2 in regular-season play, the Wolves split matches at districts, knocking Cascade Christian out in a winner-to-state rumble.

It was the first time Coupeville volleyball had punched a ticket to the big dance in 13 years.

While the Wolves fell to powerhouses Castle Rock and Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), it remains a huge turning point for the CHS program.

That carried over into Menges’ senior season this past fall, as she and Smith accepted the roles of team captains as Coupeville moved to the tougher North Sound Conference.

Along with stepping to the forefront, Menges also slid into a new position late in her career, moving out from setter to patrol the floor on the right side.

That allowed the team greater flexibility, while giving “Smashley” a chance to live up to her nickname.

And she did, helping the Wolves survive and thrive.

Coupeville (11-5 overall, 7-3 in league) claimed second-place in their new six-team surroundings, twice smushing arch-rival South Whidbey in key matches and giving undefeated league champ King’s some of its toughest bouts.

In her final moments in a Wolf uniform, Menges fought on every play, helping the Wolves make a run which came up just short at districts.

The CHS spikers pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win over Cedar Park Christian, however, avenging a late-season loss and eliminating their league rivals.

Then, Menges and Co. went five brutal sets against Nooksack Valley the day before Halloween, their season ending on a miracle, bloop shot which somehow worked its way through a maze of Wolves and found the floor.

The loss hurt at the time, but it never took a bit of the shine off of Menges, of how hard she played, how much she honored herself and her teammates through four years with her attitude, her skills, and, most of all, her heart.

Ashley’s mom, Jennifer, was always one of the most-enthusiastic Wolf fans, and her daughter deserved every one of those cheers.

Today, the dynamic duo have something more to celebrate, as the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame opens its doors to welcome “Smashley” into its hallowed halls.

After this, you’ll find her hanging out at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab.

It’s a fitting residence for a young woman of great talent, strength, and grace, a killer on the court and an even-bigger winner in real life.

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Coupeville senior Madison Krieg has spent the summer riding to glory with her new horse. (Photos courtesy Krieg)

Claiming a championship saddle at the huge Bailey’s Barrel Bonanza.

Krieg and her steed, Hottie, come flying down the course.

Want to find Madison Krieg? Look for the nearest horse.

The Coupeville High School senior is a natural-born talent in the world of equestrian riding, and her summer was chock-full of big meets, big finishes and getting to know her newest steed.

Krieg’s fourth horse is a high-energy winner named Hottie, and the duo have been tearing up the circuit since coming together.

“I have had her for about three months and they have been probable the most exciting months of my horse career!,” Krieg said.

The duo kicked off their partnership with a 4th place finish at July’s Whidbey Island O-Mok-See in Langley, taking down some “serious competition” at a gaming show which includes multiple events such as poles, figure eight and barrels.

After that, Krieg and Hottie spent the hotter months bouncing from show to show, including the Monroe Fair, piling up ribbons and awards as they went.

The biggie was Bailey’s Barrel Bonanza in Rochester, which attracted 500+ riders “from every age, and people that have come from very far distances with some very, very fast horses.”

Despite only being together for a short month at the time, the duo claimed 1st place in their division, earning a championship saddle, the first of Krieg’s career.

“That was amazing!,” she said.

Krieg and Hottie wrap the summer series next weekend at the PNW Les Schwab O-Mok-See in Seattle, but that doesn’t mean their riding days are done.

“That’s when the real fun begins, because my final year in WAHSET (Washington High School Equestrian Team) will start!,” Krieg said. “I can’t wait and I know me and Hottie will have a blast this year!”

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Megan Thorn and Rebel show off their Western Gaming ribbons after competing at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. (Photo courtesy Thorn)

Ride hard, ride fast and make ’em remember your name.

Coupeville High School junior Megan Thorn, with a lil’ help from her trusty steed, Rebel, rocked the Washington State Fair, running away with three ribbons in Western Gaming competition.

The duo finished 4th in poles, 7th in barrels and 8th in key pole while riding in Puyallup.

The big finish at the year’s biggest event capped a whirlwind first year together.

Thorn and Rebel have spent the past 12 months getting to know each other, and have quickly become an extension of each other when they are in the arena.

“Had an awesome year at state!,” Thorn wrote on Facebook. “I couldn’t even imagine my year without him. I can’t wait for Rebel and I to improve even more.”

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Megan Thorn and her trusty steed, Rebel, are state bound after tearing up the Island County Fair. (Photo courtesy Thorn)

On a horse, with reigns in hand? That young woman is unbeatable.

Working in perfect tandem with her horse, Rebel, Coupeville’s Megan Thorn ruled the Island County Fair and is now bound for state.

The duo, who compete in poles, figure eight, two barrel flags, international flag, key pole, and Texas barrels, set the pace and never looked back.

Hurtling across the course with fire in their eyes, Thorn and Rebel earned gaming high point, beating all competitors in Western Gaming.

Now, the CHS junior and her trusty steed will compete at the state fair in Puyallup Sept. 13-16.

Thorn, who is also a member of the Wolf girls soccer squad, will be joined at state by Ashley Casey, who home schools in Coupeville.

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   CHS senior Ally Roberts, seen here during volleyball season, is also an award-winning horse rider. (John Fisken photo)

Roberts visits her faithful steed. (Jennifer Roberts photos)

On their way to ribbon-winning glory.

Moses Lake knows all about Ally Roberts now.

The Coupeville High School senior swept into town (on her horse Tiger) and ran away with several ribbons at the Washington High School Equestrian state meet.

Competing in five different events for a team which drew riders from Coupeville to Sedro-Woolley, Roberts claimed fourth in Stock Seat Equitation and fifth in Trail.

The top five finishes qualify her for regionals in both events.

That means Roberts and her trusty steed will hit the road to Redmond, Oregon, where they will represent Washington in a battle between the states.

The Pacific Northwest Invitational Championship runs June 2-4.

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