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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Poppins’

Helen Strelow flies through the air while competing in the long jump. (Morgan White photo)

Helen Strelow couldn’t be stopped.

As she neared the end of her middle school days this spring, she nailed PR’s in two of her three events at the Cascade League Track and Field Championships.

Strelow saved her best performances in the 800 and long jump for that final meet, while also performing strongly in the discus.

Overall, she prospered under pressure the way every coach hopes their athletes will respond on the big stage.

Now, buoyed by that sweet swan song, she’s off to the next level.

Life as a freshman student/athlete at Coupeville High School awaits her this fall, and Strelow plans to keep running for team glory and personal accomplishment.

She’ll kick off a new school season with cross country, then return to track and field in the spring, keeping alive her status as a dual-threat.

Strelow was a strong competitor on a CMS cross country squad which helped bring the sport back to Coupeville after a two-decade absence, and she and the sport immediately meshed.

“I really enjoy cross country, because everyone is so nice and happy,” she said. “I enjoy running. It makes me happy, reduces stress, and I enjoy being part of a team.

“My parents encouraged me to join cross country and supported me,” she added. “Coach (Elizabeth) Bitting pushes me to run faster, as did my team.”

When she’s not out on the trails or hanging out at the track oval, Strelow can often be found creating new masterpieces in a variety of art forms.

“I am primarily interested in the arts,” she said. “I like drawing, building, reading/writing, and listening/playing music.

“I spend my time experimenting with the arts I love.”

Strelow also enjoys spending time with family, and hails Mary Poppins, Man from U.N.C.L.E, and John Wayne’s Hatari! as her favorite movies.

As she prepares for the move from middle school to high school, she’s been working on fine-tuning her skills. That includes attending the recent Falcon Running Camp at Fort Casey.

“I think one of my strengths is being able to realize what I have done wrong or right and how to make corrections,” Strelow said. “I need to work on pacing myself better.

“I would like to get higher placings and reach my full potential as an athlete.”

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Willow Vick (John Fisken photos)

   Willow Vick hits all the colors of the rainbow as she patrols the outfield for the Venom this spring. (John Fisken photos)

Vick dares the pitcher to try and throw the ball past her.

Vick dares the pitcher to try and throw the ball past her.

Willow Vick is not afraid of a challenge.

When Central Whidbey Little League was scrambling around this spring, trying to pull together enough athletes to form a Juniors softball squad, she came to their rescue.

And, despite never having played before, she acquitted herself quite nicely, growing in confidence as the season progressed and being a vital part of a Venom squad which finished 13-3.

Now, as she and twin sister Raven head into their freshman year at Coupeville High School this fall, Willow is ready for new challenges.

She plans to play volleyball in the fall, and is debating between a return to softball or heading out to take advantage of the school’s new track come spring.

Sports are just one part of Vick’s life, however, as she enjoys drawing, swimming, sleeping and working out.

Her musical tastes run to Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy, while movie-wise she’s fond of Mary Poppins.

So, pretty broad spectrum there.

When she is competing, Vick picks volleyball as her primary sport.

“It’s fun, lots of work, keeps you mentally and physically fit,” she said.

She enjoys how sports help her keep in shape and build muscle, but is always working to become a more technically sound athlete.

“I want to get my serves over the net 95% of the time,” Vick said. “I need to work on being louder and more confident.”

She’s also got an eye on improving her softball hitting, and, away from the arena, would like to sharpen her drawing skills and keep her grades up.

Her positive traits are many.

“My technical abilities, I’m a good teammate, good setter I guess, lots of power,” Vick said. “I’m willing to try new things like playing softball for the first time, not afraid to ask for help.”

Whether it’s something she’s done once or a thousand times, she knows she can always turn to her fan club for support.

“My parents, for always pushing me to be my best and to never give up when things get tough,” Vick said. “Friends who support me.

Lisa Toomey for giving crazy pep talks before, during and after games,” she added. “And my twin for always being someone to compete with and support me.”

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