Posts Tagged ‘season opener’

CMS 7th grader Mikey Robinett sails to a win in the long jump during his first middle school track meet. (Morgan White photo)

Extra effort, from everyone on the roster.

Coupeville Middle School track and field coaches Elizabeth Bitting and Jon Gabelein love to see it, which made Wednesday a special day.

Not only did the Wolves shine during their first meet of the season, a four-team rumble at Woolsey Stadium in Seattle, but the day’s efforts actually began at 7:15 AM.

With sixth graders allowed to compete in home meets for the first time this year, next week offers the youngest track stars a chance to make their debut – if they have enough practices under their belt.

So, Wednesday morning, four 6th graders in search of their eighth practice turned out early, where they were met by 14 of their older teammates, there to support them at the crack of dawn.

“The 7th and 8th grade elders worked this early shift as well,” Gabelein said. “The 6th graders were impressed that these upperclassmen would show up to an early morning workout voluntarily.”

Once they hit the road in the afternoon, the older Wolves held up strongly against host King’s, Northshore Christian Academy, and Sultan.

Coupeville won seven events, including taking three of four 4 x 200 relay races.

Toss in a 4 x 1 win for the 8th grade boys, and individual titles for Mikey Robinett (7th grade long jump) and Alex Murdy (8th grade high jump and long jump), and it was a strong day for CMS.

And it wasn’t only the wins.

Gabelein praised the effort of two first-year track athletes, 7th graders Isabella Schooley and Nick Guay, who had strong 2nd place finishes in the shot put and 200, respectively.

“While she (Isabella) had been thinking this event was not one that she would make time to participate in, this quickly changed once the shot hit the sand and she realized how far it had traveled,” Gabelein said.

“With meet #1 in the books, the athletes can now take their experience home and continue to refine their skills.”

That was a sentiment shared by Bitting.

“It was a great meet,” she said. “So proud of all of our athletes!”


Complete Wednesday results:



100 (8th grade) — Katie Buskala (3rd) 14.95; Taygin Jump (6th) 15.74; Trinity McGee (7th) 15.89; Abigail Ramirez (8th) 15.92; Jordyn Rogers (13th) 16.10

200 (8th grade) — A. Ramirez (2nd) 33.55

800 (8th grade) — Helen Strelow (4th) 3:05.09; Carolyn Lhamon (5th) 4:10.24

1600 (8th grade) — Lhamon (3rd) 7:10.10

100 Hurdles (8th grade) — Ryanne Knoblich (6th) 22.61

4 x 100 Relay (8th grade) — Buskala, A. Ramirez, Camryn Clark, Claire Mayne (2nd) 1:01.09

4 x 100 Relay (7th grade) — Alena Osborne, Desi Ramirez, Allison Nastali, Brielle Armstrong (3rd) 1:11.64

4 x 200 Relay (8th grade) — Mayne, Lhamon, Buskala, Knoblich (1st) 2:13.25

4 x 200 Relay (7th grade) — Osborne, D. Ramirez, Nastali, Armstrong (2nd) 2:33.51

Shot Put (7th grade) — Isabella Schooley (2nd) 22-05; Nastali (3rd) 21-08; D. Ramirez (4th) 21-02

Discus (8th grade) — Strelow (3rd) 60-02; Cristina McGrath (4th) 49-10; McGee (9th) 40-02; C. Clark (13th) 36-02; D. Ramirez (15th) 34-00

Discus (7th grade) — Armstrong (2nd) 39-10; Erica McGrath (6th) 38-02

High Jump (8th grade) — Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson (2nd) 4-02; Knoblich (5th) 4-00; Jump (6th) 3-10; Buskala (8th) 3-08; McGee (8th) 3-08

Long Jump (8th grade) — Knoblich (2nd) 12-06; Strelow (3rd) 12-03; Mayne (5th) 11-06; C. McGrath (7th) 11-00; Kalwies-Anderson (8th) 10-08

Long Jump (7th grade) — E. McGrath (4th) 10-02; D. Ramirez (7th) 9-07; Nastali (8th) 8-11; Osborne (10th) 7-11; Schooley (11th) 7-04



100 (8th grade) — Reiley Araceley (4th) 13.38; Coen Killian (7th) 13.65; Joven Light (11th) 13.96; Dominic Coffman (14th) 14.07; Jacob Mathusek (26th) 15.91

100 (7th grade) — Logan Downes (4th) 14.92; Josh Guay (5th) 15.02; Timothy Nitta (9th) 15.58

200 (7th grade) — Nick Guay (2nd) 30.20; Downes (4th) 30.92; Nitta (8th) 32.55; Ryan Blouin (11th) 34.33

400 (8th grade) — Josh Upchurch (3rd) 1:10.83

400 (7th grade) — J. Guay (2nd) 1:12.35

800 (8th grade) — Aiden Anderson (2nd) 2:50.88; J. Guay (5th) 3:07.94; Tate Wyman (6th) 3:31.58

800 (7th grade) — Hank Milnes (4th) 2:56.17

1600 (8th grade) — Anderson (2nd) 6:08.70; Wyman (5th) 6:34.36

1600 (7th grade) — Milnes (3rd) 6:03.64; Cole White (4th) 6:11.47

110 Hurdles (7th grade) — Alex Clark (7th) 24.97

4 x 100 Relay (8th grade) — Araceley, Coffman, Light, Alex Murdy (1st) 52.58

4 x 100 Relay (7th grade) — Nitta, Mikey Robinett, N. Guay, Downes (2nd) 59.93; White, A. Clark, Blouin, Milnes (4th) 1:04.25

4 x 200 Relay (8th grade) — Killian, Coffman, Wyman, Araceley (1st) 2:01.14

4 x 200 Relay (7th grade) — Nitta, Robinett, N. Guay, Downes (1st) 2:08.02; White, Zane Oldenstadt, Blouin, Milnes (3rd) 2:14.93

Shot Put (8th grade) — Upchurch (5th) 21-11

Shot Put (7th grade) — Oldenstadt (2nd) 23-02; William Davidson (4th) 19-10

Discus (8th grade) — Anderson (5th) 63-01; Upchurch (6th) 60-06; J. Guay (8th) 50-03; Mathusek (10th) 48-01

Discus (7th grade) — Oldenstadt (4th) 60-07; Davidson (7th) 47-05

High Jump (8th grade) — Murdy (1st) 5-02; Coffman (2nd) 4-10

Long Jump (8th grade) — Murdy (1st) 17-09; Araceley (7th) 14-09; Killian (9th) 13-10; Wyman (12th) 12-06

Long Jump (7th grade) — Robinett (1st) 12-09; White (3rd) 11-10; Mathusek (5th) 10-08

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CHS freshman Abby Mulholland and doubles partner Jaimee Masters displayed some impressive power Wednesday in their first varsity match together. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)


After waiting a very, very long time, the Coupeville High School girls tennis squad kicked off its season Wednesday, falling 4-1 to visiting King’s.

While they would have preferred a win, just getting on the court and seeing a uniform other than their own was a victory.

The Wolf roster is jam-packed with young, talented, promising players, but thanks to scheduling issues, the netters sat while CHS baseball, softball, and boys soccer all played six games or more.

Once they were unleashed, the serve and volley crew brought tons of scrappiness and excitement while facing a seasoned foe.

Juniors Tia Wurzrainer and Avalon Renninger, making their debut as the new #1 doubles duo, lashed winners left and right, and were the only Wolves to win a varsity match.

Working effortlessly as one unit, the titanic twosome especially controlled the match at the net, pinging volleys which ripped off a chunk of the line as they flashed past their opponent’s rackets.

While the duo filled up a complete highlight reel with their work, one winner, in which Renninger hovered in the air for a solid minute before smashing a wicked left-handed slicer that tore a hole in the universe, was a thing of particular beauty.

While Wurzrainer and Renninger brought the biggest smile to longtime Coupeville coach Ken Stange’s face, there was plenty of other positive results to indicate a bright future ahead for the Wolves.

Freshmen Noelle Daigneault and Katelin McCormick, both lil’ sisters of former CHS tennis stars, made their debut an auspicious one.

When they weren’t entertaining the crowd (and themselves) with a freewheeling style of tennis (and giggling non-stop), they also zapped their fair share of service aces and wicked backhands en route to an opening day JV win.

While every one of the nine matches produced highlights, the best debut may have come from the final varsity team to take the court.

Sophomore Jaimee Masters and freshman Abby Mulholland fought through two tense sets, and while they fell just short to a King’s duo which made plays when they needed to the most, both Wolves brought a startling amount of raw power to the action.

A little more practice, a little more refinement of that power, and the duo should be a team to watch.

Even in its raw state, the power show was eye-popping at times, as Masters blasted winners which left both of her rivals glued to the court, and Mulholland brought big time heat with her serve.


Complete Wednesday results:



1st Singles — Genna Wright lost to Scarlett Ren 6-0, 6-4

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne lost to Christina Wang 6-1, 6-0

1st Doubles — Tia Wurzrainer/Avalon Renninger beat Caroline Baker/Ava Dreon 6-2, 6-3

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler lost to Allie Kang/Grace Roberts 6-2, 6-3

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Abby Mulholland lost to Elma Lu/Jackie Cheung-Main 6-4, 7-5



4th Doubles — Elaira Nicolle/Bruna Moratori lost to Anika Poulsen/Olivia Vos 8-7(10-7)

5th Doubles — Noelle Daigneault/Katelin McCormick beat Elisabeth Kelly/Catherine Jones 8-5

6th Doubles — Maddy Andrews/Mary Milnes lost to Amelia Vander Wel/Abbie Gebrehiwot 8-6

7th Doubles — Cecelia Camarena/Cassidy Holmes lost to Holland Urie/Olivia Peterson 6-1

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Hawthorne Wolfe (second from right) collected one of five hits Friday for a Coupeville baseball squad coached by Chris Smith (middle). (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

After being forced to postpone its season opener Tuesday with 10 of 16 players out sick, just getting on the field Friday was an accomplishment for the Coupeville High School baseball squad.

Once there, a young Wolf squad, which played three freshmen, starting two, out-hit host Lynden Christian, but were undone by errors in a 2-1 non-league loss.

“All things considered, not bad, but we kind of gave it to them,” said CHS coach Chris Smith.

Coupeville gets a chance to bounce right back, hosting Overlake at 1 PM Saturday in another non-conference rumble.

Friday afternoon, the Wolves jumped on their hosts quickly, plating their only run in the first inning, then having a chance to break things open in the second.

The first run of the season came courtesy back-to-back two-out base-knocks from seniors Jake Pease and Dane Lucero.

That would be the only run for the Wolves, however, as Lynden’s pitcher ended the first inning with a strikeout, before escaping a jam in the top of the second.

In that inning, CHS loaded the bases with just one out, as Mason Grove and Sage Sharp walked, followed by Daniel Olson rapping a single.

With the top of the order coming to the plate, the stage seemed set for the Wolves to go bonkers on the Lyncs, but it wasn’t to be on this day.

A strikeout, followed by a ground-out to second shut down the rally, while kicking off a run of 10 straight outs by Wolf hitters.

Coupeville didn’t break the cold streak at the plate until the fifth inning, when freshman Hawthorne Wolfe punched his first high school hit.

A fly-out to center left him stranded, however, and a potential rally in the sixth, sparked by a Lucero walk and an Ulrik Wells single, ended suddenly and savagely with three straight strike-outs.

Lynden only scraped out a single base hit against Coupeville hurlers Lucero, Wolfe and Matt Hilborn, and it went nowhere.

But the Lyncs benefited from some Wolf stumbles, turning three walks and two errors into their only two runs in the bottom of the second inning.

Coupeville finished with four errors on the afternoon.

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Coupeville’s Aurora Cernick set PR’s in the javelin and shot put Thursday at the Island Jamboree in Oak Harbor. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wildcats and Falcons came to play, but the Wolves came to feast.

Making a huge statement right out of the gate, the smallest of Whidbey’s three high schools came out on top Thursday at the season-opening Island Jamboree track and field meet in Oak Harbor.

Coupeville, led by four double winners — Maya Toomey-Stout, Lindsey Roberts, Danny Conlisk, and Sean Toomey-Stout — won 11 of 26 events.

That gave one of the smallest 1A schools in the state more wins than both 3A Oak Harbor, which claimed 10 wins, and arch-rival South Whidbey, which snagged five.

Emma Smith, Mallory Kortuem, and Jean Lund-Olsen also won for the Wolves, while Coupeville added a pair of second-place finishes and seven third-place results to its haul.

Along with the wealth of top-three finishes, CHS also copped 20 PR’s.

The personal best throws and times were spread out across 14 athletes, with six different Wolves claiming a pair of PR’s in the first action of the season.

As he surveyed the scene, longtime Coupeville track coach Randy King was a content man.

“Not bad when you are going against Oak Harbor and South Whidbey!,” he said.

Drafting off of their strong opening day showing, the Wolves return home next Thursday, Mar. 21, when they host Granite Falls and South Whidbey.

The meet, set to kick-off at 4 PM, is the first of three regular-season home events for CHS track and field.


Complete Thursday results:



100 — Maya Toomey-Stout (1st) 13.78; Mikaela Labrador (17th) 16.81 *PR*

200 — Lindsey Roberts (1st) 28.89; Ja’Kenya Hoskins (3rd) 29.80 *PR*; Ja’Tarya Hoskins (4th) 30.13 *PR*

400 — Mallory Kortuem (1st) 1:03.97

800 — Lucy Sandahl (3rd) 2:56.64; Catherine Lhamon (4th) 2:57.13

1600 — Lhamon (5th) 6:09.32; Sandahl (6th) 6:15.88

100 Hurdles — Roberts (1st) 16.37; Ja’Tarya Hoskins (2nd) 18.41

Shot Put — Emma Smith (1st) 30-10; Aurora Cernick (12th) 19-09.50 *PR*; Raven Vick (17th) 17-04 *PR*

Discus — Smith (7th) 72-03; Willow Vick (11th) 60-09; Megan Behan (16th) 55-02 *PR*

Javelin — R. Vick (3rd) 82-03; Cernick (6th) 57-11 *PR*; Behan (7th) 55-02 *PR*; W. Vick (14th) 43-00 *PR*; M. Labrador (17th) 38-03 *PR*

Pole Vault — Kortuem (2nd) 6-06

Long Jump — M. Toomey-Stout (1st) 15-05 *PR*; Ja’Kenya Hoskins (3rd) 15-02 *PR*



100 — Jean Lund-Olsen (1st) 11.55 *PR*; Chris Ruck (17th) 13.49 *PR*; Liem Solow (26th) 14.34 *PR*

200 — Danny Conlisk (1st) 23.78

400 — Conlisk (1st) 51.28

Shot Put — Ryan Labrador (3rd) 39-06; Keahi Sorrows (5th) 37-05; Logan Martin (8th) 34-10 *PR*

Discus — R. Labrador (6th) 93-11; Sorrows (8th) 90-04; Martin (10th) 80-04 *PR*

Javelin — Sean Toomey-Stout (1st) 140-09 *PR*

High Jump — Koa Davison (3rd) 5-04 *PR*

Pole Vault — Solow (3rd) 6-06 *PR*

Long Jump — S. Toomey-Stout (1st) 19-09.50; Ruck (9th) 14-01.50

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Coupeville freshman Izzy Wells was a beast in her high school softball debut Tuesday, sparking an incredible come-back win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

No one saw this coming. No one.

And if you say you did, you’re a cock-a-doodie liar.

I mean, let’s be honest here, there was a time Tuesday afternoon when I already had this Coupeville High School softball story mostly written in my head, and it was going to be a lot different than what you’re about to read.

It was going to be about a rebuilding team coming out on Opening Day, facing a rival with a big win already to its credit, and having the kind of struggles you often have in that kind of situation.

We would have reached down, plucked out the tale of Ms. Unflappable, freshman hurler Izzy Wells, and focused on that primarily, as a way to ease the rawness of a lopsided loss.

Maybe we would have talked about some truly, jaw-droppingly awful calls by the umpiring crew, but, ultimately, we would have looked for some kind of silver lining.

And then the world turned upside down.

Three outs away from being ten-runned, three outs away from absorbing a dispiriting loss, the Wolves, to a player, stood up and pulled off a stunning reversal of fortune like maybe none I’ve ever seen in 29 years of on-and-off sports writing.

You can look at the box score, see Coupeville beat Friday Harbor 18-17 — yes, that was really the score — and have no freakin’ clue of how wild, weird, wacky and, ultimately, wonderful, this one was.

So, let me try and give you some kind of clue, even as my own brain keeps doing dizzy laps around the inside of my noggin, screaming like a 10-year-old jacked out of his mind on Mountain Dew and Pop Rocks.

I mean, we’re talking about a game in which Coupeville trailed 9-0, 12-2, and, finally, 16-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

A game in which the Wolves didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning.

A game in which CHS led once, and only once, on the final swing of the game, as senior catcher Sarah Wright delivered the latest in a four-year run of crafting epic prairie moments.

A game in which the biggest performance, without question, came from a freshman making her high school softball debut, but also a game in which all 12 Wolf hitters got on base, often at crucial times.

Racing the setting sun, Coupeville’s diamond women did the impossible, brought a standing-room-only crowd to delirium, and sent a shell-shocked Friday Harbor squad off on a very long, and probably very tear-stained, bus and ferry trip home.

The visiting Wolverines had opened their season by clubbing always-scary Lynden Christian, and they came out bats smoking against CHS hurlers Scout Smith and Chelsea Prescott.

Coupeville is in transition, with Katrina McGranahan, its pitching ace the past four years, now sitting in the front row of the bleachers, offering quiet, sage advice to the group following in her large footsteps.

Smith and Prescott didn’t pitch all that badly over the first two innings-plus, with Smith whiffing three and Prescott setting Friday Harbor hitters back on their heels.

But, the Wolverines benefited from some dubious calls, which prompted one fan to inquire if the ump had gotten two glass eyes installed at their last visit to the eye doctor.

One play in particular, on which Wright came up firing and nailed a runner leaning off first, was textbook fraud.

The throw to teammate Veronica Crownover was so on the money, the tag so flawlessly applied, every person this side of Texas could see the runner was out.

Including the runner herself, and the Friday Harbor coach at first-base.

But, in the first of 27 times Coupeville coach Kevin McGranahan was gutted in one afternoon, both umps publicly admitted they couldn’t see the play, while calling the runner safe.

Howlers like that set the table, but give the visitors credit for using their lumber to deliver bone-crunching hits, as Friday Harbor surged out to a 12-2 lead midway through the third inning.

A two-run home-run to deep left field was seemingly the bow on the present the Wolverines were crafting for their coaching staff, but then Wells came stomping into the game to play a very-popular Grinch.

A star in little league, who has gone on to have successful high school volleyball and basketball seasons, the middle child belonging to Lyle and Katy Wells looked a hair nervous as she took the ball from Kevin McGranahan.

With a runner at second, nobody out, and a 10-run deficit, few were expecting the moment to be much more than a chance to give the youngster a taste of high school varsity ball.

Wright, once a raw, but talented 14-year-old herself, is now a seasoned old pro, albeit one who still delights in loudly leading every sing-along chant from the bench.

As their coach departed, she leaned in, whispered something to Wells, then grinned, the kind of smile which covers the prairie, whacked her mitt lightly against her young teammate’s arm and headed back to the plate, showering her newest battery mate with a wave of confidence.

Two pitches later, the transformation was complete.

Wells body language noticeably changed, her back went straighter, her pitches started to hum, and, whether they knew it or not, the Wolves were on the comeback trail.

She whiffed the second batter she faced, escaped the inning, struck out the side in the fourth, and chucked five impressive innings of relief.

Bolstered by their fab frosh, the Wolves, after racking up nine walks, finally broke through with their bats.

When it came, it came all at once, with three straight base-knocks — Chelsea Prescott smoking a two-run triple to left, Wright mashing an RBI triple, then Mollie Bailey crunching an RBI single to center.

Back within 12-6, there was hope … and then it was seemingly gone.

A couple of soft hits which found teeny-tiny holes in the defense helped Friday Harbor inch back out to a 16-6 lead, and things looked bleak once more as the bottom of the sixth approached.

Of ye of little faith.

Three straight walks to open the sixth juiced the bags, a passed ball brought one home, then Wright cranked a two-run single and scampered home when a throw to second skipped wildly away from the shortstop.

Crownover eked out a walk, Wells stroked a single to left, and it was time for the other freshman to get dramatic.

Having made her varsity debut a mere half hour before, Audrianna Shaw was a wild card, and Friday Harbor never saw her coming.

Leaning into a pitch, she went Incredible Hulk on the ball, mashing a frozen rope to center, where it smacked the top of the madly running fielder’s glove and skipped away.

With the lead cut to 16-12, Coupeville went for the KO, only to see their foes dodge the punch when Prescott’s long shot to left with the bags full was run down.

It mattered not, however, as the improbable had become the possible.

Even though Friday Harbor scraped out a run in the seventh to go up 17-12, the air felt different.

Some would say it was just the already-cold weather being affected by the sun sinking over the horizon. Others are more poetic.

Coupeville sent 10 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, and the final nine reached base.

The big blow was a rocket launched into left by Crownover, a booming double which tore the cover off the screaming, pleading ball and plated a runner.

Equally important were four consecutive bases-loaded walks, with Shaw, Smith, Emma Mathusek, and Prescott bringing teammates home while displaying eagle eyes at the plate.

That set up Wright, the four-year starter, the four-year hitting sensation, she of the voice run raspy after three-plus hours of screamin’ and hootin’ and hollerin’ and singin’ and laughin’ her head off.

The slump of the pitcher’s shoulders told the tale, almost as much as the way Wright rolled to the plate, lofting her bat onto her shoulder and licking her lips in anticipation.

Friday Harbor’s hurler whipped a good pitch — the best she had thrown all inning — but, with one final laugh, Wright crushed her hopes and dreams, whipping a walk-off hit back up the middle.

Scout Smith came flying home, giving dad Chris, whose CHS baseball team had to postpone its game due to illness, a chance to pump his fists in the air and go home happy.

All across the prairie, bedlam rained.

Bad calls were forgotten, early struggles placed to the side, and, while it’s just one win, in the first game of a 20-game regular-season schedule, its impact could be monumental.

“Just a great game, by a group of girls who never gave in!,” Kevin McGranahan said. “Give Izzy a lot of credit, for coming in and holding them down. Really good first game for her, and Audri, too.”

Coupeville finished with eight hits and 20 walks, with Smith and Mathusek eking out five free passes apiece.

Senior sluggers Wright (1B, 3B) and Crownover (2B, 2B) led the hit attack, with Prescott (3B), Shaw (3B), Wells (1B), and Bailey (1B) also connecting on base-knocks.

Coral Caveness collected two walks, while Chloe Wheeler, Nicole Laxton, and Mackenzie Davis all walked as well, as every Wolf in uniform reached base.

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