Posts Tagged ‘state champ’

Coupeville’s Ja’Kenya Hoskins battles with Mount Vernon Christian’s Kylee Russell this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The 15th time was the sweetest.

After never finishing higher than fifth place in 14 previous trips to the state tournament, the Mount Vernon Christian girls basketball program achieved nirvana Saturday night.

Holding off Neah Bay 37-33 at the Spokane Arena, the Hurricanes captured the 1B state title.

It’s the third crown for teams from the Northwest 2B/1B League during the 2021-2022 school year.

In the fall, La Conner won the 2B volleyball title, while Orcas Island ruled 2B/1B boys soccer.

MVC, which handed Coupeville 55-24 and 43-23 losses in league play, finishes 23-3.

The Hurricanes knocked off Pomeroy, Naselle, Garfield-Palouse, and Neah Bay in the 16-team state tourney to claim the crown.

Getting the final victory was a bit of struggle, however, as MVC trailed by 11 points in the second half.

Still down four with less than four to go, the ‘Canes closed the season on an 8-0 run, with five different players scoring.

Kylee Russell, Allie Heino, Caitlin Vander Kooy, Emma Droog, and Hannah Van Hofwegen all chipped in to fuel the frantic final run.

The championship caps a postseason in which five NWL hoops teams made it to the state tourney.

On the boys side, Coupeville pushed Kalama and Lake Roosevelt hard in 2B tourney games in their first trip to the big dance in 34 years, while MVC and Orcas Island made the 1B draw.

The Hurricane boys beat Riverside Christian, before being eliminated by Lummi Nation.

Orcas lost to Wellpinit in its one state game.

The NWL team which was heavily favored to win a state title, the top-ranked La Conner girls, finished fourth after being upended by eventual champ Warden in the quarterfinals.

The Braves, who opened with a win over Chief Leschi, rebounded from their loss to beat Lake Roosevelt and Raymond.

Liberty (Spangle) won the 2B boys crown, joining Warden as champs, while the Cusick boys matched the MVC girls in bringing home the biggest hardware.

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Izzy LeVine, queen of the wrestling mat. (Photos courtesy Sean LeVine)

You can take the LeVine family out of Washington state, but you can’t stop them from being awesome athletes.

A 14-year stint in Coupeville, with both parents working for the local hospital while two of three daughters graduated from CHS, made for an impressive run.

I used to sometimes refer to big sis Micky as “Two Fists,” after she once offered to punch any fool from Tacoma who was dumb enough to try and rough up her Whidbey Islanders soccer teammates on the pitch.

And middle (wild) child Jae, who danced down court after hitting three-balls as a young hoops star, then KO’d big, bad Klahowya on the high school softball diamond, has the biggest heart of any athlete I’ve ever written about.

They, along with paramedic dad Sean, a soccer guru who led Whidbey Island girls teams which routinely walloped big city squads, are all in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

Meanwhile, mom Joline is a shining supernova in the medical world, and one of the nicest people in the world.

Or, more appropriately, the entire universe.

A family move to Arizona a while back deprived Wolf Nation of ever inheriting Micky and Jae’s lil’ sis, the irrepressible Izzy.

She’s the one who once gave me a rock at a softball game when she was in elementary school, then told me I should write about her, and not worry about her sisters.

So, here we go.

And while Izzy won’t rep the red and black like her siblings, the youngest LeVine is making so much noise at her new home that it has echoed all the way back to Whidbey.

Hanging out with one of her biggest fans, dad Sean.

A strong soccer player when she lived on The Rock, Izzy also now throws down on the wrestling mat, beating both boys and girls.

Saturday, the Casteel Junior High School 8th grader hit the big time, winning the 115-pound weight class at the Arizona Junior High & Middle School State Championships.

Wrestling in Queen Creek, Izzy opened with a bye, thanks to her strong record in previous tournaments, then closed with a pair of wins by pin over female grapplers.

After toppling her first foe in the second round, she blitzed her rival in the championship match in a brisk 46 seconds.

Izzy is the first girl in CJHS history to win a state title for the school.

Her title continues a trend of mat dominance, as both the Casteel Junior High and High School wrestling teams are 88-0 in regular season matches since the schools opened in 2015.

Saturday’s tourney drew a large field, with a combined 57 schools and wrestling clubs participating.

Next up for Izzy, who has primarily been thumping boys during the eight tourneys she’s grappled in over the past six months, is her school’s regular season.

That’s co-ed, and LeVine, who will wrestle at 111 pounds, is on the Casteel varsity, having beaten all the boys in her weight class.

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Wolves (l to r) Emma Smith, Maya Toomey-Stout, and Lindsey Roberts helped the Coupeville High School girls finish 9th in the team standings at the 1A state track and field championships. (Photos by Dawnelle Conlisk and Konni Smith)

Both Mallory Kortuem and Danny Conlisk broke school records in the 400.

Toomey-Stout and Kortuem celebrate a 3rd place finish in the 4 x 200 relay.

Small numbers, but powerful results.

We’re just here to break all your records.

Conlisk, who won two state titles, Jean Lund-Olsen (center) and Sean Toomey-Stout guided the Wolf boys to 5th in the team standings.

All the work, all the sweat and toil, the drive and determination, the search for something bigger, better, and bolder, paid off Saturday afternoon.

Coupeville High School, one of the smallest 1A schools in all the land, made everyone sit up and take notice at the state track and field championships in Cheney.

By the time the day was done, the Wolves had two state titles — their first since Tyler King won track and cross country championships in 2010 — four new school records, and several handfuls of medals.

Despite only having a fraction of the bodies of many of its competitors, Coupeville claimed 5th in the boys standings and 9th in the girls battle.

Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) and Okanogan won those team trophies, respectively.

It’s the second straight season the Wolf boys have finished 5th in the team standings.

How it broke down for Coupeville’s 10 athletes on the final day of the three-day state meet, with each listed in alphabetic order.


Danny Conlisk:

The senior sprinter closed his prep career with one of the best days ever put together by a Coupeville track star.

After opening with a 2nd place performance in the 100, where he hit the line in 11.25 seconds, Conlisk won state titles in the 200 and 400, shattering school records in both events.

In the 200, he blazed to victory in 21.99 seconds, erasing his own school record of 22.20, which he set earlier this season.

The record Conlisk broke in the 400 has been around a lot longer.

Jon Chittim won a state title in 2006 in a crisp 49.33 seconds, but 13 years later his successor tore to victory in 49.14, finally capturing the last record he had in his sights.

Conlisk will graduate holding school records in the 100, 200, and 400, and he becomes just the ninth Wolf in 100+ years to win a state title.

With two titles at the same state meet, he also joins an even more ultra-exclusive club, one which possibly gives out velvet smoking jackets to its members.

And if not, why not?

Looking at you Randy King. You, and you alone, can make this happen.

With his daily double, Conlisk joins Natasha Bamberger (1600, 3200 in 1984), Chittim (200, 400, 4 x 4 in 2006), Kyle King (3200, 4 x 4 in 2006 and 1600, 3200 in 2007), and Tyler King (1600, 3200 in 2010) as the only Wolves to win multiple titles at the same state championships.

Saturday’s hero has another connection to the other four.

He broke Chittim’s record, the King boys are the son of Conlisk’s track coach, aforementioned living legend Randy King, and Bamberger returned to CHS to coach cross country this year, where her star pupil was … Conlisk.

While the titles are huge, and Conlisk will soon add two new plaques to Coupeville’s Wall of Fame in the gym, Saturday was about more than winning a race or two.

He ran in front of his parents, his grandma, and numerous great and great-great aunts and uncles on his biggest day.

“First time he ran in front of many of them,” said mom Dawnelle Conlisk. “He blew my mind.

“His humble attitude and shaking hands, being in lots of conversations and talking to his competitors. Not to mention multiple two-arm hugs to the lady doing his hand time was really Mama heartwarming.

“Don’t get me wrong, the titles are absolutely amazing, but listening to others talk about what kind of kid you have, not in just his athletic abilities, but deep down, is priceless.”


Ja’Kenya Hoskins:

The only Wolf freshman at state, the little sister in a family chock full of CHS track stars was part of a 3rd place finish in the 4 x 200 relay.

She, Maya Toomey-Stout, Lindsey Roberts, and Mallory Kortuem combined to rip through the event in a toasty 1:46.61.


Ja’Tarya Hoskins:

The Wolf junior claimed her first state meet medal as part of a 4 x 100 relay unit which finished 5th in 50.54 seconds.

Joined by Kortuem, Maya Toomey-Stout, and Roberts, she also broke the school record in the event, which was held … for a hot second by the same foursome after zipping to a 50.57 earlier this season.


Mallory Kortuem:

The Wolf junior joined Conlisk and Lindsey Roberts in winning three medals Saturday, which gives her four for her career.

She was part of the 4 x 1 and 4 x 2 relay teams, but her biggest triumph came in the 400, where she claimed 2nd while nailing a PR of 58.02 seconds.

With that final burst of speed, Kortuem unseated former CHS great Makana Stone from the record board, where she had held the school record of 58.13 since 2014.


Ryan Labrador: 

The Wolf senior claimed 11th in the shot put, launching the orb 44 feet, eight inches in his final prep meet.

That was just short of his career-best of 44-10.50, which Labrador landed in this year’s inaugural North Sound Conference Championships.


Jean Lund-Olsen:

The Wolf junior claimed two medals, finishing 4th in the 100 in 11.37 seconds, and 7th in the 200 in 22.82.

He just missed his PR (22.57) in the second race, and now has three state meet medals to his credit.

That makes Lund-Olsen one of just 25 Coupeville track stars to have achieved that feat during their prep careers.


Lindsey Roberts:

The Wolf senior exits as the most-decorated female athlete in CHS track history, with a three-medal performance Saturday giving her eight state meet medals.

That pushes her past Stone (7) and Bamberger (6) on the career chart, with just Tyler (11) and Kyle King (10) ahead of her in the all-time medal count.

Along with running legs in the two relays, Roberts finished 3rd in the 100 hurdles, leaning across the line in 15.38 seconds, just off her PR of 15.21.


Emma Smith:

The volleyball and track standout competed in two events at state during her senior season — the shot put and discus — and finished 13th in the latter event Saturday.

Her throw of 91 feet, 10 inches was the third-best of her four-year high school career.

Smith’s PR of 92-08 came at this year’s district meet.


Sean Toomey-Stout:

The Wolf junior soared to 10th place in the long jump, sailing 20 feet, 3.50 inches.

While he failed to earn a medal, it was the fifth-straight meet “The Torpedo” broke the 20-foot barrier, and he came in just off his PR of 20-9.50.


Maya Toomey-Stout:

The Wolf junior, who is the only Coupeville female athlete to qualify for four events in the same state meet — something she also did as a freshman — collected medals with both of the relay squads.

That gives her three medals for her high school career, and pushes her ahead of her twin brother 3-2 in the race for family superiority.

With one more season left for both, expect next spring to be a bare knuckle brawl between the duo.

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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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James Smith (top, left) is joined by fellow inductees (clockwise) Chris Hutchinson, Jon Chittim, Kyle King, Steven McDonald and Sid Otton.

   James Smith (top, left) is joined by fellow inductees (clockwise) Chris Hutchinson, Jon Chittim, Kyle King, Steven McDonald and Sid Otton.

Record-setters, one all all.

The six guys who comprise the 45th class to be inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame operated (and still do) at the highest levels of their sports.

Whether working as an individual, a team, or the commander of a dynasty, all of them have set standards which will be hard to surpass.

So, with that, we welcome James Smith, Sid Otton and the only CHS relay team to ever win a state title — the 2006 boys’ 4 x 400 unit of Chris Hutchinson, Jon Chittim, Kyle King and Steven McDonald.

After this, you’ll find them sitting atop the blog under the Legends tab.

Which is hardly a surprise.

Our first inductee, Otton, is the most famous of the bunch, and, admittedly, a large part of his success has come post-Coupeville.

But he started as a Wolf, and we’re claiming him.

Fresh on the job market, the former college football star landed his first coaching gig in Cow Town, where he ran the CHS football and baseball programs for two seasons.

While he was on Whidbey, he led the 1969 Wolf baseball squad to a Northwest B League title and the future was promising.

Then Wolf Nation lost Otton and he went and got all legendary at a couple of other stops on the road, most famously Tumwater, where he’s been the head football coach for 42 seasons and counting.

As well as being my 9th grade health teacher. Which was probably harder than all of his football seasons combined.

The winningest high school gridiron guru in state history, with 384 victories and five state titles, he’ll take the field for his 50th season overall this fall.

Before he does so, we’re giving him one more honor, while trying to ignore the age-old questions of “What if he hadn’t left? What if he had stayed in Coupeville? What if we were a dynasty?!?!”

As you all ponder that, we’ll skip on to our second inductee, which comes four men strong.

King won four individual state titles during his time at CHS (his five titles total ties Natasha Bamberger for most in school history) and Chittim snagged two, but they go in today with their oval brothers.

In 116 years of Coupeville High School history, only one time has a Wolf track relay unit stood astride the winner’s podium at the final meet of the season, and that foursome celebrates the 10-year anniversary of their accomplishment later this month.

On May 25-27 of 2006, the Wolves were darn near unstoppable, winning three individual state titles (Chittim in the 200 and 400 and King in the 3200), finishing a school-record fourth in the team standings.

In the premier relay event, Coupeville blasted all of their rivals, coasting to first in the prelims before savaging Goldendale, Charles Wright and a bunch of much-slower squads in the finale.

As the current girls 4 x 200 unit of Lauren Grove, Lindsey Roberts, Makana Stone and Sylvia Hurlburt aim to make their own history (they’re ranked #1 in 1A heading into the postseason), it’s a perfect time to bow in the direction of the original relay gods, who made the entire state Bow Down to Cow Town.

And then we reach our final inductee this week, a coach’s son (both mom Cherie and dad Willie) who joins his siblings in the hall.

James, like Megan and Ian, was a rock for the Wolves, a talented, hard-working athlete who excelled at every single sport that came his way.

A two-time CHS Male Athlete of the Year (2006-2007 and 2007-2008), Smith copped a ton of honors for his work on the gridiron, hard-court and diamond while operating as a captain in multiple years for all three of his sports.

Which was his strongest sport? It’s a toss-up.

Smith was tabbed as an All-League shortstop all four seasons, the first two in the 1A Northwest League, the last two in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference.

Toss in two All-League selections in basketball and three in football, where he was honored on both sides of the ball and was the First-Team QB in the Cascade Conference his senior season, and it’s an impressive body of work.

If I had to call it, I’d lean towards baseball, I guess.

It’s where he played under the watchful eye (and threat of wedgies) from a coach who he called dad away from the diamond, and he mixed power with panache.

But what the heck, if we have a time machine and need a win in any of those sports, I’m super-confident if I see James striding out there, huge grin in place, ready to kick tushie and take names.

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