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Ariah Bepler finds his moment of Zen at the state track and field meet. (Logan Martin photos)

Lauren Bayne visualizes her target.

Chris Battaglia is trapped in a mesh net of emotion.

This ain’t Randy King’s first time at the rodeo.

Bayne and Bepler gaze out at the action.

   A Lynden Christian runner moves in to congratulate Danny Conlisk after the Wolf junior busted a PR and claimed 2nd in the 400.

Yes, Battaglia does feel pretty good about the luxuriousness of his hair and how it’s holding up in the Cheney heat. Thanks for asking.

   Maya Toomey-Stout (left) celebrates teammate Lindsey Roberts’ success in the hurdles.

The heat of Cheney, the roar of the overflow crowds, the electricity of the races themselves — all done for another year.

But while the state track and field meet ended Saturday, the photos, such as the ones seen above, will linger on for some time.

The pics you’re gazing upon come to us from the camera of Coupeville Middle School camera bug Logan Martin, who took a break from his own athletic pursuits to capture the goings-on in Eastern Washington.

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Coupeville seniors Sage Renninger (left) and Payton Aparicio placed 4th at the state tennis tourney, bringing a smile to coach Ken Stange’s face. (Photos by CoupevillePaparazzi.com)

Celebrating the best finish by Wolf tennis players in 13 seasons.

Coupeville poses with South Whidbey’s Alison Papritz (left) and Mary Zisette. (Ken Stange photo)

Four years of hard work, of sweat, of big wins and tough losses, of leadership and friendship.

The whole magical ride came to a close Saturday morning for Coupeville High School seniors Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger, and it ended on an especially sweet note.

The duo, who were doubles partners from day one, bounced Elizabeth Grubb and Katie Keifer of Jenkins (Chewelah) 6-2, 6-3 to claim 4th place at the 1A/2B/1B state tennis tourney in Yakima.

The Wolves won three of four matches at the two-day event, falling only to the defending state champs in a three-set rumble.

The first CHS girl netters to medal in 13 seasons, they captured the second-best showing of any Wolf tennis players in the modern era, girls or boys.

Aparicio and Renninger stand with Taniel Lamb and Mindy Horr, who placed 2nd in doubles in 2005.

It was a great day, and weekend, for Whidbey tennis.

In a sport dominated by private schools, South Whidbey and Coupeville, both small, rural, public institutions, claimed 2nd and 4th in doubles.

Falcons Mary Zisette and Alison Papritz won their semifinal Saturday over Cascade Christian, then fell 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 in the final.

The tourney champs, for the second-straight year, were Amanda Lin and Maria Russinovich of Overlake, who outlasted Aparicio and Renninger in a three-set quarterfinal match.

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   The student bodies of schools Coupeville faced at the Science Olympiad state meet. Almost all claim 500+ more students than CHS. (Mckenzie Meyer photo)

Mckenzie Meyer (left) and Anna Dion work on a project. (Neil Rixe photo)

They’re standing up for small schools everywhere.

Despite having just a fraction of the student bodies that their competitors do, the Coupeville High School Science Olympiad squad soared Saturday at the state meet.

While Camas, with 2,063 students to pull from, walked away with the team title, the Wolves finished 17th, one slot better than last year.

With a hair over 300 students, CHS also faces another hurdle.

Most of the other schools at state are staffed by students who focus 100% on Science Olympiad, while Coupeville’s competitors balance academics with other pursuits like track, soccer and drama.

Seven of the eight Wolves who claimed a Top 10 finish at state either are currently playing a sport or preparing for next weekend’s drama production.

Madison Rixe, who led Coupeville with three Top 10 finishes, is a prime example, juggling track, drama and Science Olympiad in addition to her normal classwork.

Coupeville’s Top 10 finishes:

Disease Detectives – Mckenzie Meyer (9th)

Herpotology – Anna Dion and Madison Rixe (8th)

Mission Possible – Meyer and Dion (8th)

Helicopters – Rixe and Luke Carlson (10th)

Rocks and Minerals – Rixe and Jakobi Baumann (9th)

Towers – William Nelson and Baumann (10th)

Write it, Do It – Carlson and Josh Robinson (10th)

Fermi Questions — Nelson and Seraina Weatherford (10th)

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   Anna Dion finished in the top three in three events Saturday, helping Coupeville’s Science Olympiad squad qualify for state. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Check out the big brains. (Photo property of Coupeville High School)

Little school, big results.

Powered by eight top-four finishes Saturday, the Coupeville High School Science Olympiad team finished fourth at regionals, earning an invite to the state meet.

The Wolves, who were led by second-place finishes from the duos of Anna Dion/McKenzie Meyer and Josh Robinson/Drake Borden, spent Saturday on the campus at the University of Washington.

There were 19 schools in Coupeville’s classification, and the only schools to finish ahead of the Wolves — Bothell and Inglemoor (which had three separate teams) — are both 4A schools.

CHS is one of the smallest 1A schools in the state.

State is April 14 at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

Shine there and schools can earn a shot at advancing to the national tournament, which is held May 18-19 at Colorado State University.

Top-four finishes Saturday:

Mission Possible (2nd) — Mckenzie Meyer and Anna Dion

Mouse Trap (2nd) — Josh Robinson and Drake Borden

Game On (3rd) — Harris Sinclair and Jaschon Baumann

Helicopters (3rd) — Madison Rixe and Luke Carlson

Herpetology (3rd) — Dion and Rixe

Leaf (3rd) — Dion and Seraina Weatherford

Experimental Design (4th) — Sofia Hassapis, William Nelson and Borden

Towers (4th) — Nelson and Jakobi Baumann

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   Hot-serving Katrina McGranahan is one of seven seniors on this year’s state-bound Coupeville High School volleyball squad. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   After missing her junior year with a leg injury, Kyla Briscoe returned to play a key role in the Wolves success.

Welcome to the Group of Death.

Coupeville’s first trip to the state volleyball tournament in 13 years comes with one small caveat — spikes are about to fly.

But, survive the beginning, and the finale could be sweet.

The 16-team, double-elimination tourney opens Friday with two matches for each team, and the Wolves companions are the deadliest to be found.

Coupeville’s block of four teams includes both remaining undefeated schools, including the defending state champs, who HAVEN’T LOST A SET THIS SEASON … and some rich, private school you all might remember named King’s.

The Wolves won at least one match in all four of their previous trips to the big dance, between 2001-2004.

To keep that going, though, they will have to play their best volleyball of the season.

The opening foe (3:15 PM Friday) is Castle Rock, which arrives bearing a 16-0 mark.

The Rockets were the regular-season champs of the six-team 1A Trico League, which also sends La Center to state.

Castle Rock captured the title at the District 4 tourney, with wins over King’s Way Christian and the aforementioned La Center, earning its 25th trip to state.

In their previous visits, the Rockets have emerged as state champs three times — 1987, 1993 and 2012. They were runner-ups in 1983, 2008 and 2011, as well.

Win or lose, Coupeville is guaranteed a second match Friday night, and that foe will either be former Cascade Conference rival King’s, or the hottest team in 1A currently, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls).

The Knights, a longtime thorn in the side of the Wolves until CHS jumped to the Olympic League in 2014, are 15-2.

King’s only losses came to 2A Archbishop Thomas Murphy, a defeat it avenged late in the season, and fellow 1A power Lynden Christian.

That loss to the Lyncs kept the Knights from claiming a bi-district title, but they rebounded to drill Meridian to earn their 16th trip to the big dance.

Back-to-back state titles in 2008 and 2009 are the benchmark for King’s spiker program.

But while the Knights are undoubtedly top-drawer, they have a huge obstacle in front of them in Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), which hails from Spokane.

After winning three straight state titles from 1999-2001, the Eagles captured their fourth championship in 2016, and are now back to take their 13th crack at the big dance.

Last year’s title win came against Lynden Christian, preventing the Lyncs from winning a third-straight championship.

While plowing through the eight-team 1A Northeast League, which also sends Freeman to state, Lakeside has been absolutely, positively perfect, winning all 48 sets it has played this season.

With Coupeville a tidy 13-3 itself, its four-team bracket carries a combined record of 60-5, a .923 winning percentage which far outweighs the other three groups.

Whidbey Island’s other state-bound team, South Whidbey, is joined by Charles Wright Academy, Chelan and Naches Valley, and their combined .761 winning percentage (54-17) is the lowest of any group of four.

The other two pods are 58-9 (.866) — La Center, Cascade, Kiona-Benton and Overlake — and 53-15 (.779) — Freeman, Lynden Christian, Bellevue Christian and Goldendale.

A breakdown of what’s coming this weekend:

What: 1A state volleyball tourney.

When: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10-11

Where: Yakima Valley SunDome (1301 S Fair Ave)

Admission (all day/all tournament):

Adult — $11/$19
Student — $9/$15
Senior Citizen (62+) — $9/$15
Child (under 5) — Free

 

Team capsules:

 

Coupeville:

Season record: 13-3

League finish: #1 in 1A Olympic League

Sets W/L: 40-10

Coach: Cory Whitmore

Mascot: Wolves

 

Bellevue Christian:

Season record: 12-5

League finish: #2 in 1A Nisqually League

Sets W/L: 37-18

Coach: Jenna Bronson

Mascot: Vikings

 

Cascade:

Season record: 14-1

League finish: #1 in 1A Caribou Trail League

Sets W/L: 42-5

Coach: Marni McMahon

Mascot: Kodiaks

 

Castle Rock:

Season record: 16-0

League finish: #1 in 1A Trico League

Sets W/L: 48-9

Coach: Jeana Bayes

Mascot: Rockets

 

Charles Wright Academy:

Season record: 13-4

League finish: #1 in 1A Nisqually League

Sets W/L: 42-18

Coach: Mindy McGrath

Mascot: Tarriers

 

Chelan:

Season record: 12-4

League finish: #2 in 1A Caribou Trail League

Sets W/L: 39-13

Coach: Jenifer Rainville

Mascot: Mountain Goats

 

Freeman:

Season record: 14-3

League finish: #2 in 1A Northeast League

Sets W/L: 42-10

Coach: Eva Windlin-Jansen

Mascot: Scotties

 

Goldendale:

Season record: 12-5

League finish: #3 in 1A SCAC West

Sets W/L: 42-24

Coach: Jodi Bellamy

Mascot: Timberwolves

 

King’s:

Season record: 15-2

League finish: #1 (tie) in 1A/2A Cascade Conference

Sets W/L: 46-10

Coach: Jeff Fransen

Mascot: Knights

 

Kiona-Benton:

Season record: 15-2

League finish: #1 (tie) in 1A SCAC East

Sets W/L: 44-10

Coach: Jolene Calzadillas

Mascot: Bears

 

La Center:

Season record: 14-5

League finish: #2 in 1A Trico League

Sets W/L: 47-21

Coach: Cymany OBrien

Mascot: Wildcats

 

Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls):

Season record: 16-0

League finish: #1 in 1A Northeast League

Sets W/L: 48-0

Coach: Kara Moffatt

Mascot: Eagles

 

Lynden Christian:

Season record: 15-2

League finish: #3 in 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference

Sets W/L: 49-12

Coach: Kim Grycel

Mascot: Lyncs

 

Naches Valley:

Season record: 14-4

League finish: #1 in 1A SCAC West

Sets W/L: 46-20

Coach: Sherri Partlow

Mascot: Rangers

 

Overlake:

Season record: 15-2

League finish: #1 in 1A Emerald City League

Sets W/L: 46-11

Coach: Justice Magraw

Mascot: Owls

 

South Whidbey:

Season record: 15-5

League finish: #3 in 1A/2A Cascade Conference

Sets W/L: 50-15

Coach: Mandy Jones

Mascot: Falcons

 

Bracket:

http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2451&sport=10

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