Posts Tagged ‘track and field’

Wolf track and field athletes won’t visit the red football field at Eastern Washington University next spring. (Elizabeth Bitting photo)

There’s a new final destination.

After decades of ending the season in Cheney at Eastern Washington University, the 1B/2B/1A state track and field championships are moving to Yakima.

The decision was approved by the executive board of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association at its meeting Sunday, Nov. 13 and announced publicly Wednesday.

The state meet will now be held at Eisenhower High School’s Zaepfel Stadium, which annually hosts one of the region’s biggest track rumbles, the Holder Relays.

The change was not unexpected, as EWU officials previously informed the WIAA that renovations to the school’s football facility would include removal and relocation of its track oval.

Zaepful Stadium has hosted the state meet before, welcoming Class A and B athletes in 1994 and 1995.

The Yakima facility also hosted the 3A meet in 1981 and the Class A championships between 1976-1979.

Zaepful Stadium, named in honor of Yakima’s John Zaepfel, a longtime coach and athletic director, was renovated to the tune of $4.2 million in 2015.

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Sean Toomey-Stout pauses to remember fellow Coupeville grad Lathom Kelley before Saturday’s University of Washington football game. (Photo courtesy Raven Vick)

Lathom’s memorial service. (Ben Smith photo)

It was a life well-lived.

Lathom Kelley, who died in a kayak accident in September, was a unique human being — large in personality, and always surprising.

He was a rugged athlete, a slick ladies’ man, a mama’s boy, rough and tough, but kind and caring.

Lathom loved his family and treated virtually everyone he met as his family.

He could crack heads (often his own), but also sweep others up with a kind gesture and a smile which lit up the prairie.

From the first moments of Coupeville Sports a decade ago, when he was a cartwheeling freshman and I was just exploring this transition to blogging, Lathom was The Dude.

Your dude. My dude. The dude each and every one of us needed in our lives.

He will be greatly missed, but he will never be forgotten.


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Ryan Griggs (left) and Lathom Kelley, living large. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Yes, I’m planning shenanigans. My name is Lathom, isn’t it??”

A celebration of Lathom Kelley’s life is set for Saturday, Oct. 22.

The event starts at 1:00 PM at the Coupeville Recreation Hall, which is at 901 NW Alexander St.

Anyone who has special photos, videos, or stories about Lathom is asked to submit them to the Kelley family for inclusion in the memorial.

They ran, yes, but they looked cool doing it. L to r: Jacob Smith, Dalton Martin, Jared Helmstadter, Lathom.


From Lathom’s family:


Lathom McCrae Kelley, 25, died unexpectedly on September 10th, 2022, in a kayaking accident just off the coast of Guemes Island, WA.

He was born September 7, 1997, in Honolulu, HI, the son of Lincoln Kelley and Shawna Hunsaker Kelley.

Lathom graduated from Coupeville High School, class of 2016.

Following graduation, he earned an Auto and Diesel Technology II Associates Degree from Universal Technical Institute in Avondale, AZ.

He served as a lead technician at Halterman’s on a team repairing RVs.

He, Ashley Barbour, and her son, Beau, formed a beautiful, young family until the time of the accident.

If you knew Lathom, you knew he enjoyed life and, in his presence, you probably did too!

His strength and energy exceeded the confines of every space he occupied.

His ability to conjure up some kind of crazy stunt or be encouraged to follow through kept the Kelley household on the edge of our seats.

We know this is a shock to you all, as it is for us.

He will always resonate in our hearts and minds and will be dearly missed.

He was predeceased by grandmother Kathy Hohnstein, grandfather Bobby Mitchael Kelley, and Uncle Wesley Hammer.

He is survived by immediate family Ashley and Beau Barbour, parents Shawna Kelley, Lincoln Kelley, Brad Barbour, Janet Barbour, brother Brandon Kelley, Grandmother Thelma Kelley, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.


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Lathom Kelley, quality dude. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net, Shawna Kelley, and Sylvia Arnold)

Lathom Kelley was my dude.

In 10+ years of writing this blog, I’ve witnessed a ton of Coupeville High School athletes come and go.

Some were amazingly talented.

Some had huge hearts.

Some lived life to their own song, bounding through each day, mischievous grin lighting up the prairie as they did.

Few have put all of that together like Lathom did.

The news that he is believed to have died after a kayak accident Saturday is a punch through our souls.

Sunday night his parents, Lincoln and Shawna, released the following statement:

It is with heavy hearts that we are informing Lathom’s friends, our friends, our families and extended families, we have lost our son, Lathom McCrae Kelley.

He is now a “missing person” after a tragic kayaking incident which occurred on Saturday, September 10th.

We believe he perished after his kayak capsized in the Sound’s 58-degree water and high current flow.

He was rowing from Guemes Island to Jack Island and his remains have yet to be located.

If you knew Lathom, you knew he enjoyed life and, in his presence, you probably did too!

His strength and energy exceeded the confines of every space he occupied.

His ability to conjure up some kind of crazy stunt or be encouraged to follow through kept the Kelley household on the edge of our seats.

We know this is a shock to you all, as it is for us.

He will always resonate in our hearts and minds and will be dearly missed.

The short story is that Lathom graduated with the CHS Class of 2016, a vital part of a group of student/athletes who entered high school in August 2012, right as I launched Coupeville Sports.

He was an absolute terror on the football field, a wild beast careening from side to side, blowing up opposing runners on defense and crashing through the line for big gains when the Wolves had the ball.

A broken hand? Slap a cast on that baby, cause Lathom wasn’t fond of sitting on the bench.

When track and field season rolled around, he was the kind of guy who would decide on a whim to pick up a new event, then dominate without a single day of practice.

Over the course of four seasons Lathom competed in an astonishing 14 different events.

Pretty much the only thing he didn’t try was the pole vault, and that was likely only because Wolf coach Randy King probably looked at Lathom, looked at the pole, and was like, “Hell no, dude will use it to jump onto the school roof.”

At which point Lathom would have grinned from ear to ear and said, “Damn straight, Skippy!”

My enduring image of Lathom was a moment when he came flying through the CHS gym, literally ran up the wall, and did a back flip, sticking the landing before bowing and exiting while declaring “No autographs, my hands are tired folks.”

A smaller, quieter moment came during Senior Night for Wolf boys basketball.

One of the players stood alone, the only soon-to-be graduate whose parents weren’t in the gym, for whatever reason.

Tributes were being delivered, roses were handed out, and things moved towards the lone Wolf.

At which point there was a scream from the top of the stands, and Lathom came flying down, screaming “My boy! This is my boy! I am so proud of him!!”

Grabbing his fellow student in a bear hug, he happily posed for photos, then departed, a rose clenched between his teeth.

Lathom was so many things.

Classy, yet sassy, a wild child who once popped up behind me right after a Wolf mom had given me a plate of cookies.

He had been on the opposite side of the field a moment before, and bam, there he was, vibrating in place, his entire uniform one giant stain of mashed-up grass and mud.

“Dude! You made me cookies!! I told you I was his favorite!!!”

Lathom was eternally proud of his older brother, Brandon, who he often teamed up with on relay units during track season.

“Dang it, Dave, did you see Brandon out there kickin’ ass and takin’ names?” he would holler at me.

“I gotta pick it up, man, dude’s gonna run me ragged!”

Lathom was also the rare kind of young man who refused to vote for himself or campaign for support when he appeared in my yearly polls to decide the “Athlete Supreme.”

“It’s a scam, dude! You just want more page hits!!,” he would holler at me, then he would laugh and go bounce off another wall, trying to hurt himself for my amusement.

Watching Lathom’s growth in recent years, as he found his way in life, you couldn’t help but be proud of the guy.

He amused me.

He entertained me.

He was truthful and honest, rough around the edges at times, but bursting with good will and love for all.

He was Lathom, and he was one of a kind.

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Aaron Lucero imparts wisdom to Maya Nottingham. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Just when you think you’re done, you’re not.

Sitting here in mid-July, I’ve stumbled across three photos from the spring which, for whatever reason, were never used in-season.

So, here you go, a flashback to former glory.

Tenley Stuurmans, ready to launch.

Melanie Navarro gets low to snag an incoming grounder.

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