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Posts Tagged ‘track and field’

The real world has taken Ashlie Shank away from Coupeville, but she will always be a part of Wolf Nation. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Shank, back in the day, hanging with (l to r) Brisa Herrera, Emma Smith and Sarah Wright.

Not everyone gets the finish they deserve.

Ashlie Shank should be four days away from her first basketball practice at Coupeville High School, a season away from bouncing at the line with her relay teammates, stalking track and field glory, months from walking with them at graduation.

It’s the way it should be. But sometimes real life intrudes on the fairy tale.

You can’t fault her father, Dr. Jim Shank, for accepting a promotion and moving on to a far bigger school system. It’s the life of a Superintendent, especially one who truly makes a difference at each landing spot.

But I feel for Ashlie, who arrived in Coupeville as a middle school student and began her high school journey with the CHS Class of 2019.

Over the course of her time here, as two of her older siblings, brothers Matt and Brian, graduated from CHS, the youngest child in the Shank household made remarkable strides.

She found a band of friends, or, more realistically, sisters, and Ashlie grew into a more-confident young woman, in the sports world and outside of it.

On the basketball court, her quiet intensity paid off, as she became a go-to player for the Wolf JV – one who could, and would, step up and drill a game-winning shot at the buzzer.

Take a sec and go relive the moment at https://coupevillesports.com/2015/12/11/klahowya-you-got-shanked/

Her hustle, her work ethic, her commitment, was rewarded with a varsity jersey during her junior season, when she became a swing player.

If the Shanks hadn’t moved across the country, Ashlie would walk through the CHS gym doors this coming Monday intent on winning a full-time varsity slot. And it would have been one she earned.

In the track and field world, she made it to state in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200, winning respect from her teammates and coaches along the way.

At one point, I polled CHS coaches on the best athletes they had worked with, and this is what one had to say:

I feel that Ashlie Shank is the most underrated athlete that I coached.

This girl was a sleeper and for some reason it seemed that no one expected much from her, but she expected so much from herself and worked so hard to get to where she was before she left.

She was very consistent in her times and she continued to bring them down by working hard, harder than some of the best athletes on the team.

She was essential to her relays and amazing on her own. She knew how to push herself and find new limits every day.

I wish she could have stayed so I could’ve seen her senior season but I wish her the best for her senior year.

Other than writing about her on-field exploits, I had one other interaction with Ashlie during her time in Coupeville.

It came before a soccer playoff game at Oak Harbor’s stadium, when we both ended up in the press box during pre-game warm-ups.

It wasn’t a long conversation, but it reinforced my positive impression of Miss Shank.

She came across as a bright, well-spoken young woman, highly intelligent, fiercely loyal to her friends, with a good sense of humor and a quiet strength at her core.

What I witnessed in person matches what others have said about her, and what I observed from afar at her games.

I have no doubt Ashlie will do well, wherever she is, another winner from a family which has my admiration and respect for how they conduct themselves, and what they accomplish.

Still, a part of me wishes she could have had the chance to end her high school days where she started them. Shoulder-to-shoulder with her sisters from other mothers.

So today, I want to do something, I want to make a small gesture, to let Ashlie know how much of an impact she made while she was on Whidbey Island.

How impressed we were, and are, with the strong, intelligent, highly-motivated young woman who graced Cow Town for a few years.

To remind her that even when life takes you away, you will not be forgotten.

Induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, with a rare few exceptions, isn’t usually granted until after you graduate.

Today, we’re making an exception.

In the end, her diploma will likely come from another school, it’s true.

But, after today, when you scroll to the top of the blog and peek under the Legends tab, you’ll find Ashlie Shank’s name right where it belongs.

One of us. Always and forever.

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Lindsey Roberts, doin’ work. (Photos by JohnPhotos.net)

No pressure, Lindsey Roberts, but this is your year.

In much the same way last year was about Hunter Smith making a run at claiming all the records, the 2018-2019 school year is set up to be the Year of Lou.

Even after dealing with an injury which cost him half his senior season, Smith graduated owning seven CHS football records.

He followed that up by burning up the nets, finishing his basketball career as the 11th highest scorer in Wolf boys basketball history.

While baseball stats are a trickier thing to track in the world of Cow Town sports, Smith put a cap on things by being named Olympic League MVP and helping lead the Wolves to their second conference crown in three years.

He was one of the best we’ve ever seen in a Coupeville uniform, and Roberts, a senior this year, is much the same.

Her parents, Jon and Sherry, are both former CHS Athlete of the Year winners.

Uncle Jay? Still on the school’s track record board 30+ years after graduation, a board where his niece appears three times already.

Lindsey’s cousins Madeline and Ally were stars, her grandfather Sandy a living legend, but Lou is primed to pass them all.

More than any other active athlete at CHS, she is within striking distance of breaking, tying or making a run at records – and in every one of her three sports.

So, here’s what to keep an eye on as the new school year unfolds:

 

Soccer:

Admittedly, this is the one which would be most difficult for her to accomplish.

Mia Littlejohn holds the CHS girls soccer career scoring record with 35 goals, and Kalia Littlejohn was hot on her heels with 33 through her first three seasons.

With Kalia opting not to play as a senior, Mia’s record gets a reprieve, and Roberts inherits the mantle as the leading active scorer for the Wolves.

She has 13 goals, notching six apiece the past two seasons after tallying a lone goal as a freshman.

Making that more impressive, she’s done so while playing almost exclusively as a defender, albeit one blessed with a cannon for a leg.

It’s more likely Genna Wright, who torched the nets for 10 goals as a freshman last year, will be the one ultimately coming for the record.

Still, you can’t discount the offensive fireworks Roberts can launch, even if she’s doing it from half a field away.

 

Basketball:

With a season to play, Roberts sits 36th all-time on the Wolf girls scoring chart with 298 points, and has increased her point totals each year.

She tossed in 54 as a frosh (good for #6 on the squad), raised that to 83 as a sophomore (#4), then soared to 161 as a junior, which topped the team.

While it’s unlikely she’ll catch Brianne King (1549), Zenovia Barron (1270) or Makana Stone (1158) atop the charts, Roberts still stands a very good chance of making a run at the top 20.

She stands 102 points away from becoming the 23rd Wolf girl to crack 400 career points, and a repeat of her 161-point junior year performance would carry her to #18 on the all-time list.

 

Track:

Roberts final prep season could be her greatest moment.

She enters her senior season having already claimed five state meet medals – a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th – and is one of only 10 Wolves, and one of only four girls, across 118 years, to pile up that kind of hardware.

Within her reach? Exiting as the most-decorated CHS female track athlete in school history.

If Roberts wins at least one medal next spring, and she has done so in each of her three previous seasons, she breaks a tie with Yashmeen Knox and rises to tie Natasha Bamberger.

Two medals, she joins Makana Stone with seven, or match her freshman total of three, and she finishes with eight, trailing only Tyler King (11) and Kyle King (10).

Roberts came dangerously close to winning a state title in the hurdles as a junior, nipped at the end by Lillian Kirry, a sophomore from Chewelah.

If she can return the favor next spring, Roberts would be the first Wolf to win a state title in any sport since Tyler King wore the 1A boys cross country crown in 2010.

So, buckle in, keep an eye on the stats and prepare for eight months of excitement — the Year of Lou begins.

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Coupeville senior Danny Conlisk flies through the summer track season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hittin’ the big time. (Dawnelle Conlisk photo)

Never forget where you came from.

Danny Conlisk may have spent the summer running near and far, competing for the Kitsap Fliers and advancing all the way to the national Junior Olympics track and field meet, but he still lives by those words.

The Coupeville High School senior, also fond of shaking the hands of each foe on the oval, benefited from the support of local fans, even if they couldn’t see most of his summer meets in person.

So, we’re turning over the mic to Mr. Conlisk, who wants to make sure everyone in Wolf Nation knows how much he appreciates them.

THANK YOU!!

I couldn’t have ever imagined the change that did come my way just from moving to a small town on an Island.

The support from my community, friends, family, teachers, coaches, board members, bus driver, teammates and my mom’s coworkers too is truly amazing.

Thank you for cheering me on and supporting me in my running world.

Coupeville has made me who I am today, because of people like you.

Elizabeth, Peggy, Melody, Erin, Jaime, Kathy, Jackie, Kathleen, Ann, Marci, Karen, Janette, Melinda, Natasha, Jamie, Judie and Bob, your generous financial support to help my family go with me to Nationals deeply touches me.

I know this journey in life isn’t mine alone.

Knowing I have so many cheering me on, pushes me to run even harder.

As I head into my senior year of high school, I look backwards to how far I have come.

From my first day at Coupeville Elementary School (which was the middle of 4th grade), reading my essay as the shy kid at 5th grade moving on, trying out for track in 8th grade (after never playing a sport in my life), to being the student school board member.

A solid platform under me now, that has set the stage for my future.

Never wanting to be the cocky jock, and still learning it’s OK to celebrate being good at something.

Knowing you all are behind me helps.

While Nationals didn’t turn out as I wanted, it was a giant highlight and learning experience. Not a wasted trip at all.

Knowing I went there ranked third in our region, and ended up in the top 61 in the whole United States, is still something to celebrate.

The advice on my form, stretches, jumping and starts from so many coaches, who just were eager to share and celebrate, was a priceless gift.

I am excited to head into my senior year of cross country (first official practice was today, first meet is on the second day of school).

Hoping to get into some indoor track meets this winter and the cherry on top will be ending my high school senior year in track and, if I keep training hard, right back to state championships in the 400.

Thank you again for running with me.

Sincerely,

Danny Conlisk

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   Coupeville’s Danny Conlisk (left) and Kitsap Fliers teammate James Dillow wait for their race at the National Junior Olympics in North Carolina. (Dawnelle Conlisk photos)

A brief nap before bringing the speed to the oval.

Conlisk was awarded this for setting a Fliers record in the 400.

Hanging out with mom.

After all the training, all the fundraising, all the cross-country travel, all the dodging of rain and lightning, the big event was over in less than a minute.

Running in Greensboro, North Carolina Friday morning, Coupeville’s Danny Conlisk finished his summer track season by competing in the 400 at the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships.

The Wolf senior, a four-time state meet participant at CHS, flew around the oval at Irwin Belk Stadium at North Carolina A&T University in 52.39 seconds.

Conlisk, running for the Kitsap Fliers, was competing in the boys 17-18 division, with 60 other runners from across the country.

There were eight heats in the 400, with the top eight times overall (regardless of where runners placed) advancing to Sunday’s final.

Those eight fleet-footed track stars will receive All-American status.

Derrick Price of New Era Track led the way Friday, burning through the heat and humidity to run a 47.35.

Conlisk, the student rep on the school board, now returns to CHS, where he’ll help the Wolves launch an in-house cross country program after a two-decade absence.

He also has one more track season remaining, where he’ll go for a fourth-straight state meet appearance.

Conlisk finished 2nd in the 400 as a junior, and was the only non-senior in the eight-man 1A finals this spring.

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Danny Conlisk and his fleet feet are in North Carolina this week for the National Junior Olympics. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Opening ceremonies went on Tuesday, despite rain and lightning. (Dawnelle Conlisk photos)

Conlisk (second from right) and his teammates celebrate reaching the big time.

There was a Wolf sighting Tuesday in North Carolina.

Coupeville High School senior Danny Conlisk is at the National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Greensboro, and took part (for a while) in the rain-soaked opening ceremonies.

“It was dumping rain, and lightning had our crew jump out of the opening parade half way through,” said mom Dawnelle Conlisk. “Coach kicked them all out and back to their rooms.

“Not getting sick on his watch.”

Danny Conlisk, a four-time state meet participant (three track, one cross country), will compete in the 400.

Prelims are Friday and finals Sunday, with the top eight finishers earning All-American status.

He’s running with the Kitsap Fliers this summer.

Traveling cross country, running through airports, and seeing her once-shy son step into the spotlight has been a magical series of moments for mama.

“It was beyond emotional and I cried as I watched them walk the track,” Dawnelle Conlisk said. “Didn’t see that emotion coming.

“My face was so wet from the rain, thanks for the camouflage,” she added. “Just so very proud and excited for our boy.”

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