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With 11 state track meet medals to his credit, Tyler King is still tops in Wolf Nation. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Two medals were twice as nice in 2013 for Madison Tisa McPhee. (Photo courtesy Mad Dawg Productions)

The Hack siblings did it first, the King boys did it the most.

Going through track and field state meet records, I’ve found 71 Coupeville High School athletes who have brought home a medal from the big dance in the modern era.

That’s 1974-2019 for girls, and 1963-2019 for boys, if you’re wondering, which is as far back as http://new.washingtontrack.com/wordpress/ goes.

During that time period, the number of medals handed out in each event has grown from four to its current eight, while the awards themselves have remained the ultimate symbol of excellence.

For Coupeville, the first to grab one was Kevin Hack, who stormed from behind to claim 3rd in the 880 – an event which doesn’t exist anymore.

But while that moment was a beginning for CHS track, it was also an end for the young man who accomplished the individual feat by surging from 5th to 3rd.

“Passed them both in one more step,” Hack said. “Never ran after that; went to work full time in Alaska, November ’73, and haven’t stopped yet!”

A year after his race, Hack’s sister, Joy, finished 3rd in the long jump, and the medal race was on for the Wolves.

Some fast facts:

Most state titles in a career – five, by Kyle King, with four individual wins and a relay title.

While Natasha Bamberger also has five titles, all in individual events, one of hers came in cross country.

Most state titles in one season – three, by Jon Chittim, who stood atop the podium in the 200, 400, and 4 x 400 in 2006.

Chittim and Jacob Smith are the only Wolves to win four medals at the same meet.

Most medals in a career – 11, by Tyler King, which included two state titles (he won a third in cross country) and five second-place finishes, including three at one meet.

Most members of the same family with a medal – three.

That honor falls to the Kings (Brianne, Kyle, Tyler), the Toomey-Stouts (Cameron, Maya, Sean), and the Hoskins (Jai’Lysa, Ja’Tarya, Ja’Kenya).

The Hacks join the Kings and Toomey-Stouts as the only families to have brothers and sisters medal, while four other CHS families offer unique connections.

The Beplers (Mark and Ariah) are the only father/son combo to medal.

The Roberts (Jay and Lindsey) are the only uncle/niece duo, while the Fords (Tony and Jordan) rep the uncle/nephew connection.

And the Wilsons (Rich and Yashmeen (née Knox) are the only Wolf track medalists to have married another medalist.

So far.

Coupeville’s most successful events? The 3200 and 1600, which have produced 11 of Coupeville’s 17 state track titles.

The breakdown:

3200 – eight titles/four different champs
1600 – three titles/three different champs
200 – two titles/two different champs
400 – two titles /two different champs
800 – one title
4 x 400 Relay – one title

All told, nine Wolves have ruled the state:

Kyle King (5)
Natasha Bamberger
(4) *also has XC title*
Jon Chittim
(3)
Danny Conlisk
(2)
Tyler King
(2) *also has XC title*
Jeff Fielding
(1)
Chris Hutchinson
(1)
Steven McDonald
(1)
Amy Mouw
(1)

As you may have noticed, all of Coupeville’s state titles have come in running events, as the Wolves have yet to claim a field title, either in a throwing or jumping category.

They’ve come close, with Dalton Martin notching three throwing medals during the 2016 meet, including finishing 2nd in the discus behind a guy who shattered the state record for all classifications.

Pete Rosenkranz finished 2nd in the shot put in back-to-back seasons in the ’80s, while Kyra Ilyankoff (javelin), Jennie Cross (discus), and Ed Cook (Pole Vault) were also state runner-ups in field events.

Where CHS stands in the medal count:

100 – (11 medals)
200 – (10)
400 – (10)
800 – (6)
880 – (1)
1600 – (15)
3200 – (15)
100 Hurdles – (6)
110 Hurdles – (3)
300 Hurdles – (1)
4 x 100 Relay – (7)
4 x 200 Relay – (5)
4 x 400 Relay – (3)
Shot Put – (8)
Discus – (8)
Javelin – (7)
High Jump – (8)
Pole Vault – (2)
Long Jump – (6)
Triple Jump – (3)

One last positive note – the Wolves are currently on a 15-year streak, having claimed at least one medal every year since 2005.

That trounces their previous best of nine years, set between 1983-1991.

The full run, broken down by year:

 

1973:

Kevin Hack – 880 – 3rd – 2:00.3

 

1974:

Joy Hack – Long Jump – 3rd – 16-09

 

1977:

Jeff Fielding – 3200 – 5th – 9:53.5
Bob McClement – 1600 – 3rd – 4:30

 

1978:

Fielding – 1600 – 5th – 4:31.7

 

1979:

Fielding – 1600 – 2nd – 4:32.5
Fielding – 3200 – STATE CHAMP – 9:47.5

 

1981:

Larry Howard – Long Jump – 5th – 20-6.75

 

1983:

Natasha Bamberger – 3200 – 3rd – 11:23.2

 

1984:

Bamberger – 1600 – STATE CHAMP – 5:13.7
Bamberger – 3200 – STATE CHAMP – 11:24.6
Jana Engle – Shot Put – 5th – 32-09
Judy Marti – High Jump – 6th – 4-06
Pete Rosenkranz – Shot Put – 3rd – 43-10

 

1985:

Bamberger – 3200 – STATE CHAMP – 11:44.5
Rosenkranz – Shot Put – 2nd – 46-04

 

1986:

Bamberger – 1600 – 2nd – 5:18.7
Bamberger – 3200 – STATE CHAMP – 11:42.6
Mark Bepler – Discus – 4th – 139-04
Bill Carstensen – 100 – 4th – 11.2
Carstensen – 200 – 6th – 23.9
Chad Gale – 110 Hurdles – 2nd – 15.9
Rosenkranz – Shot Put – 2nd – 50-03
4 x 100 Relay – Carstensen, Tony Killgo, Jay Roberts, Rick Alexander – 3rd – 44.7

 

1987:

Tina Barker – 800 – 4th – 2:24.7
Carstensen – 100 – 4th – 11.2
Gale – 110 Hurdles – 3rd – 15.3
4 x 100 Relay – Gale, Carstensen, Alan Weddell, J. Roberts – 4th – 44.9

 

1988:

Gale – 110 Hurdles – 3rd – 15.1
Gale – Long Jump – 3rd – 21-02.25
Gale – Triple Jump – 6th – 40-06
Joe Tessaro – Discus – 6th – 139-11

 

1989:

Sally Biskovich – High Jump – 4th – 5-00
Ed Cook – 300 Hurdles – 6th – 42.4
Cook – Pole Vault – 2nd – 11-06
Jennie Cross – Discus – 6th – 111-04
4 x 100 Relay – Tony Ford, Devin Hopkins, Brandy Ambrose, Cook – 5th – 46.1

 

1990:

Cross – Discus – 2nd – 120-02

 

1991:

Todd Smith – Shot Put – 6th – 45-08

 

1993:

Kit Manzanares – 100 – 8th – 11.7
Manzanares – Long Jump – 8th – 20-04

 

1997:

Allyson Barker – Triple Jump – 8th – 34-11.25

 

1998:

Yashmeen Knox – Javelin – 8th – 99-00

 

1999:

Knox – Javelin – 4th – 100-03
Knox – High Jump – 6th – 4-10
Jess Roundy – 100 Hurdles – 6th – 16.82

 

2000:

Joe Donnellon – 1600 – 2nd – 4:31.22
Donnellon – 3200 – 2nd – 10:01.24
Matt Frost – 800 – 8th – 2:11.64
Brianne King – 1600 – 6th – 5:59.47
Rich Wilson – High Jump – 4th – 6-02

 

2001:

Knox – 100 – 7th – 13.77
Knox – High Jump – 4th – 5-00

 

2002:

Amy Mouw – 800 – 2nd – 2:22.76

 

2003:

Mouw – 400 – 8th – 1:02.67
Mouw – 800 – STATE CHAMP – 2:21.54

 

2005:

Jon Chittim – 400 – 2nd – 50.77
Corinne Gaddis – Long Jump – 8th – 15-08.25
Janiece Jenkins – 100 – 5th – 13.35
Jenkins – 200 – 8th – 28.20
Kyle King – 1600 – 6th – 4:36.30
K. King – 3200 – 5th – 10:01.61
Andrew Moon – 100 – 3rd – 11.72
Moon – 200 – 5th – 23.38
4 x 100 Relay – Gaddis, Jenkins, Alicia Heinen, Kim Kisch – 6th – 52.55

 

2006:

Chittim – 100 – 7th – 11.8
Chittim – 200 – STATE CHAMP – 23.02
Chittim – 400 – STATE CHAMP – 49.93
K. King – 1600 – 2nd – 4:24.89
K. King – 3200 – STATE CHAMP – 9:36.6
Brian Miller – High Jump – 3rd – 6-00
4 x 400 Relay — Chris Hutchinson, Chittim, K. King, Steven McDonald – STATE CHAMP – 3:28.11

 

2007:

K. King – 1600 – STATE CHAMP – 4:21.51
K. King – 3200 – STATE CHAMP – 9:42.04

 

2008:

Erin Hickey – Discus – 5th – 102-06
Kyra Ilyankoff – Javelin – 2nd – 127-03
K. King – 1600 – 2nd – 4:23.10
K. King – 3200 – STATE CHAMP – 9:43.24
Tyler King – 1600 – 8th – 4:32
T. King – 3200 – 6th – 10:05
Miller – High Jump – 6th – 5-10
Miller – Javelin – 5th – 172-06
4 x 400 Relay – McDonald, T. King, K. King, Miller – 4th – 3:33.18

 

2009:

Ilyankoff – Javelin – 3rd – 122-04
T. King – 1600 – 4th – 4:26.45
T. King – 3200 – 2nd – 9:52

 

2010:

Hunter Hammer – Shot Put – 8th – 47-08
T. King – 800 – 2nd – 1:59.05
T. King – 1600 – STATE CHAMP – 4:24.34
T. King – 3200 – STATE CHAMP – 9:46.92

 

2011:

Hammer – Shot Put – 6th – 50-05
Hammer – Discus – 8th – 150-02
Ilyankoff – Javelin – 4th -128-04
T. King – 800 – 2nd – 1:57.14
T. King – 1600 – 2nd – 4:19.98
T. King – 3200 – 2nd – 9:38.42
Madison Tisa McPhee – 100 Hurdles – 8th – 16.64

 

2012:

Mitch Pelroy – 200 – 8th – 23.34

 

2013:

Tisa McPhee – 100 Hurdles – 3rd – 16.23
4 x 200 Relay – Tisa McPhee, Jai’Lysa Hoskins, Sylvia Hurlburt, Makana Stone – 5th – 1:47.65

 

2014:

Stone – 400 – 2nd – 58.65

 

2015:

Dalton Martin – Discus – 5th – 147-00
Stone – 400 – 4th – 59.01
4 x 200 Relay – Lauren Grove, Marisa Etzell, Hurlburt, Stone – 3rd – 1:47.13

 

2016:

Jordan Ford – Pole Vault – 8th – 12-06
Martin – Shot Put – 8th – 23-06
Martin – Discus – 2nd – 160-06
Martin – Javelin – 8th – 149-03
Lindsey Roberts – 100 Hurdles – 4th – 16.39
Jacob Smith – 200 – 4th – 23.06
Stone – 400 – 2nd – 58.74
4 x 100 Relay – Grove, L. Roberts, Stone, Hurlburt – 6th – 50.98
4 x 200 Relay – Grove, L. Roberts, Hurlburt, Stone – 3rd – 1:46.42

 

2017:

Mitchell Carroll – Triple Jump – 5th – 43.11.75
Danny Conlisk – 400 – 5th – 50.59
Smith – 200 – 3rd – 22.41
4 x 200 Relay – L. Roberts, Grove, Mallory Kortuem, Maya Toomey-Stout – 5th – 1:46.58

 

2018:

Ariah Bepler – High Jump – 5th – 6-02
Conlisk – 400 – 2nd – 49.70
Cassidy Moody – Long Jump – 8th – 16-02.75
L. Roberts – 100 Hurdles – 2nd – 15.38
Smith – 100 – 2nd – 11.64
Smith – 200 – 2nd – 22.75
4 x 100 Relay – Cameron Toomey-Stout, Smith, Sean Toomey-Stout, Jean Lund-Olsen – 7th – 45.16
4 x 400 Relay – Smith, Henry Wynn, S. Toomey-Stout, Conlisk – 5th – 3:31.00

 

2019:

Conlisk – 100 – 2nd – 11.25
Conlisk – 200 – STATE CHAMP – 21.99
Conlisk – 400 – STATE CHAMP – 49.14
Kortuem – 400 – 2nd – 58.02
Lund-Olsen – 100 – 4th – 11.37
Lund-Olsen – 200 – 7th – 22.82
L. Roberts – 100 Hurdles – 3rd – 15.38
4 x 100 Relay – M. Toomey-Stout, Ja’Tarya Hoskins, Kortuem, L. Roberts – 5th – 50.54
4 x 200 Relay – L. Roberts, Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Kortuem, M. Toomey-Stout – 3rd – 1:46.61

 

And the all-time individual state medal standings:

Tyler King (11) – Two state titles, five 2nd, two 4th, one 6th, one 8th
Kyle King (10) – Five state titles, two 2nd, one 4th, one 5th, one 6th
Lindsey Roberts (8) – One 2nd, three 3rd, one 4th, two 5th, one 6th
Makana Stone (7) – Two 2nd, two 3rd, one 4th, one 5th, one 6th
Natasha Bamberger (6) – Four state titles, one 2nd, one 3rd
Danny Conlisk (6) – Two state titles, two 2nd, two 5th
Chad Gale (6) – One 2nd, three 3rd, one 4th, one 6th
Jacob Smith (6) – Two 2nd, one 3rd, one 4th, one 5th, one 7th
Bill Carstensen (5) – One 3rd, three 4th, one 6th
Jon Chittim (5) – Three state titles, one 2nd, one 7th
Yashmeen Knox (5) – One 4th, one 6th, two 7th, one 8th
Jeff Fielding (4) – One state title, one 2nd, two 5th
Lauren Grove (4) – Two 3rd, one 5th, one 6th
Sylvia Hurlburt (4) – Two 3rd, one 5th, one 6th
Mallory Kortuem (4) — One 2nd, one 3rd, two 5th **ACTIVE**
Dalton Martin (4) – One 2nd, one 5th, two 8th
Brian Miller (4) – One 3rd, one 4th, one 5th, one 6th
Ed Cook (3) – One 2nd, one 5th, one 6th
Hunter Hammer (3) – One 6th, two 8th
Kyra Ilyankoff (3) – One 2nd, one 3rd, one 4th
Janiece Jenkins (3) – One 5th, one 6th, one 8th
Jean Lund-Olsen (3) – One 4th, two 7th **ACTIVE**
Amy Mouw (3) – One state title, one 2nd, one 8th
Pete Rosenkranz (3) – Two 2nd, one 3rd
Madison Tisa McPhee (3) – One 3rd, one 5th, one 8th
Maya Toomey-Stout (3) – One 3rd, two 5th *ACTIVE*
Jennie Cross (2) – One 2nd, one 6th
Joe Donnellon (2) – Two 2nd
Corrine Gaddis (2) – One 6th, one 8th
Kit Manzanares (2) – Two 8th
Steven McDonald (2) – One state title, one 4th
Andrew Moon (2) – One 3rd, one 5th
Jay Roberts (2) – One 3rd, one 4th
Sean Toomey-Stout (2) – One 5th, one 7th *ACTIVE*
Rick Alexander (1) – One 3rd
Brandy Ambrose (1) – One 5th
Allyson Barker (1) – One 8th
Tina Barker (1) – One 4th
Ariah Bepler (1) – One 5th
Mark Bepler (1) – One 4th
Sally Biskovich (1) – One 4th
Mitchell Carroll (1) – One 5th
Jana Engle (1) – One 5th
Marisa Etzell (1) – One 3rd
Jordan Ford (1) – One 8th
Tony Ford (1) – One 5th
Matt Frost (1) – One 8th
Joy Hack (1) – One 3rd
Kevin Hack (1) – One 3rd
Alicia Heinen (1) – One 6th
Erin Hickey (1) – One 5th
Devin Hopkins (1) – One 5th
Jai’Lysa Hoskins (1) – One 5th
Ja’Kenya Hoskins (1) – One 3rd *ACTIVE*
Ja’Tarya Hoskins (1) – One 5th *ACTIVE*
Larry Howard (1) – One 5th
Chris Hutchinson (1) – One state title
Tony Killgo (1) – One 3rd
Brianne King (1) – One 6th
Kim Kisch (1) – One 6th
Judy Marti (1) – One 6th
Bob McClement (1) – One 3rd
Cassidy Moody (1) – One 8th
Mitch Pelroy (1) – One 8th
Jess Roundy (1) – One 6th
Todd Smith (1) – One 6th
Joe Tessaro (1) – One 6th
Cameron Toomey-Stout (1) – One 7th
Alan Wedell (1) – One 4th
Rich Wilson (1) – One 4th
Henry Wynn (1) – One 5th

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   In 21 seasons of the 1A state cross country meet being a 5K, no one has run the course as fast as Coupeville’s Tyler King did in 2010. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a new day on the trail.

As Coupeville High School relaunches its cross country program this fall, it’s the first time in two decades-plus that Wolf harriers have been able to compete without having to train and travel with another school.

So, it would be easy to assume CHS doesn’t have much of a history in the sport.

To which I say, au contraire, mon frère.

The Wolves have two individual state champs in the sport, one of whom, Natasha Bamberger (1985), is the new head coach for the runners.

The other top-of-the-podium finisher was Tyler King, who won the boys crown in 2010.

That’s the most-recent state title for any Wolf, in any sport, but his performance that year stands out for another reason.

Since the WIAA bumped the state meet from three miles to a 5K (3.10686 miles) before the 1997 season, no runner at the 1A level, boy or girl, has covered the ground in Pasco as quickly as King.

He stormed to the title in 15 minutes, 16.9 seconds, blitzing runner-up Todd Jackson of Elma (15:47.5) by half-a-minute.

Between 1997 and 2009, the fastest 1A runner had hit the tape at 15:38, while only two of the seven winners since King graduated have broken 15:30.

Both of those have come in the last two years, with College Place senior Kenneth Rooks coming the closest last fall, when he covered the course in 15:18.8.

While Rooks made a significant run at King’s mark, the former Wolf still stands as the best in 1A through 21 seasons of 5K state meets.

And it almost didn’t happen.

Through the first three years of his prep career, King trained, traveled and COMPETED with Oak Harbor, since Coupeville didn’t have a cross country program.

Facing off with 4A runners, he steadily improved, finishing 98th (17:40) at state as a freshman, 22nd (16:05) as a sophomore and 5th (15:33) as a junior.

Then, OHHS dropped from 4A to 3A and busted up its deal with CHS.

King (and any other Wolves) could still train and travel with the Wildcats.

But, once the postseason began, he broke apart and ran in a Coupeville uniform, returning to the same 1A level he normally competed in during basketball and track.

After that revamped deal was later scotched, Coupeville set up a deal with fellow 1A school South Whidbey, allowing a handful of runners to train and travel with the Falcons, but compete as Wolves.

Now that CHS is back in the game full-time, harriers like Danny Conlisk, who, last fall, was the first Wolf to make it to state since King’s title, can try to build on the legacy he left behind.

A legacy that starts with a record no other 1A runner has touched in 21 seasons.

 

1A boys individual state champs 1997-2017 (the 5K years):

1997 – Ned Miller (Darrington) 16:04.6
1998 – John Russell (Freeman) 15:47
1999 – Todd Arnold (Ocosta) 16:08
2000 – Adam Roe (King’s) 16:47
2001 – Reid Carrell (Freeman) 16:12
2002 – Brandon Thompson (King’s) 16:26
2003 – Tom Wyatt (Charles Wright) 15:38
2004 – Alex Crabill (Charles Wright) 16:09
2005 – Peter Browne (Charles Wright) 16:36
2006 – Rigoberto Jimenez (Royal) 16:17
2007 – Huberto Jimenez (Royal) 16:18
2008 – Quinton Decker (Port Townsend) 15:56
2009 – Bereket Piatt (Port Townsend) 16:10
2010 – Tyler King (Coupeville) 15:16.9
2011 – Hap Emmons (King’s) 15:44
2012 – Dillon Quintana (Mount Baker) 15:50
2013 – Graham Peet (Northwest) 15:50.78
2014 – Ryan Clarke (Port Townsend) 15:37.4
2015 – Tibebu Proctor (Northwest) 15:32.10
2016 – Tibebu Proctor (Northwest) 15:22.3
2017 – Kenneth Rooks (College Place) 15:18.8

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   Is cross country returning to Coupeville High School? The agenda for Monday’s School Board meeting says it’s likely. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves may reclaim the trail.

One of the most storied athletic programs at Coupeville High School is a quick vote away from being reborn.

When the agenda for Monday’s School Board meeting hit the internets tonight, buried down deep under new business was this little nugget:

Approve proposed High School Cross Country Program, Fall 2018.”

That means, barring a last-second plot twist from board members, which is doubtful since the proposal arrives with the full support of Athletic Director Willie Smith, Coupeville’s harriers will once again operate out of their own school.

Wolf cross country boasts state title winners in Natasha Bamberger and Tyler King and has 10 tiles on the school’s Wall of Fame, covering league, district and state meet accomplishments.

But there hasn’t been an active program operating out of CHS since the late ’90s.

When King ran, he trained and traveled with Oak Harbor, competing as part of the OHHS program until his senior year.

That season there was a change in the agreement between the two Island schools, and King pulled back on a Coupeville uniform.

After running alongside the Wildcats in the regular season, he went on his own for the postseason, capping his career with a 1A state title.

The past two seasons the Wolves have sent a handful of runners to South Whidbey, where they trained and traveled with the Falcons but competed as Coupeville athletes.

Two of the three harriers from this past fall, Danny Conlisk and Sam Wynn, currently a junior and freshman, respectively, are likely to anchor the new team if it’s approved.

The new cross country program would begin as Coupeville jumps to the new 1A North Sound Conference in the fall.

After a four-year run in the Olympic League, the Wolves are uniting with King’s, South Whidbey, Granite Falls, Sultan and Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) to form a new league.

Bamberger is the most-decorated harrier in CHS history, helping the 1982 Wolf girls squad win a league title and place 4th at state as a team during her freshman season.

Three years later, she won a state title as a senior.

Hearing the news of a revival, her smile was as quick as her legs used to be as they churned down trails.

“That is awesome,” Bamberger said. “So exciting!”

 

Coupeville cross country history:

1975 — Boys — 9th at State

1976 — Boys — 5th at State

1977 — Boys — Cascade League champs

1977 — Boys — District champs

1977 — Boys — 5th at State

1981 — Girls — 8th at State

1982 — Girls — Cascade League champs

1982 — Girls — 4th at State

1985 — Natasha Bamberger — State Champ

2010 — Tyler King — State Champ

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   Oak Harbor grad Adrianna Royal is in her second season as a cross country and track coach at Southern Oregon University. (Dena Royal photo)

   Tyler King, who has the most state track meet medals in Coupeville High school history, has joined the coaching staff at Seattle University. (Photo property of SU Track and Field)

Two of the best runners to spring from Whidbey Island, Tyler King and Adrianna Royal, have finished their days as college standouts.

But that doesn’t mean they’ve left the track and trails too far behind.

King, who won three state titles for Coupeville High School, two in track (1600 and 3200) and one in cross country, finished his prep career with 11 state meet medals, the most in school history.

That attracted the interest of the University of Washington, where he went on to become an NCAA All-American while competing in both sports for the Huskies.

King was the captain of the 2016 U-Dub harriers, who placed 8th at the national meet, and graduated in 2016.

These days, he’s an assistant coach in both sports for Seattle University, having joined the staff of first-year Redhawk coach Kelly Sullivan.

While it might be his debut at SU, the head coach has a distinguished career, giving King an opportunity to learn from a legend.

A longtime track and cross country coach at Oregon State, after stints at Willamette and Auburn, Sullivan owns 24 Coach of the Year awards.

Royal, who competed for Oak Harbor High School and Sacramento State, has a prominent place on the list of “Wolves who could have been.”

After running in Coupeville during her early days, she took her sterling skills off to the bright lights of Oak Town, where she went to state in the 800 and 1600.

Steeplechase was Royal’s prime sport, however, and she twice placed second in the nation at the Junior Olympics.

When college swung around, she joined premier programs at Sacramento State, where she was a vital part of four straight Big Sky Conference outdoor track and field titles.

Royal graduated in 2016 holding the seventh-best 3,000 meter steeplechase time in school history.

As a coach, she’s a year ahead of King, having accepted a position at Southern Oregon University last year, where she’s an assistant distance running and steeplechase coach.

In Royal’s first year, the Raiders men’s cross country squad won the NAIA title. During track season, four of her distance runners hit All-American times, while one captured a title at 5,000 meters.

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   Freshman Maya Toomey-Stout will be the first Wolf track athlete since 2010 to compete at state in four events in one season. (Maria Reyes photo)

The question loomed large at the start of spring.

Which way would “The Gazelle” run?

During her middle school days, Maya Toomey-Stout was a standout in both track and softball, equally capable of stunning foes on the oval or the base-paths.

In Coupeville’s version of The Decision, the Wolf freshman followed up volleyball and basketball stints by choosing to spend her rain-filled spring helping debut the new CHS track facilities.

And it paid off (maybe not for softball coach Kevin McGranahan), as the serene supernova blitzed the field, qualifying for state in four different events.

When she and her teammates land in Cheney this weekend, Toomey-Stout is slated to run in the 100 and 200, while also running a leg on 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 squads.

She’s one of two Whidbey Island athletes to qualify in four events, along with South Whidbey junior Sophia Nielsen, who punched her ticket in the 100 and 300 hurdles, triple jump and long jump.

For Coupeville, Toomey-Stout is the first Wolf to pull off the feat since Tyler King ran in the 800 and 4 x 400, while winning titles in the 1600 and 3200 back in 2010.

Jon Chittim set the gold standard for CHS track athletes, remaining the only Wolf to medal in four events at the same state track meet.

He was a part of three titles (200, 400, 4 x 400) in 2006, while also finishing 7th in the 100, just a second off of a fourth championship.

As far as I can tell from my research, Toomey-Stout is the first Coupeville girl to compete at state in four events in one season.

With the Wolves sitting less than 19 hours from departure for Cheney (7:30 AM Thursday), that tidbit tops our list of facts you can casually drop into conversation if you want to appear to be a track savant.

Other fast facts:

Coupeville finished 12th (girls) and 15th (boys) in the team standings at state last season.

Best finishes in school history? The Wolf boys were 4th in 2006 and 2008, the girls 5th in 1984.

Sparking the solid team numbers last year were second-place finishes in the 400 (Makana Stone) and discus (Dalton Martin), two of Coupeville’s nine medals (five boys, four girls).

That was the school’s best showing since 2008.

That year the Wolf boys claimed seven medals, including a title in the 3200 from Kyle King, and the girls brought home two, led by Kyra Ilyankoff’s second-place finish in the javelin.

CHS boasts 15 state titles in track all-time (with another two in cross country).

Best year? 2006, when the Wolf boys stood atop the podium in the 200, 400, 3200 and 4 x 400.

Boys have won 10 of the 15 titles, including the last nine.

Most successful event? The 3200, where Natasha Bamberger (3), Kyle King (3), Tyler King (1) and Jeff Fielding (1) combined to bring home eight titles.

After that, it’s the 1600, with three titles (one each from Bamberger and both King boys), then one title apiece in the 800 (Amy Mouw), 200 and 400 (Chittim) and 4 x 400 (Chittim, Kyle King, Steven McDonald and Chris Hutchinson).

It’s been 2,552 days since a Coupeville boy (Tyler King in 2010) stood atop the podium at state, and 5,107 days since a Wolf girl (Mouw in 2003) gazed down on the track world.

Also, two of the 10 Wolves going to state this year have relatives who own state meet medals.

Sophomore Lindsey Roberts, who brought home three medals as a frosh, is the niece of Jay Roberts, who earned 3rd and 4th place medals in the 4 x 100, in 1986 and ’87, respectively.

Meanwhile, junior Ariah Bepler, making his first trip to Cheney after winning the high jump at districts, needs only to look across the living room to see history.

His dad Mark placed 4th in the discus in ’86.

The senior Bepler also rightfully held the school record in the event for many years (regardless of what the CHS record board said), until Martin passed his mark last spring.

But, that’s a story for another day.

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