With a mixture of experience and talented youngsters, the Coupeville High School track team expects to have a strong season.
Coach Randy King said, “We have quite a bit of experience returning to the team and we are excited about our frosh turnout both for boys and girls. We’ve got five freshman boys and four freshman girls who will score points for our team right out of the gate.”
The strength of the boys team comes in the throws with veterans junior Nick Streubel and senior Caleb Valko returning in the shot put and discus. Also back is junior javelin thrower Nick Weatherford, who had a promising season cut short with an injury last spring.
Streubel finished sixth in the discus and eighth in the shot put at last year’s conference meet.
Newcomers sophomore Carson Risner and freshmen Dalton Martin and Latham Kelley will add throwing depth.
King said the sprinters, for the most part, are a new group headed by junior Josiah Campbell and freshman Jared Helstadter, with added help from the Kelley brothers, Latham and junior Brandon.
Stephen Edwards is back in the long and triple jumps.
Sophomore Matt Hampton is the top returning distance runner, and senior Sam Landau and junior Jake McCormick also return.
On the girls side, the Wolves have the “the fastest group of sprinters we’ve had in the last five years,” King said.
Senior Madison Tisa-McPhee is the quickest and one of the state’s top hurdlers. She won the league 100 hurdle title as a sophomore and went on to place eighth in the state.
Other returning speedsters are seniors Jai’lysa Hoskins, Nicole Becker, Rachel Wenzel and Anna Bailey, who are all in close competition for coveted spots on post-season relay teams.
Hoskins placed fifth in the high jump in the 2012 league meet.
King said newcomers include four freshmen “who seem to be able to run step for step with the seniors”: Courtney Allard, Sylvia Hurlburt, Makana Stone and Kirsten Pelroy.
Also joining the team for the first time are junior sprinter Emma Sullivan and senior hurdler Kelsey Miranda.
Versatile returnee sophomore Marissa Etzell and Bailey will compete in any race up to 800 meters, and sophomore Erin Rosenkrance leads in the distances.
Returning throwers are Dani Rickard in the shot and Becker in the discus.
Newcomer Heni Barnes, who is the leader of the school weight lifting program, according to King, will throw both the shot and discus and “looks to have competitive potential.”
King said, “Coach (Eric) Lindberg (former Coupeville and Oak Harbor track coach) always said that one of the best things about this sport is helping young student athletes become good people. I like this team. Our experienced athletes do the greatest job of helping our youngsters learn technique, discipline and responsibility. If they keep up what we’ve started this week, it is going to be a fantastic season.”
The Wolves head to Oak Harbor for the Island Jamboree at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14. Coupeville’s lone home meet is at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 18, with South Whidbey.
(Note: The preview of the track team was accidentally left out of the previous story featuring the spring sports teams.)