Busy weekend on track

Olympic’s Patrick Kendl cleared 37-feet, 7-inches on this triple jump en route to winning the event with a jump of 38-9 on Friday. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Olympic’s Patrick Kendl cleared 37-feet, 7-inches on this triple jump en route to winning the event with a jump of 38-9 on Friday.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

It’s not often high school track and field squads compete more than once in a week.

But for Central Kitsap, Klahowya and Olympic, all three did just that.

While the Cougars had a little break between last Wednesday’s head-to-head meet with South Kitsap and Saturday’s annual South Kitsap Invitational, Klahowya and Olympic went on back-to-back days, battling each other with Bremerton on Friday before also attending the SK Invite.

“It was good,” Klahowya coach Leo Suzuki said. “It was busy, it was crazy. But it was good.”

The Eagles’ girls won Friday’s meet with BHS and Oly while the boys were second. Klahowya was 11th overall Saturday in Port Orchard, 10th in boys competition and 12th in girls. Fifteen schools competed at the invite.

Perhaps most impressive out of the two days’ meets was Ben DeKoch, the Eagles’ javelin competitor.

DeKoch set a new school record with a toss of 175-feet, 5-inches Friday, hitting 172-06 Saturday to win the SK Invite title.

“It’s very important with Ben,” Suzuki said. “He’s very consistent. That’s great, two days in a row.”

That wasn’t the only new record.

“Sharon (Cox), she got the school record in the long jump Friday,” Suzuki said, referring to her new school mark of 16-7. “That was exciting to see. And she came back on Saturday and placed sixth.”

The Eagles’ defending state champ in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Sam Rucker, had an up and down weekend, finishing way up, he said.

“He was disappointed with the 400 in his performance Friday,” Suzuki said. “I just told him, ‘Don’t worry about it.’”

Rucker had run a solid 200 Friday however, setting him up for Saturday’s rebound in the 400.

“We were very pleased with that, then he came back on Saturday in the 400,” Suzuki said.

After all, Rucker went from a 51.12-second time Friday to a personal best of 50.43 Saturday, the first time he’s cracked 51 seconds in the event.

It was effort like Rucker’s and Tiffony Gruenhagen’s, second in discus at SK, that made the short trip south worth while.

“It was great to see Tiffony place in the shot put,” Suzuki said of her additional eighth-place mark. “Overall, it was a great competition for us. I think these guys are ready.”

Something Suzuki and the coaching staff were able to better gauge after this weekend.

“This year we didn’t send the whole team (to SK),” he said. “We sent one or two, or our best athlete at each event. We treat it as districts. We’re just trying to get better competition for our athletes.”

Additionally, Rucker was second in the 200 Saturday to Mount Tahoma’s Demetrius Douglas-Davis by just .09 seconds.

Noah Caffrey was eighth in the 1,600 and Nick Morgan tied for second in the pole vault.

For Klahowya’s girls, Jessica Cantu took third in the 800 and Sierra Cook was third in the 1,600. Brittany Corley was fourth in the 100 hurdles as well.

Central Kitsap

The Cougars split Wednesday’s meet with SK, winning the girls bout but falling in the boys. They were practically equals Saturday, with both sides taking seventh place at the SK Invite. Despite the consistency, the Cougs were 10th overall.

Sean Walker led the way via the hurdles for CK, winning the 300 hurdles while finishing third in the 110s. Teammate Derek Parrish was seventh in the 300 hurdles.

Robin Harris was third in the high jump while Brian Johnson earned a share of sixth in the pole vault.

Cascade Herriot was among the team’s top distance runners, taking fourth in the 1,600. Rustin Winger was also fourth in the 3,200. Additionally, CK was seventh in the both the distance medley and 1,600 relay events.

On the girls side, Allie Rue had a great day sprinting, taking fourth in the 100 and seventh in the 200. Kate Berni was fifth in the 800, joining eighth-place teammate Brittany Siegrist on the podium. Bethani Braun was fourth in the discus and shot put events and Lynette Gordon was fifth in the long jump. Lindsey Hart also cracked the standings with a seventh-place score in the triple jump.

But teamwork was CK’s best trait, as the girls distance medley relay finished second to Lake Washington. The 400 relay was fifth.


Olympic was 13th overall at the SK Invite after taking 11th for the boys and 13th for the girls. The Trojans beat Bremerton and Klahowya Friday in boys competition but were last in girls as well.

Brandon Fisher highlighted Oly’s efforts thanks to a big win in the 100 with a time of 11.15. He was fifth in the 200 as well.

Oly’s distance runners were busy. Brent Groulik took sixth in the 800, followed by Peter Duane at eighth. Andy Wagner was sixth in the 1,600 and Brenden Schruhl and Dane Bargerstock were sixth and seventh respectively in the 3,200. Vic Chatman was fourth in the 110 hurdles and Devon Gibson was eighth in the long jump.

Annika Turner was tops for the girls, taking second in the 3,200 and eighth in the 1,600.

Samantha Brewer finished third in the long jump for Oly as well.

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