Sports

Klahowya soaring high to start the new season

Olympic’s Byron Mosley-Pitt gets an early edge in the 200-meter dash at Wednesday’s Central Kitsap Invitational. He would take fourth overall in the event. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Olympic’s Byron Mosley-Pitt gets an early edge in the 200-meter dash at Wednesday’s Central Kitsap Invitational. He would take fourth overall in the event.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

It’s been more than five years since the Klahowya track and field squads have suffered through a losing season.

And if Thursday’s double duel meet with Port Townsend, Vashon and Orting was any indication, this won’t be the year they fall.

With the girls coming off a 2004 Nisqually League title and the boys remaining strong all around, the Eagles are ready to keep their string of success alive.

“It’s great,” Klahowya coach David Hazelquist said. “Kids like to be part of a winning team and we haven’t lost in a long time.”

Thursday, the Eagles dominated Port Townsend and Vason on both sides, with the boys beating PT 99-33 and taking down the Pirates 96-35. The Lady Eagles were just as dominant, knocking off PT 84-56 and Vashon 107-31.

But the real story was the incredible efforts of Chelsea Marak and Sierra Cook. Marak, a senior, set a new school record in the shot put, easily winning the event with a distance of 33 feet, 9 inches. Cook, just a freshman, set two new school records in her first high school meet, taking the 800-meter and 1,600-meter races in 2 minutes, 32 seconds and 5:34 respectively.

But those numbers are exactly what Hazelquist expects form the girls team this year.

“On the women’s side, Sierra (will be one to watch) in distances, Chelsea in throws and for sprints, Sarah (Dawson),” he said. “They’ll be big for the girls.”

Dawson took the 200-meter dash in 28.19 seconds.

The boys also had great efforts, and Hazelquist said he expects Sam Rucker, Casey Masters and Kyle Ryan to lead a boys team bursting with potential.

“I think Sam is going to be a highlight film this year,” Hazelquist said. “Casey and Ryan will do really well for the men.”

So far, all three have been strong, with Rucker claiming the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Ryan snagging the 800 and 1,600, and Masters winning the 3,200. Last season, Rucker finished 12th in the long jump at state, while Masters took 10th in the 3,200.

The Eagles, who are also hosting the West Central District tourney this year, will next compete Thursday at 3:15 p.m. at home against Steilacoom, Eatonville and Chimacum.

Olympic

Olympic also got off to a solid start this season, taking second place at the Central Kitsap Invitational Wednesday in the girls competition and fifth in the boys. Many of the athletes Oly will need to be competitive got off to strong starts.

One girl who had to step up — and did — is Amy Patawaran.

“From a newcomers standpoint, she’s great,” Oly coach Joel Grindeland said. “But she’s also a senior. We see a lot of potential in her.”

Patawaran began fulfilling that potential by winning the 100-meter dash and the 300-meter hurdles.

“She could do extremely well,” sprint coach Yogi Cargill said. “Just like every year, I’m hoping the kids get better as sprinters. Just word hard and have fun. But I’m very optimistic.”

In addition to Patawaran, the team got a strong throwing outing from Storm Fanua, who won the discus. Elizabeth Allen took the long jump.

For the boys, Anthony Leverett was the only winner, taking the high jump.

“Right now, we’re just seeing where the kids fit,” Cargill said.

He said on the boys side, the team will need a strong performance from Reagan Logova this year.

“They all looked really strong,” Cargill said. “We’ve got some kids with raw talent. Now it’s just a matter of making an impact.”

Cargill said both track squads have a strong shot at returning to the postseason.

“What’s really been important is Oly in the last few years has had success with sprinters,” he said. “And that’s had a ripple effect. In a lot of ways, it’s indicative of any sport. Success breads success. We just want to stay competitive.”

Central Kitsap

CK is also looking forward to a strong year, as evidenced by its placement at the invite. The boys finished second while the girls took third.

“Considering the time of year and the level of experience we have, I was happy as a clown,” CK coach Mark Ward said.

With a solid core of returners and some fresh faces in new events, the Cougars are ready to pounce on the competition.

“On the guys side, we have the core of the team from last year,” Ward said. “We have a pretty good group of sprinters and jumpers. Our throwers are vastly improved. The attitude is 100 times better than last year.

“For the girls, just the fact we have distance runners is really good.”

In regard to who will need to perform well for CK, Ward said Wednesday was very indicative.

“(Wednesday) was a prime example of who we’re led by right now,” Ward said.

For the boys, Danny VanDatta (100-meter dash), Ben Pentz (200), Damion Cooney (400), Peter Tait (110 hurdles) and the 100 and 400 relay teams won at the invite.

For the girls, the 100, 200 and 400 relay squads and Sarah Blackadar (javelin) won.

“What piques my interest is that even though the girls know they’re outmatched number-wise, they came out hard and focused on what they needed to do,” Ward said.

Tait ran a 14:30 to break the CK school record in the 110 hurdles.

“It’s already faster than when he placed fifth at state (last year),” Ward said. “He’ll challenge for one of the top three spots.”

CK and Oly will both be at the Bremerton Relays at 9 a.m. today at Bremerton High School.

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