Sports

Cougs face biggest competition . . . each other

Central Kitsap dominated the 100-meter sprint at the Narrows League Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma, with Peter Tait (far left) taking first, Ben Pentz (middle right) taking third and Danny VanDatta (beside Pentz) earning fifth for CK. All three are part of the CK 400 relay squad that also took a Narrows League title. - Photo by Aaron Managhan
Central Kitsap dominated the 100-meter sprint at the Narrows League Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma, with Peter Tait (far left) taking first, Ben Pentz (middle right) taking third and Danny VanDatta (beside Pentz) earning fifth for CK. All three are part of the CK 400 relay squad that also took a Narrows League title.
— image credit: Photo by Aaron Managhan

TACOMA — Peter Tait and his friends wanted to go see the new Star Wars movie when it opened Thursday night. But he knew he had some other obligations to attend to.

“I was really nervous about the Thursday meet,” he said. “I was going to see Star Wars, but I said I had to sleep. I had to make it.”

Yes, Tait, the state leader in 110-meter high hurdles and part of the Central Kitsap 400 relay team, also among state leaders, was nervous about getting past the Narrows League Championships Thursday and Saturday at Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma.

But Tait, like many local competitors, put his worries to rest at the meet, claiming titles in the 100, the 110 hurdles and as part of the 400 relay.

Overall, Central Kitsap finished with 73 points in the boys competition, a distant second to Gig Harbor’s 151. Olympic was 16th with 6 points. The top eight competitors in each event advance to the 4A West Central District 3 meet Saturday at Mt. Tahoma Stadium.

On the girls side, Olympia took the crown with 125 points, while CK finished in 10th with 20 and Olympic was 13th with 16.

Overall, CK claimed four titles on the day, with Ben Pentz claiming the 200 as well. Danny VanDatta and Josh Perlow, along with Pentz, also had a hand in the relay crown.

“We’re feeling good,” Tait said of the relay. “I love running with my teammates. It’s less of, ‘I have to be first,’ and more like, ‘Let’s compete with each other.’”

Tait won the 100 ahead of teammates Pentz and VanDatta, who took third and fifth respectively. VanDatta added an eighth-place mark in the 200 while fellow Cougar Damion Cooney finished fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 400 as well, helping fuel CK’s sprinting power.

Perlow added a fifth-place finish in the long jump while Lucas Perdue finished seventh in the javelin. Rico Henne also advanced to districts with an eighth-place leap of 5-feet, 7-inches.

For the girls, CK got strong efforts from Shannon Gutierrez, who took third in the 400, and Niki Lesniak, who took fifth in the 300 hurdles. Bethany Daniel added a fourth-place finish in the long jump.

Both the 800 and 1,600 relay teams advanced to districts after respective seventh- and sixth-place finishes and Krysann Rodriguez qualified with an eighth-place jump in the high jump.

Tait said he’s excited to be able to compete at the next level with his teammates.

“I’ve known all the guys since junior high,” Tait said. “We’ve known each other for a while. It’s that kind of camaraderie.”

As for his chances, as well as the 400 relay’s chances, at the state level, Tait said the time is now for the Cougars.

“I’m so happy,” Tait said. “We went to state last year, but we didn’t make it out of the preliminaries. This year, we have a shot and we’re going to take it.”

Olympic

While the Trojans couldn’t claim any crowns, it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort.

Amy Patawaran, the Trojan’s top female speedster, nearly claimed the 300 hurdles, finishing just .21 seconds behind Wilson’s Syreeta Martin. She also took sixth in the 100. Janetta Hinds advanced after taking seventh in the high jump.

The girls 1,600 relay also made the cut, taking eighth.

For Olympic’s boys, Christian Demouchet continued to excel with sixth-place finishes in both the 110 and 300 hurdles.

The trio will now also compete at this weekend’s WCD meet.

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