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Track: Central Kitsap schools stand out at Kitsap County Classic
If Saturday’s Kitsap County Classic at South Kitsap High School was any indication of what’s to come during the 2009 track and field season, the Central Kitsap area is in for quite a ride.
Olympic, Klahowya and Central Kitsap competed in the mixed Class 4A, 3A and 2A meet, joining Bremerton, South Kitsap, North Kitsap and Bainbridge, among others.
CK sprinter Josh DeVaughn swept the boys 100- and 200-meter dashes in his track and field debut while also running the 4X100 relay, which the Cougars won with a time of 44.12 seconds. CK cross-country star Shane Moskowitz captured the 1,600 in 4:16.55, breaking a school record set in 1984. And the Lady Cougars won both the 100 relay as well as the 200 relay behind Rebekah Daniel, who also won the long jump.
Klahowya sophomore Rebecca Lindgren won both the 200 and 400 with times of 27.40 and 62.91, respectively, to help the Lady Eagles to a seventh-place finish in the team standings.
Olympic, meanwhile, received a first-place finish in the shot put off the arm of Rachelle Logue, who won the event with a 32-foot-8-inch toss.
Those performances and more highlighted a big weekend leading into the 2009 track and field season.
Here’s a closer look at CK, KSS and Oly as the season kicks off.
Olympic: Fresh faces? So what
Coach Greg Chapman understands track and field; he’s been associated with the sport in some capacity for the better part of his 61 waking years.
Many of Chapman’s 2009 Olympic Trojans, however, don’t possess their coach’s familiarity with the sport.
The 13-year Oly coach said 60 athletes turned out for this year’s squad, up from 44 in 2008, but many of the newcomers have little-to-no track and field experience. Of the 60 team members, just 12 are girls and most are sophomores and juniors.
“This has been a busy year for us because we have so many new people,” Chapman said. “Last year we had a small team, but we had a large number of athletes
The 2009 squad is without a handful of distance runners who graduated after last season, as well as dual-sport athlete John Wojtech, who is focusing on swimming, and Larry Dixon, a junior who Chapman said “needed time off” after playing football last fall and basketball this past winter.
Which leaves a veteran coach with a cast of rookies plus a few familiar faces.
“We’ve got a young team, a lot of sophomores and juniors,” Chapman said. “It’s a whole new thing now.”
Last year, Chapman’s distance-heavy lineup emerged late in the season to earn second place at the Olympic League Championships, finishing with 120.5 points, behind Port Angeles (130).
“When we went into league, we weren’t (supposed to) be in the Top 4,” Chapman said. “Everybody did what they needed to do in the events we put everybody in and next thing you know, we only lost by (nine and one-half) points.”
That momentum carried into the Class 3A West Central District III Championships, particularly in the distance events, as the Trojans finished with two runners in the Top 7 in the 3,200, including then-sophomore Nic Porter, who finished fourth (9:35.41).
“We knew what we had and we knew where to put everybody to get the points and it worked for us,” Chapman said. “This year I haven’t got a clue.”
Among those back from the 2008 squad are twin brothers Travis Quinn and Nollan Quinn; junior Darrius Walker, a sprinter; and seniors Brenden Schruhl, who runs the 1,600, and Travis Ottele, a multi-event athlete who specializes in the pole vault.
On the girls side, Bianca Fisher (100), Logue (shot put), Christine Hill (long jump and triple jump) and Brooke Jordan (300 hurdles and distance events) return as well.
Beyond those athletes, however, the team is comprised heavily of newcomers.
“We’re up this year from years past,” Chapman said, referring to the overall turnout of 60. “It’s a tough couple weeks, especially when you’ve got a large team out. We’re trying to put them where they belong.”
But that depth, at least on the boys side, has helped to build team camaraderie, Chapman said, adding he prefers to see his team light-hearted and relaxed rather than serious all the time.
“I think it makes everybody work harder, try harder,” he said. “We have some good, friendly competition out here one way or another, it’s fun.”
The Trojans opened the season Saturday at the Kitsap County Classic at South Kitsap High School, finishing fifth overall and third among Class 3A schools on the boys side with 37 points. Host school 4A South Kitsap won the boys team title with 135.5 points. The Lady Trojans managed 14 points to finish 10th, far behind winner North Kitsap (108).
Logue captured the Trojans’ lone individual crown with a 32-08 in girls shot put.
The team’s next meet is the Kent-Meridian Invitational, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at French Field in Kent.
Central Kitsap: Newcomers turning heads, already
If the name Josh DeVaughn didn’t ring a bell before the Kitsap County Classic, it sure does now.
The Central Kitsap senior, who had never run track prior to this season, blew through both the 100 and 200 races, winning both, in his track and field debut. He posted an 11:26 in the 100 and a 23.26 in the 200.
“We’ve always been told he’s fast, but he admittedly has been too lazy to turn out,” said CK coach Mark Wark. “He’s got some friends on the team, it’s his senior year, so he turned out. Obviously we’ve been blessed with his presence.”
Ward said he was “pleasantly surprised” with his team’s performance Saturday. The Cougars finished second to South Kitsap (135.5) with 104.5 points on the boys side and third to winner North Kitsap (106) and South Kitsap (101) with 76 points on the girls side.
Football player Harion Gaulen, also turning out for the first time, took fourth in the 100 in 11.79 and ran a leg on the winning 4X100 relay team.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said Ward of having DeVaughn and Gaulden on the team for the first time. “You love to have the talent, but you kind of go, ‘Where have you been the last two years?’”
Shane Moskowitz established himself as a frontrunner to win the state title in the 1,600, blistering to a 12-second win over Port Townsend’s Quinton Decker with a time of 4:16.55, a CK record.
“We’ll see what he can do in the 800 this week,” Ward said. “In terms of returners, he’s No. 1 in the state in the 1,600 and No. 3 or 4 in the 3,200. He’s real impressive.”
Phillip Thomas, a basketball player who returns to track after a year off, figures to make noise as well, Ward said. Thomas finished fourth in the 400 (53.46) and ran a leg of the 4X100 relay.
“I think by the time the end of the year rolls around, he’s going to be a nice tool for us,” Ward said.
Derek Parrish, who qualified for districts in both 110 and 300 hurdles last year, and Cooper Hartman, who Ward said is already matching his best times from last season, are the Cougars top hurdlers.
“Those two are a real nice one-two punch for us, depending on whose on their game, if you will,” Ward said.
Among the other top boys — Ward said about 45 boys turned out this season — are sophomore Breaun Dozier, who won the long jump (21-01.50) and Chris Cole, who Ward said has improved in both the discus and javelin.
Ward said this year’s team, particularly on the boys side, is as well-rounded a team he’s seen in years, seemingly giving this year’s squad a leg up on teams of the past.
“It takes the pressure off of everybody, really, because you don’t have to feel like your the guy who has to do it for the team,” Ward said. “You can just concentrate on getting better.”
The girls are led by Allie Rue (200 and 400), Aimee Rozier (100), Alanna Flynn (relays), Shannon Moskowitz (distance), Gee Mi Jorde (middle distance), Maggie Crow (distance), Rebekah Daniel (long jump), Ava Aufderheide (hurdles) and Bethani Braun (shot put and discus).
“I’m real pleased with all those guys,” Ward said. “We’ve got more girls on the team than we’ve ever had, probably ever. But the vast majority of them are in the sprints, so it’s a little hard to be deep. Just about every event we’ve got somebody who we think can step in.”
Ward said the Bellarmine Prep girls are probably the favorite to win the state title, giving the Lady Cougars plenty of competition in league meets alone.
“We really believe we have the toughest league in the state,” Ward said. “It’s hard, but it really pushes the kids.”
CK is at Gig Harbor today before spring break. The team resumes action at home against Mt. Tahoma April 10.
Klahowya: Numbers soar entering 2009
Yesterday, Klahowya’s track and field team played Skee ball at Chuck E. Cheese.
In fact, the Eagles did the same in 2008 following an opening-season jamboree at Silverdale Stadium in which some of the athletes hung their heads after coming up short in their individual events.
Silly, perhaps, but third-year co-coach Steve Detweiler has a perfectly reasonable explanation: sometimes athletes, particularly at the high school level, take sports too seriously, becoming results-oriented rather than simply having fun.
“It was getting them to understand they can compete, do their best and still have a good time,” said Detweiler, explaining the 2008 Chuck E. Cheese gathering.
So it’s with a loose, yet competitive, approach the Eagles enter 2009.
And with about 65 athletes turning out, a number Detweiler called “remarkable” for a school the size of KSS, hopes are high as the new season kicks off.
Senior Randy Schmittler, who took first in the discus at the Kitsap County Classic with a throw of 126-10, headlines the boys team. Detweiler said Schmittler “can do just about anything,” but his primary events this season will be the discus, javelin and 300 hurdles. Schmittler also raced the 400 Saturday, taking sixth.
Teammate Cody Shaputis, a junior, leads the Eagles in the sprints. Shaputis raced both the 100 and 200 Saturday, missing the finals in the 100 by four spots and in the 200 by just two spots.
“He just runs his guts out all the time,” Detweiler said.
Perhaps the most exciting athlete on the Eagle team, however, is sophomore Rebecca Lindgren.
“She’s an animal, she runs like the wind,” Detweiler said. “She’s a little crazy, she’s pretty wild. But when it comes time to run, she can run.”
Not only did Lindgren run Saturday, but she won both the 200 and 400, taking fourth in the 100. She was part of last year’s 4X400 state-qualifying relay team and this year is adding the long jump to her repertoire of events.
“The 100, 200, 400 and long jump are her events this season, thus far,” Detweiler said. “Our goal is to get her to state four years.”
Athletes such as Lindgren give Detweiler hope not only for this season, but next season as well. He said of the 65 athletes on the team, only a handful are seniors. The junior class, he said, is particularly strong.
“Just the fact that we’re a young team,” Detweiler said. “We have a good number of athletes who were out last year and the year before, but we also have a lot of new faces.”
Detweiler added he and the coaching staff — his father, Bob, is co-coach and his older brother, Robert, is an assistant — won’t determine which events the athletes compete in, leaving the door open for new events.
“Our philosophy is to let the kids choose,” he said. “We want to teach them and let them have fun.”
KSS is at Sequim April 9.