Track and field preview: Wolves boast depth, but few stars on girls squad

Date Meet Time
April 9 Tacoma Invitational (Lincoln Bowl) 10 a.m.
April 14 Wilson, Lincoln (Lincoln Bowl) 3:30 p.m.
April 16 Pasco Invitational 9 a.m.
April 20 Foss, Mt. Tahoma, Capital (Capital) 3:30 p.m.
April 23 South Kitsap Invitational 10 a.m.
April 27 Central Kitsap 4 p.m.
April 28 Yelm, Olympia (Olympia) 3:30 p.m.
April 30 Shelton Invitational 10 a.m.
May 6 Mt. Tahoma, Central Kitsap (S. Kitsap) 3:30 p.m.

Coach: Joanne Warren, sixth season.
Key returners: Boys—Eric Burke (long jump, triple jump), jr.; Adrian Cardinal (discus, shot put), jr.; Isaiah Davis (high jump, long jump, triple jump), sr.; Nathan O’Guin (200), sr.; Steven Pavlik (discus, shot put), jr.; Dan Schulte (1,600, 3,200), jr.; Javier Scott (100, 200), sr. Girls—Ashlee Becker (pole vault), sr.; Kelsie Forcier (discus, shot put), jr.; Hillary Hestead (100, 200), sr.; Shelby Jackson (discus, shot put), sr.; Sarah Lacey (hurdles), jr.; Bethany Sanchez (100, 200, long jump), sr.; Chelsi Swanson (100, 200, long jump, triple jump), sr.; Amanda Wilson (400, 800), jr.
Top newcomers: Boys—Dominic Boddie (100, 200), jr.; LaForrest Church (800, high jump), so.; Adam Gascoyne (hurdles), so.; Eddie Meisner (discus, shot put), jr.; Josh Osinski (discus, shot put), so.; Blaine Prenavich (discus, shot put), so.; Joey Woods (100, 200), so.; Nick Sleigh (400, 800), so.; Zach Sleigh (400, 800), so. Girls—Christa Lane (100, 200, hurdles), so.; Claire Pavledakes (long jump, triple jump), jr.; Jessica Peterson (1,600, 3,200), so.; Molly Wheeler (1,600, 3,200), so.
Key departures: Boys—Colin Burgh (discus), graduated; Erika Copeland (1,600), graduated; Andrew Crock (200, 800), graduated; Leon La Deaux (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles), graduated; Kadir Perez (100), sr. Girls—Riley Dopps (800, 1,600), sr.; Dana Goularte (high jump), sr.; Karrine Nelson (javelin), graduated.

They are not just road trips.

For South Kitsap’s boys and girls track and field teams, they are learning experiences.

Junior Kelsie Forcier and senior Shelby Jackson both agreed that last year’s Oregon Relays in Eugene were more beneficial than any other competition during the season. The Wolves will compete in the Pasco Invitational on April 16.

“There was a thrower from Texas that was really good; throwers from Oregon and even colleges,” Jackson said. “I think you get more experience with that because you get to see professionals work and prepare.”

Forcier said the experience was enlightening. Even though she eventually placed eighth in the Class 4A state meet with a throw of 118 feet, 2 inches in the discus, she was intrigued by the development of athletes from high school to college.

“It makes you think about what you can achieve,” she said.

Jackson said watching other successful throwers helped her revise her routine. She said given the cooler temperatures and rain during the spring in the Northwest, she now focuses on a more intense workout between throws.

Jackson said the impact in Oregon was immediate: “We threw our best there.”That did not occur at Star Track. Jackson placed 10th as a sophomore in the javelin, but fell to 16th with a throw of 97-02 last year.

“I have to get into the most positive state I can,” she said. “I think the reason why things happened at state is because I got way into the numbers and where I have to be. I can’t do that. I just need to focus on me.”

Forcier and Jackson, along with senior long-jump standout Bethany Sanchez might be the school’s best hope for state on the girls team.

“There’s not a whole lot of superstars ... but there’s good kids,” South coach Joanne Warren said. “We have a lot of depth.”

The former statement particularly is the case on the girls team.

“We don’t have quite the depth of the talent on the track,” said Warren, adding that her team is stronger in distance and throwing events.

Senior Riley Dopps, who won the Narrows League championship in the 400-meter dash in 58.24 seconds, elected to play tennis this spring.

But perhaps just as significantly is a dearth of seniors. Warren, a social studies teacher at South, said she has a class full of them.

“It’s an interesting group,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a group where so many don’t do anything. You’re kind of missing out on the best part of high school.”

No boys qualified for state in 2010 for the first time in Warren’s tenure. But senior Isaiah Davis, who competed in the high jump at Star Track in 2009, is expected to return. He said his goal is to hit 7 feet this year.

“I haven’t had the best end of the year,” he said. “I want to finish my senior year strong.”

Davis, who signed to play football at Eastern Washington, also is running anchor on the 1,600-relay team for the first time.

“It’s really different because I’m used to being in the corner and cheering,” he said.

Other significant returners on the boys side include juniors Steven Pavlik (discus and shot put) and Dan Schulte (1,600 and 3,200) and seniors Nathan O’Guin (200) and Javier Scott (100 and 200).

Warren, who had nearly an equal distribution between boys and girls among the 115 students who turned out, said several younger athletes could emerge on both teams this season.

“We’ve noticed a lot of young talent,” she said. “The junior highs are doing a great job at getting kids engaged and ready for high school.”

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