Port Orchard Independent Staff writer
March 24, 2012 · 11:58 PM
There usually is a buildup in sports.
But Saturday’s South Kitsap Relays were a bit of a comedown for senior Eddie Meisner.
After all, he already achieved a personal best with a throw of 47 feet, 3 inches in the shot put two days earlier in the opening meet of the season. On Saturday, his top throw was 44-06 ¼. That still was enough to make him one of three Wolves to place first at the meet.
“I just need to get back into the weight room and get bigger, stronger and faster,” said Meisner, a three-sport athlete who plans to walk onto the football team in the fall at Arizona State.
In addition to Meisner, Michael Gundrum won the 300-meter hurdles in 43.29 seconds. Kelsie Forcier, who plans to walk onto the track and field team at Eastern Washington next year, placed first in the discus (122-05 ½).
Forcier did not have a close competitor in that event, but she gave herself a pep talk after her first throw went just 95 feet. She said she was battling fatigue — Forcier also is a member of the school’s dance-and-drill team that advanced to state Thursday in Yakima — and said she did not get to sleep until 1 a.m. Saturday morning.
“She still threw it a good distance,” South co-coach Paul Zimmer said.
Forcier also placed second in the shot put at 36-06 ½. Lincoln’s Jada Harvey won that event (38-08 ¼). Considering it was her first meet of the season, Forcier said she was happy with her marks in both the discus and shot put.
The Wolves’ other win came in the boys 1,600 relay (3:32.96).
Zimmer, who is in his first season as coach along with Kathy Ballew, said he was happy with the performance of his athletes.
“There are a lot of kids who haven’t run in an event like this before,” he said. “We’re slowly coming around. We’re a pretty young team.”
At this meet, every event was run as a relay, including field events. That means each team has four competitors and their cumulative points determine the winner.
The event replaced the South Kitsap Invitational — an April staple at Joe Knowles Stadium. Zimmer said that meet increasingly was becoming difficult to stage because it often ran against bigger events, such as the Pasco Invitational, which is regarded as the state’s top regular-season meet, or the Larry Eason Invitational in Snohomish.
“The weekend of the invite, there are so many meets,” said Zimmer, noting there is around 10. “We weren’t getting as many teams as we would like.”
Zimmer said he and Ballew made a late decision to shift to the South Kitsap Relays. He immediately talked with Lloyd Pugh, who produced the Bremerton Relays before that event ended in 2009.
“I called Lloyd from the get-go,” Zimmer said. “We used his schedule and tweaked it just a little. It was such a popular meet.”
The relays also feature the steeplechase, which is rare for high schools.
Zimmer said he and Ballew plan a similar setup next year. With more time, he feels confident they will attract more than 10 teams.
He also likes having the South Kitsap Relays in March. Instead of running the South Kitsap Invitational, the Wolves will head to Snohomish this year.
“Now we can really focus on training,” Zimmer said. “We can get some really good conditioning to push us into the postseason.”