SK sends small but determined contingent to state

SK’s Jon Phillips is “pretty confident.” - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
SK’s Jon Phillips is “pretty confident.”
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

t Wolves will be represented by only three members.

A state championship seems unlikely, but at least one South Kitsap runner felt pretty good about his chances if he made it out of Friday’s preliminaries at Star Track.

South junior Jon Phillips is one of three individuals — all boys — to advance to the state meet, which concludes today at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco, where he’ll compete in the 800-meter run.

Phillips’ seed time of 1 minute, 57.82 seconds is eighth among 18 competitors in that event.

“I’m pretty confident on qualifying,” Phillips said. “I think it’s anyone’s race in the finals because all of our times are pretty close.”

South coach Joanne Warren said Phillips was diagnosed with acid reflex disease and exercise-induse asthma, which hampered him before this season.

“He’s grown so much now that we have his health issues out of the way,” she said. “He definitely has stepped into where he needs to be.”

Phillips also is on the Wolves’ 1,600 relay team, which includes sophomore Leon La Deaux and fellow juniors Dan Nadeau and Kyle Stolp.

The group was embroiled in controversy last week at the West Central District meet when Nadeau and Kentwood sophomore Tristan Askew made contact.

Askew, who replaced injured senior Demetrius Bronson on the team, hit the track first and Nadeau tripped over him.

The tangle-up resulted in the Conquerors’ disqualification.

Kentwood coach Steve Roche filed a protest after the race that Askew interfered because he was pushed down by Nadeau, which was denied. He filed a subsequent appeal to have the race run again between the three affected teams, South, Curtis and Kentwood, but that also was denied.

Warren said the team displayed maturity by coming back after the incident to qualify for state.

“I was extremely proud,” she said. “They kept their cool and came back and competed, which is what any coach wants to see from their athletes.”

Phillips said the team is using the incident as motivation to perform well, particularly Nadeau.

“Our second lag is pretty hot from anger,” he said. “He’ll be running pretty well, I expect.”

Joining Phillips are seniors Sean Allison and Devlan Miller, who both compete in the javelin.

Allison won the league and district championship, but his seed throw of 176 feet, 6 inches, is far behind the event’s top competitor, Lewis and Clark’s Joe Zimmerman (186-10).

“I think he has moments of doubt sometimes, but he rises to the competition,” Warren said. “He knows he has to improve significantly if he wants to bring home a ribbon.”

She called Miller “our surprise horse.” He advanced in the javelin rather than the high jump, but believes he was tired by the time the latter event came around.

In the wheelchair competition, South junior Jose Andriano competes in the 100, 400 and 800 runs.

Warren said he’s attempting to earn a spot on the national team in those events.

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