Wolves finish a strong fourth

"The season - like many South Kitsap High School track and field athletes - is still young, but South Kitsap coach Ed Santos saw his boys and girls teams grow up at the Bremerton Relays Saturday at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.Both the boys and girls finished in fourth place out of 19 teams, which included perennial powers Lakes and Mead of Spokane.The Bremerton Relays are like no other track meet.Other than the steeplechase and hurdles, no individual scoring was involved.In field events, the total distances by members of one team were added up to a final distance.The running events were filled with relays - some of which aren't included in normal competition.One of those events is the distance medley - a 1,200, 400, 800, and 1,600-meter race.The meet record was shattered by the SK girls team of Beth Rosapepe, Adie Hendrixson, Kristen Haas, and Natalie Rasmussen.Haas, not normally an 800-meter runner, filled in for Kindel Stepper who suffered second degree burns after spilling soup on herself.Santos said she should be return to action by next week.Rasmussen, who heads to the University of Arkansas for a recruiting visit this coming weekend, strolled in her anchor 1,600 in a time of 5 minutes, 14 seconds.Santos said having Haas step in was a testament to the depth of his distance runners.Rasmussen trailed Gig Harbor's Molly Wise when Haas handed her the baton, but Santos said Rasmussen didn't panic and ran a smart race.They all ran very well, Santos said. None of the kids panicked. They're just savvy. Nat didn't panic with Molly, and she goes out and gets her.The highlight of the day for the boys was the much anticipated 4-by-400 relay showdown between SK and Lakes.Lakes is led by its anchor Reggie Williams, the nationally recruited wide receiver who will attend the University of Washington this fall.SK's anchor is A.J. Edwards, a senior who will attend Washington State University next year.SK played a game of catch-up in the first three legs.Ed Lilly started out and trailed by eight strides.Landon Edwards, A.J.'s brother, made up half of those strides, and Marcus Meddles cut down the strides to one when he handed the baton off to Edwards.Edwards and Williams ran neck and neck.Edwards said he thought about taking a lead and baiting Williams to catch up.I was just toying with him because I knew I had a good kick in the end, Edwards said. I thought I'd outkick him because I've never seen him run a 400.Down the final 100 meters Williams put on the afterburners but Edwards matched him step for step.Neither runner would budge, and when the duo crossed the finish line, Williams edged Edwards by one-tenth of a second.I knew I didn't have it, Edwards said. You think you're right there. You have three teammates working their butt off for you and you can taste it and feel it and then it's gone.The showdown between two of the state's best sprinters shouldn't have been their first encounter on the track.Edwards was on the third place 4-by-100 relay team with Victor Valle, Landon Edwards, and Ryan Cole.Because of the amount of entrants in each event, the top times were taken from two or three heats.In the 4-by-100, SK wasn't in the same heat as Lakes or Central Kitsap.SK was only seven-tenths of a second slower than first-place Lakes.SK had its revenge in the 4-by-200 with the same team members.This time SK competed against Lakes but Lakes didn't have Williams run that race.Santos said he was looking forward to Williams and Edwards going at it but Williams wasn't in the race. Santos said it wouldn't have mattered anyway because Edwards had a solid lead going in the final leg.Reggie Williams couldn't run A.J. down. He would have never caught him, Santos said.The Wolves final track meet on the peninsula concludes Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in a dual meet at Peninsula High School in Purdy.Peninsula is one of the better teams in the Narrows League, Santos said. They're always well coached and they have enough kids that they compete well. "

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