Wolves plan to go the distance this time around

The cold — and mostly wet — spring sports season hasn’t allowed South Kitsap High School track and field coach Paul Zimmer to fully evaluate the talent pool he has to work with.

But the first-year coach does know where the teams’ strengths will lie.

“We’ll be petty strong in our girls’ and boys’ distance races,” Zimmer said.

Of course he should know this, since he has been the assistant cross-country coach at SK for the past three years. It doesn’t take a personal bias to know talent, however.

The girls’ and boys’ distance runners return all the runners who placed seventh and eighth respectively at the state cross country meet last November.

Leading the way is Washington State-bound Kayle Peterson, who finished eighth individually in cross-country.

“Kayle is a very talented runner,” Zimmer said. “I know she’s excited for track this year.”

The Wolves will also be led by the running talents of sophomore Danielle Friend and junior Eileen Morley.

The boys’ team that placed at state consisted of all juniors, which means it has this year and next year to wreak havoc on the competition. C.J. Godfrey, who placed 20th at state in cross country, heads the talented group of runners. Godfrey will be challenged by teammates Drew Polley and Josh Cobb.

While there is comfort with the distance runners, Zimmer said it will take a few meets before he has a clearer idea about his team.

Senior Victor Valle will be valuable to SK’s success in the 100- and 200-meter dash, as well as the relay races.

Senior Nick Anderson is the lone state returner on the boys team. He will look to make a third straight trip to state in the triple jump and long jump.

His speed won’t go untapped, either. Zimmer plans to utilize him in the relay races.

The search for two more sprinters is ongoing.

In the field, Zimmer said he thinks Clayton Hutchins and Jake Boling could get some high marks by the time of the Narrows League championships.

Beau Pugh will be looked upon as the team’s strength in the javelin, and Garrett Stroud will highlight this year’s group of pole vaulters.

A lot of fresh faces highlight the girls’ team this season. Other than the distance runners and sprinter Lynette Millard, SK will be loaded with new talent.

Zimmer said the success of the girls’ team will hinge on the development of a large group of sophomores.

“We are fairly new on the girls side,” he said. “We have some potential of getting these girls to realize this is high school now and to know the level of competition they’re going up against.”

Zimmer said one of those sophomores that should contribute right away is Randee Robinson, a powerful runner who is already a two-year standout on the SK girls’ soccer team.

Zimmer said the goal is to get his athletes ready to excel at the Narrows League meet, which is two months away.

“We want to be competitive and get as many kids to league as possible,” Zimmer said. “We’ll see what happens.”

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