Track: Wolves set to compete at historic Hayward Field

Oregon Relays

Date: Today and Saturday

Location: Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore.

South Kitsap competitors: Rhianna Boe, girls 400 dash, sprint medley, 1,600 relay, soph.; Eric Burk, boys long jump, triple jump, soph.; Erika Copeland, girls 800 run, 1,500, sprint medley, sr.; Andrew Crock, boys 800 run, 1,500, sprint medley, sr.; Isaiah Davis, boys sprint medley, 400 relay, long jump, triple jump, jr.; Riley Dopps, girls 400 dash, 1,600 relay, jr.; Kelsie Forcier, girls discus, shot put, soph.; Dana Goularte, girls high jump, jr.; Hillary Hestead, girls 200 dash, 400, 400 relay, 1,600 relay, jr.; Shelby Jackson, girls javelin, sr.; Sarah Lacey, girls 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 1,600 relay, soph.; Leon La Deaux, boys sprint medley, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 400 relay, sr.; Karinne Nelson, girls 200 dash, 400 relay, sr.; Steven Pavlik, boys discus, javelin, soph.; Kadir Perez, boys 100 dash, 200, 400 relay, sr.; Bethany Sanchez, girls 100 dash, sprint medley, 400 relay, long jump, jr.; Brandon Schulte, boys 1,500 run, soph.; Javier Scott, boys 100 dash, sprint medley, 400 relay, jr.; Garrett Stephenson, boys 100 dash, 200, sprint medley jr.; Chelsi Swanson, girls 200 dash, 400 relay, triple jump, jr.; Amanda Wilson, 200 dash, sprint medley, 400 relay, 1,600 relay, soph.

When pointing to the significance of competing in the Oregon Relays, South Kitsap track and field coach Joanne Warren says to look no further than Eugene’s geography.

“Track is everything there,” she said. “Their football field is off north in town.”

Steve Prefontaine ran for the Ducks, and the program has won multiple national championships. Hayward Field hosted the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008 and will again in 2012.

And each spring, the track holds the Oregon Relays. After sending a handful of participants last year, Warren will take 21 competitors — 12 girls and nine boys — this season.

“I’m taking the kids that I think will score points, plus a couple of sophomores ... to get them experience,” she said.

One of those runners is senior Erika Copeland, who will compete in cross country this fall at Saint Martin's University in Lacey. Copeland, who is scheduled to compete in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs and the sprint medley, said the meet should be good preparation for the team as it prepares for the playoffs.

“We don’t have very much competition in some races,” Copeland said. “There is a lack of long-distance runners this year. There will be more people there to push you.”

South and Bellarmine Prep are the only two teams from the Narrows League competing at the Oregon Relays. Warren said about six teams applied from the league, but she said the Wolves were selected based on their performance at leagues and districts last year.

One unique aspect about the Oregon Relays is that college teams also compete at the meet. Warren said her contingent was surprised last year when they saw how talented the collegiate athletes were.

“You might be the top dog and these college kids just blow you out the door,” she said.

Regardless of how she performs, Copeland is excited to run at Hayward Field.

“It’s kind of honorable to go there,” she said. “There has been a lot of talented people run down there. Hopefully, we will follow in their footsteps.”

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