Sports

Southern speedsters

With a few California exceptions, most of the successful stock car drivers are from down south — Georgia or the Carolinas.

Here on Whidbey Island, there is also a lot of speed down south that has nothing to do with the high-banked asphalt tracks on the NASCAR circuit.

The southern speed in this part of the country is at Coupeville High School on the composite oval at Mickey Clark Field.

Wolves’ coaches Randy King and Eric Lindberg have several distance runners, one of them a senior who has already made his mark in state competition, and three others who are beginning to get a lot of recognition at a young age.

The King brothers, senior, Kyle, and freshman, Tyler, are two members on the boys team with the heart and desire to win every time they go on the track.

Kyle King is defending Class 1A state champion in the 1,600 and 3,200 and is currently the No. 2 ranked Class 1A 800-meter runner in the state.

Both brothers ran on the 2007 Oak Harbor High School cross country team and both qualified for the Class 4A state meet last fall.

The brothers said they began running track in the seventh grade at Coupeville Middle School and Kyle’s success has earned him a college scholarship to Eastern Washington University.

“They are giving me a tuition scholarship to run on the track team,” he said. “I will be competing in both cross country and track in college.”

King said they don’t give out cross country scholarships at Eastern. “They are sort of combined, so I’ll be running in both,” he said.

Even though they deny it, you can see in their eyes and expressions during meets that there is a little bit of natural competition between the two brothers.

“Kyle and I worked out together during the summer, but there’s really not what you’d call competition between us,” Tyler said. “He knows he can kick my butt, but it’s still a lot of fun.”

Freshman talent abounds on the Coupeville girls team as well with distance runners Adrianna Royal and Rachel Weinstein.

Royal, who also ran cross country on the Oak Harbor team, is home schooled, while Weinstein is a student at Coupeville High School and was a member of the Oak Harbor swimming team.

“I started running in middle school and I’m not sure what I like better, cross country or track,” Royal said.

Right now it would be track, as the diminutive Royal is currently the No. 9-ranked Class 1A runner in the state at 1,600 meters.

Weinstein is a versatile swimmer who competes in the freestyle, breaststroke and relay events, and has also set high standards on the track.

She is currently the second-ranked Class 1A runner in the state at 800 meters.

“I started running track when I was in middle school here in Coupeville, and my goal for this season is I’d like to run somewhere in the 5:30s in the mile,” she said.

With three talented freshman distance runners on the team, Coupeville High School should be a track force to be reckoned with for at least the next three seasons. All of the young runners will only get better as they grow and mature, and Whidbey Island’s southern speed is sure to continue.

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