Sports

Secrets of speed

Oak Harbor’s Fab Four, left  to right, Janessa Ramos, Krissy McGill, Mietra Smollack and Carson McKole are the district’s best in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:51.1.  - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor’s Fab Four, left to right, Janessa Ramos, Krissy McGill, Mietra Smollack and Carson McKole are the district’s best in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:51.1.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

Wildcats best in district

A freshman and a junior, sandwiched on either side of a pair of seniors, make up the Oak Harbor High School girls 800-meter relay team.

In track terminology the event is called the 4x200-meter relay and right now, the Wildcats have the No. 1 ranked team in the district.

The quartet of freshman Janessa Ramos, seniors Krissy McGill and Mietra Smollack, and junior Carson McKole have run a time of 1:51.1 in the event and are planning on bringing home some metal at the district and state meets.

The youngest member of the group, Ramos, runs the leadoff leg and said the start of the race is a major factor.

“Getting off to a good start is important and I don’t anticipate the gun,” she said. “What I try to do is just calm myself down and I like run as fast as I can. That’s what works for me.”

McGill, one of the two seniors and a member of the Oak Harbor track team for three years, accepts the baton from Ramos and runs the second leg of the race.

“What I try to do is give Mietra and Carson as much leeway as I can so they can be ahead when it’s their turn,” she said.

An all-around runner who is No. 2 in the district in the 800 meters, Smollack said controlling her breathing is important.

“Breathing is important and also the timing on the handoffs,” she said. “After that, I run just as hard as I can. That’s pretty much it.”

Smollack also runs the 1,600 meters and is a member of the 4x400-meter relay team, that is ranked No. 8 in the district.

Speedster McKole runs the anchor leg in the relay and is also the district’s No. 1 runner at 100 meters, and No. 2 in the 200-meter race.

“I’m just really pumped up after I watch my teammates run,” she said. “What I try to do is catch up as much time as I can.”

McKole also said the baton exchange is important.

“We have to have a smooth one, that’s why we practice it a lot,” she said.

Coach Eric Peterson said he is pleased with the progress the relay team has made this season.

“They’ve been working hard in practice and we’re real excited to see how they’ll do,” he said. “They’ve got the experience with Mietra and Carson from last year and also McGill. They’re definitely a good group that has the ability.”

Fans have the opportunity to view the speedy quartet from Oak Harbor at today’s Westling Invitational track meet at South Whidbey High School.

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