Sports

Young, talented Wildcats hit the track

 Oak  Harbor track coach Jay Turner gets team members organized for a warm-up drill. - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor track coach Jay Turner gets team members organized for a warm-up drill.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

The Oak Harbor High School track teams have the numbers and the talent for a successful season under the leadership of coaches Eric Peterson and Jay Turner.

With a mixture of veteran athletes and promising newcomers, the Wildcats have the opportunity to set new school and district records, and even have a shot at breaking some long-standing state marks.

“We have about 130 kids out for the team and among them are a large number of talented freshman girls,” Turner said.

This season Oak Harbor will be hosting two home meets, March 25 against Snohomish and Stanwood, and on April 30 against Arlington and Lake Stevens.

Also, the WesCo North league preliminary and championship meet will be held on the state-of-the-art track at Wildcat Memorial Stadium on Wednesday and Friday, May 13 and 15.

The Wildcats have a number of athletes with state championship experience, including junior Donovan Hunt, who placed second in the Class 4A state long jump competition last year.

Hunt is also a sprinter and a member of the relay team that went to state, along with junior Rashaad Smith and senior Stephen Lewis.

Senior Greg Goebel is another relay runner and senior Brooks Waller runs the hurdles.

In the distance events, Josh Duhrkopf is one of the top performers as is junior 800-meter runner Matt Bolte.

New to the team this year are junior sprinter Josh Higbee and freshman sprinter Josiah Miller.

“We are still trying to figure out exactly who can do what and waiting for the weather to warm up a bit,” Turner said. “Track people thrive on warm weather and we are still waiting for it to arrive.”

On the girls side, Oak Harbor is loaded with distance runners including senior Kathryn Fisken, who is one of the top Wildcat cross country runners.

Other distance runners with cross country experience are sophomores Allison Duvenez, Adrianna Royal and Abby Leete.

Sophomores Janessa Ramos and Janelle Yoshimoto are two of the top sprinters on the team. Ramos also competes in the long jump, while Yoshimoto long jumps and throws the javelin.

Senior Hope Thompson is a middle distance runner and senior Claire Terpanier runs the hurdles.

Juniors Becky Freeman and Alma Alvarado gained experience last season in the throwing events and should be at the top of their games in 2009.

New to the team this year is junior Shantae Young, who Turner said has been doing well in the jumping events.

“The girls team is really young and we should be strong for the next few years,” Turner said.

Two of the younger competitors in their first season on the varsity are sophomore sprinter Brie Peterson and freshman sprinter Mora McKole.

The Wildcats compete in the South Whidbey Jamboree at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19. Oak Harbor hosts Snohomish and Stanwood at Wildcat Memorial Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.

Sophomores Janessa Ramos and Janelle Yoshimoto are two of the top sprinters on the team. Ramos also competes in the long jump, while Yoshimoto longs jumps and throws the javelin.

Senior Hope Thompson is a middle distance runner and senior Claire Terpanier runs the hurdles.

Juniors Becky Freeman and Alma Alvarado gained experience last season in the throwing events and should be at the top of their games in 2009.

New to the team this year is junior Shantae Young, who Turner said has been doing well in the jumping events.

“The girls team is really young and we should be strong for the next few years,” Turner said.

Two of the younger competitors in their first season on the varsity are sophomore sprinter Brie Peterson and freshman sprinter Mora McKole.

Oak Harbor competes in the South Whidbey Jamboree at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, and hosts Snohomish and Stanwood at 3:30 p.m. March 25.

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