The West Sound’s track athletes made the most of their only chance to compete in a postseason event this year, as the two-day 1A/2A/3A Olympic League Track and Field championships at Bremerton High School last weekend saw some broken records and exciting finishes.
It’s safe to say the Olympic League hasn’t seen a female sprinter as fast as North Kitsap’s Alyssa Cullen in the past two decades. Cullen broke Olympic League meet records for the 100- and 200-meter sprints, both previously set in 1995 by Central Kitsap’s Chelsie Pentz, who went on to run for the University of Washington.
On Thursday, Cullen, a Boise State commit, blew away the field in the 100 with a time of 12.06 seconds, well ahead of Pentz’s 12.34 mark and nearly seven-tenths of a second ahead of Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt, who placed second. On Saturday, despite rainy and windy conditions, she was 1.5 seconds ahead of CK’s Kymeal Gaulden with a time of 24.91 seconds in the 200.
Cullen’s reaction to seeing her times after both races said it all, as she dropped into a crouch and threw her hands over her face in joy, and drew congratulations from her competitors. Her 100 and 200 marks are the best and second-best high school times in the state.
“I was hoping to be in the high 25s today or right around my PR,” Cullen said. “I felt pretty good going into it, but I didn’t think I’d PR by that much.”
Cullen also took first in the triple jump with a leap of 37 feet, seven inches and was the anchor in North Kitsap’s winning 4×200 relay team with Emerson Bollert, Lillian Pruden and Genesi Funston.
The North Kitsap girls finished second as a team behind CK.
Senior thrower Alexandra Payne took second in the discus and third in the shot put, and Pruden finished third in the long jump. Pruden and Bollert also finished third and fourth in the 200.
Meanwhile, the North Kitsap boys were the overall winners of their meet, finishing 12 points ahead of CK. William Staley was the champion in the pole vault with a height of 10 feet, 6 inches, and Diego Menendez won the high jump at 6 feet.
Other top NK finishers include: Jonathan Olmsted, second in the 400 and fourth in the 200; Tenichi Gordon, second in the 300 hurdles; Connor Wallace, second in the shot; and Laine Miller, second in discus. Lincoln Castillo was third in the long jump.
Bainbridge High School had a couple of champions.
Junior Allie Wildsmith won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet. She went back-and-forth with CK jumper Savannah Fourier. Wildsmith had finished second to Fourier earlier in the season, but had won the event at two-consecutive meets prior to the league championship.
Freshman pole vaulter Ella McRitchie took home her first league title with a mark of 11 feet, which was actually the best height in either the boys or girls competitions. Fellow Spartan Kati Cooper finished second at 9 feet.
Other high finishers for Bainbridge include: Claire Hungerford, third in the 300 hurdles; Alex Miller, fifth in the 3200-meter run; Claire Jackson, fifth in the shot; and the 4×400 relay team of Hungerford, Lily Curtis, Elizabeth Patterson and Zoe Lim, which took fourth.
Kingston received strong performances from several athletes. Lief Nelson and Lynn Nelson finished second and third in their respective javelin competitions; Leighton Menge took second in the 100-meter hurdles and fifth in the long jump; Zawadi Leon was third in the 200-meter dash and sixth in the 400; Curtis Upton took third in the 3200 and sixth in the 1600; Tyler Lanning finished fifth in the shot; and Joseph Jafik-Irigaray was third in the pole vault.
The boys 4×400 relay team of Nelson, Evan Yamane, Kade Claymore and Leon finished third, while the 4×100 team of Claymore, Tyler Marquez, Lanning and Leon finished fourth.
Final Team scores
1. North Kitsap, 114 points; 2. Central Kitsap, 102; 3. Bremerton, 92.5; 4. North Mason, 75.5; 5. Klahowya, 72; 6. Kingston, 48; 7. East Jefferson, 44; 8. Sequim, 37; 9. Port Angeles, 34; 10. Olympic, 29; 11. Bainbridge, 15.
1. Central Kitsap, 162.25 points; 2. North Kitsap, 105; 3. Sequim, 87; 4. Klahowya, 84; 5. Bainbridge, 60; 6. East Jefferson, 53; 7. Port Angeles, 50; 8. Olympic, 34; 9. North Mason, 32; 10. Kingston, 20.75; 11. Bremerton, 14.