North Kitsap’s Alyssa Cullen (front) takes the baton from Genesi Funston in the 4x200 relay. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

North Kitsap’s Alyssa Cullen (front) takes the baton from Genesi Funston in the 4x200 relay. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

NK’s Cullen wins 4 events at meet with Bainbridge, CK

Alyssa Cullen may have lost out on her junior year track season, but her time away from sprinting and jumping may turn out to be a blessing.

Without the constant stress of spring and summer track on her body, Cullen has been able to focus on getting stronger and more durable thanks to spending an extended amount of time with some weights and barbells.

“I’ve been doing a lot more weight training than normal,” Cullen said. “A lot of CrossFit, because our track was closed for a long time.”

Cullen was in fine form Saturday in Silverdale during North Kitsap’s tri-meet with Bainbridge and Central Kitsap. She won the 100- and 200-meter dashes, along with the triple jump, and she ran anchor on the Vikings’ winning 4×200 relay team.

The Boise State commit was well ahead of the field in the 100 and 200. In the 100, she bested teammate Lillian Pruden by nearly a full second, and was 1.54 seconds ahead of fellow Viking Emerson Bollert in the 200. And she took home top honors in the triple jump with a mark of 37 feet, 10.5 inches, which is an event that has slowed her down a bit in the past, but she seems to have more tolerance for it thanks to her time away.

“Honestly, I think that helped me because that’s a painful thing to continuously be doing,” Cullen said.

Cullen and Bollert are the two returners from last year’s 4×200 state championship relay team, and they teamed with Pruden and Genesi Funston to win that race with a time of 1:48.28, just under four seconds off their state time at Mount Tahoma.

North Kitsap had several other winners Saturday. Tenichi Gordon won both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles as well as the pole vault; Johny Olmsted took the top spot in the men’s 400-meter dash (53.18); Diego Mendez took the men’s high jump; and Lincoln Castillo won the men’s long jump. Casey Simonson and Alyssa Quesada won the men’s and women’s javelin throw; and Connor Wallace won the men’s shot put. The women’s 4×100 relay team also finished first.

One of the more intriguing events of the day was the women’s pole vault. Although there were only three competitors, it lasted much of the day as Bainbridge senior Kati Cooper kept clearing the bar and ended up taking over 20 attempts as the bar was continually raised.

Cooper spends most of her year focusing on gymnastics and only pole vaults during her high school season. With so few practice attempts, she started with the bar low at around 6 feet.

“I started at six feet because the last time I pole vaulted was my sophomore year,” Cooper said. “And I think my PR sophomore year was 7-6, so I wasn’t sure I would even get six.”

At one point, Cooper had to take a break to compete on Bainbridge’s 4×100 relay team, but she returned to take two more shots at the height of 8 feet, 9 inches. She was unsuccessful, but finished the day with a victory with a new personal record of 8 feet, 6 inches.

Overall it was a pretty good day at the track for Cooper considering it was her first meet of the season. She also placed fourth in the high jump.

“At the last meet, I didn’t even compete because I had only practiced twice, and we didn’t have a bungee,” Cooper said.

Other top Bainbridge competitors include: Allie Wildsmith, who finished second in the women’s high jump and third in the women’s javelin; Thomas Steen, who took second in the men’s 110-meter hurdles and third in the 300-meter hurdles; Alex Miller, who finished third in the men’s 1600-meter run and second in the 3200-meter run; Lucy King, who took second in the women’s 1600 and was just four seconds behind Central Kitsap’s Maya Nichols; Aidan Freitas, who finished second in the men’s 400-meter run; Rowan Skipton, who placed second in the men’s 300-meter hurdles; Claire Hungerford, who was second in the women’s 300-meter hurdles; and Claire Jackson, who took third in the shot put.

North Kitsap’s Tenichi Gordon won both the 110- and 300-meter hurdle events. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

North Kitsap’s Tenichi Gordon won both the 110- and 300-meter hurdle events. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Alec Ibarra of North Kitsap and Alexander Miller of Bainbridge chase Central Kitsap’s Daniel Lizon in the 1600-meter run. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Alec Ibarra of North Kitsap and Alexander Miller of Bainbridge chase Central Kitsap’s Daniel Lizon in the 1600-meter run. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kati Cooper won the pole vault for Bainbridge with a mark of 8 feet, 6 inches. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kati Cooper won the pole vault for Bainbridge with a mark of 8 feet, 6 inches. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Bainbridge junior Allie Wildsmith clears the bar in the high jump. She placed second in the event. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Bainbridge junior Allie Wildsmith clears the bar in the high jump. She placed second in the event. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Lily Curtis runs neck-and-neck with Central Kitsap’s Catherine Vlach in the 1600-meter run. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Lily Curtis runs neck-and-neck with Central Kitsap’s Catherine Vlach in the 1600-meter run. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

More in Sports

Sarah Hoyt delivers an RBI in the sixth inning of a 14-12 win over Gig Harbor. (Mark Krulish |Kitsap News Group)
South Kitsap outslugs Gig Harbor, 14-12, to improve to 5-0

South Kitsap’s bats have been hot all season long. Entering Monday’s game… Continue reading

Kendall Becker of North Kitsap is safe at home ahead of the tag against Port Angeles. Pierre LaBossiere/For the North Kitsap Herald
PA comes from behind to beat NK in softball

North Kitsap led or the game was tied most of the contest,… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Alyssa Cullen (front) takes the baton from Genesi Funston in the 4x200 relay. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK’s Cullen wins 4 events at meet with Bainbridge, CK

Alyssa Cullen may have lost out on her junior year track season,… Continue reading

Jaxson Gore (22) makes the throw to complete the double play against Central Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Not pretty but NK beats CK 12-6

Friday’s matchup between two 4-0 teams wasn’t as clean as you’d might… Continue reading

Ty Orser rounds third to score the tying run for South Kitsap against Sumner. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
South Kitsap rallies past Sumner, 6-2

Strong pitching, sound defense and timely hitting — it’s a strategy as… Continue reading

Bainbridge's Damoni Mckenna-Greenawalt and North Kitsap's Angel Chavez sprint for a loose ball. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge boys shut out North Kitsap in soccer

Bainbridge broke open a fast-paced, physical match with North Kitsap in the… Continue reading

<em>Coach Ron Allen and the Piranha’s kick things off with some practice laps.</em>		Ken Park/North Kitsap Herald
Piranha’s return to Poulsbo pool

They swam outdoors, even went to Fife to train

Lillian Pruden puts a shot past the Kingston blockers during North Kitsap’s final volleyball match of the season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK spikes Kingston in battle of top teams

North Kitsap and Kingston finished first in their respective Olympic League divisions,… Continue reading

Chandler Lindstrom catches a 63-yard touchdown for Central Kitsap against Sequim. (Michael Dashiell/Sequim Gazette)
Week 5 Olympic League Football Roundup

Bainbridge 28, South Kitsap 14 PJ Miller’s 2-yard touchdown run in the… Continue reading

Bainbridge running back Jack Mielke spins his way into the end zone in the Spartans’ 28-14 win over South Kitsap on Friday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge ends football season with romp over SK

Bainbridge legend Tom Paski and assistant coach John Fox once promised to… Continue reading

North Kitsap running back Kelly Wanzek bursts through the line during Thursday night’s win over Olympic. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
North Kitsap caps perfect season with victory over Olympic

Normally, an undefeated season ends with with a victory at the Tacoma… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Maddie Pryde tries to put a shot past Central Kitsap’s Allie Baldridge in Tuesday night’s match. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
North Kitsap falls to CK, will share top spot in Olympic League South

North Kitsap was looking to extend its perfect season on Tuesday night… Continue reading