POULSBO — With the Vikings hosting their first track meet of the season, matched with a rivalry on the fastpitch diamond and a rescheduled game being played out on the baseball field Wednesday, North Kitsap High School looked like an athletic mecca.
Below the fastpitch field, the NK tennis teams were practicing and down the road at Strawberry Field, Viking soccer was also hard at work.
Track teams from South Kitsap and Olympia brought five buses of athletes; the Central Kitsap fastpitch and Gig Harbor baseball squads each brought one of their own. All the while, spectators were free to catch an early season look at a few of the North Kitsap spring teams.
On the Fastpitch Rubber:
NK sophomore Jenneka Oostman led the Vikings in a battle with one of their closest rivals — Central Kitsap — in their second game of the season. (Monday’s matchup with Stadium was rescheduled for 3 p.m. Friday inside the Tigers’ fences. Results were unavailable at press time).
Feeling the pressure of a first-year starting pitcher, Oostman was focused on the mound with the bases loaded, no outs in the top of the fifth. CK held a 2-0 lead thanks to a Karli Baumgartner homerun in the third.
North struggled to close out the fifth inning despite two fairly decent opportunities. Thanks to three North errors, the Cougars picked up five small-ball runs in the fifth.
Then CK senior Brittney Ramano delivered the haymaker with a grand slam home run.
The mercy rule was enacted after the Vikings failed to score in their half of the inning — game over, 11-0.
Oostman accrued seven strikeouts and gave up six hits in the loss for NK, while CK’s Erica Quint pitched a three-hit shutout.
Next up, North (1-1 overall, 0-1 in league) will travel to face Mount Tahoma at 3:30 p.m. March 26 before returning to Poulsbo to host Bellarmine at the same time March 28. Then they will be hitting the road again, traveling to face Olympia March 30 before Spring Break.
On the Baseball Diamond:
North senior right-hander Kelly Wells picked up a 4-2 win on his birthday as the Vikings played a rescheduled game with Gig Harbor that was rained out Monday.
Wells pitched six innings with five strikeouts. Sophomore Tyler Sullivan came into close.
At the plate, NK’s Jeff Jones homered with a two-run shot in the first. Sophomore Andy Smith hit 2-for-3 with a double while Jesse Cummings had a double and an RBI in the second inning, helping to give the Vikings leverage over the Tides.
Next up North (3-1) — who finished a series with Lincoln Friday (results were unavailable at press time) — will be hosting Olympia at 3:45 p.m. Monday before hitting the road and facing the Bears at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday in Olympia.
On the Track:
In team scores North Kitsap was the runner-up to Olympia. The boys team came in with 53 points as compared to Olympia’s 68 while South Kitsap came in third with 50. On the girls’ side, North finished second with 47 points behind Olympia’s 98, ahead of South’s 45.
The Viking girls dominated the throwing field.
Senior Jade Niemeyer came in first place in the shot put with a distance of 32-1.75, while sophomores Kelle Taplin and Michelle Lloyd followed suit in the discus and javelin. Taplin threw 83-9 for first in the discus, while Lloyd hurled a 91-5 for tops in the jav.
Senior KC Fossum championed the triple jump (30-11.5) and tied for first — with Olympia’s Cassidy Stevic — in the high jump (5-0).
In the boys field, Spencer Haley threw first place in the discus with a distance of 142-3, while Aaron Bilbao sprung to 11-3 for first place in pole vault.
On the track for NK, Zac Simmons ran a 53.20-second 400M dash for first place, while Kelly Cates garnered a big lead and took first place in the 1,600M with a time of 5:42.
The Viking boys’ 1,600M relay team — Nathan De Guzman, Greg Ottele, Simmons and Nick Cameron — also took first on the afternoon with a time of 3:37.62.
Next up, North will be at the Bremerton Relays today, starting at 9 a.m. at Bremerton High School. Then, starting at 11 a.m. March 31, the Vikings will host Gig Harbor, Foss and Stadium.
Anyone willing to volunteer to help run that meet should contact NK head coach Dave Snyder at (360) 479-0779 or by e-mail at email@example.com.