SK athletes get reprieve from the cold

t Track and field finds way out of rain and snow.

t Track and field finds way out of rain and snow.

The Maguire Wolf Den generally is a place where the South Kitsap High School wrestling team congregates for a couple of hours of intense cardiovascular workouts.

But with Saturday’s South Kitsap Invitational culminating in rain and snow, several members of the

track and field team gathered in the mat room. South Kitsap sophomore Leon La Deaux said he didn’t feel bad about relaxing to music with friends in a room that’s normally reserved for workouts.

“Not now,” he said. “It’s cold outside.”

South senior Deandre Jackson, who wrestled at 160 pounds in the winter, jokingly referred to it “as a perfect day for track.”

The Wolves weren’t the only team finding an indoor reprieve. Many of the other 16 schools that competed in both the boys and girls events went inside the school’s locker rooms and upstairs to the concession booths. La Deaux said the environment made the conditions more tolerable.

“If we were away, we would sit on cold bleachers and cramp,” he said. “We have kids sleeping in our locker rooms.”

La Deaux said that competitors have to be careful not to get too comfortable, though.

“It’s not bad as long as you don’t spend the whole time in here,” he said. “If you go outside with 15 minutes (before competition), you will have plenty of time to adjust.”

The Wolves didn’t seem to have an issue with that. The girls team placed first with 109 points, while the boys team was second with 108.5 points, three less than Federal Way.

Longtime South coach Dave Olsen, who returned this year to assist with the jumpers, said runners should be prepared for poor conditions. Olsen said he’s dealt with poor weather for many events throughout the years. He said the most memorable was in 1980 when the state meet was moved from Pasco to Seattle shortly after Mount Saint Helens erupted on May 18.