Vashon High School’s track and field team began its season last Friday, March 13, with a meet at Fife High School’s facilities against Cascade Christian and Orting.
With the Nisqually League requiring that meets take place on rubberized tracks, the Pirates will, as they did last year, continue their extended road trip with all meets taking place off-Island. The dated cinder track on the high school campus will be for practice only.
Just before the meet at Fife began, it turned out that the host school could not provide an official starter for the meet.
Coach Kevin Ross had to jump in at the last second to perform this duty. He took full advantage of this position, he said, by giving out preferred lane assignments to the Vashon athletes, trying to give them the home track edge.
Taking first place for the Pirate girls were Savannah Krug in the 800 meters. Kate Straube came out ahead in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, as well as the 4×400 relay team.
First place finishers for the guys were Colin Andrus in the 800 meters and the 1600 meters.
Tim Hill won the 110 high hurdles, and Adam Thalhofer won the long jump. In the overall team results, the girls finished behind both Cascade Christian and Orting. The guys missed beating Cascade Christian by seven points as Orting placed first.
With more than 40 athletes turning out, 15 girls and 28 boys, the Pirates look to add a fair amount of depth and fill up the different events under the leadership of track coach Kevin Ross in his second season.
The field events, advised by second-year coach Lea Heffernan, will be upgraded this season with the addition of more throwers in the shot, discus and javelin. Look for junior Tim Jovanovich to have a stellar season in the shot put and discus.
The sprints and relays are coached by Rick Sassara in his second season as a volunteer track coach. Seniors Alana Robinson (sixth in state last year in the 400 meters and part of the fifth place 4×400 relay team) and Danny Salonen (last years Russ Brazill 100 percent trophy winner) will provide solid leadership on this year’s team.
The distance group, coached by VHS grad and University of Washington student Aaron Calhoun, will feature two state cross-country runners in senior Jacqueline Jewell and freshman Savannah Krug who will battle it out in the 800, 1600 and 3200.
Also watch out for freshmen Alia Payne and Colin Andrus as emerging distance runners.
Two seniors to look for in the long triple and high jump will be newcomer Adam Thalhofer (state wrestling champion) and proven veteran athlete Keller Cyra.
Also returning to this year’s squad is sophomore Kate Straube who finished fourth in the 300 hurdles at the state track meet.
Also helping this year is volunteer coach and former Beachcomber sports editor Rik Forschmiedt.
— This article was edited by sports editor Eric Horsting with information from coach Kevin Ross.