The Vashon High School track and field team is entering the 2019 season with its biggest turnout in school history with 62 student athletes participating in events such as the pole vault, high jump, javelin, sprints, relays and distance competition. There are 42 boys and 20 girls on the team.
With the larger participation numbers, both the boys and girls teams will be more competitive in the overall team standings at each meet and invitational. The boys 4 x 100 relay team that qualified for the 1A state meet last year is returning three of the four participants from last season.
Perhaps the biggest overhaul to the program has been the addition of the new eight-lane track surface, new pole vault and high jump area. The throwing areas received a major upgrade as there is now an all-weather run up surface for javelin, new discus cage and new shot put ring that uses the old cinder surface that was repurposed from the old track as the fill dirt. In addition to the main grandstand, the throwing area now has a small bleacher set up and a grass berm for spectators.
At the finish line there is an automated timing system, where the starter’s pistol activates the clock and a camera mounted above the finish line will stop the clock as each competitor finishes a race.
At 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, all of this will be on display as Vashon High School will host all six Nisqually League schools in its first home meet in more than 15 years. There will be a concession stand open for business serving up hot dogs and other snacks. Also, a new green and gold board that lists all the VHS track and field records, some of which date back to the 1970s and 1980s, will be on display. VHS will host another home meet on Thursday, April 25, along with the two-day end-of- season Nisqually League Championship meet on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10. This will serve as the West Central District qualifying meet. The other Nisqually League schools are looking forward to returning to the island for track meets. The Pirates hope the community is excited and looking forward to coming out and supporting VHS track and field at one of the home meets.
— Kevin Ross is the assistant track and field coach.