Track athletes run into state championship

The track team had a successful end of season. Seven athletes moved on from the KingCo Division 4A meet to the Bi-Districts (WesCo and KingCo) meet which took place on May 17 and 20. Later, three athletes moved onto the WIAA State Championship meet from May 25-27 in Tacoma at Mount Tahoma High School. Freshman Maggie Cowan (she/her) competed in the 800-meter and 1600-meter, sophomore Jackie Jones (she/her) competed in the pole vault, and sophomore Lauren Vesely (she/her) competed in the 300 hurdles and triple jump.  

Every year, the season starts in the early spring with meets every week against other schools in the district and is followed by invitational meets, like the Pasco Invitational and the Shoreline Invitational. After invitationals, the team attends larger meets where athletes can qualify for higher levels, like KingCo, Districts and State. 

This year, sophomore Yemi Oladasu (she/her) qualified for districts in the 100 hurdles, 200 and the 4×400 relay. She said the types of training she does during practices can vary. 

“You might have some days where you focus primarily on your sprinting, and then some days where you focus on your throwing events, so it’s really kind of flexible. They usually give you a workout and then you’ll usually complete the workout, and there might be some technique training that they might have you do. Then sometimes at the end of practices, we’ll do core or weightlifting,” said Oladasu.

Oladasu enjoys running events, particularly the 100 hurdles, because there are not many other girls at Inglemoor who also run it. She admits it can be intimidating, especially at first, but she enjoys it. Oladasu also likes relay events because they provide the opportunity to compete together as a group in a largely independent sport. 

Cowan, who is also a runner, competed at the district championship in the 800, 1600 and 4×400 relay, where she won the school’s record for the 800 at 2:12.82 minutes. She went on to compete in the Washington State Championship in the 800 and the 1600. As a distance runner, her practices are divided into easy and hard days. 

“On our hard workouts, it’s a lot of intervals, like 400 repeats and you get timed, working on your pace. Sometimes we’ll go on long runs on easier days after meets,” said Cowan. 

Jones competed in pole vault and the 100-meter dash at the district championship where she placed first in pole vault. She made it to the state championship for pole vault and placed second. Because Inglemoor doesn’t have a pole vault coach this year, Jones has to practice at a different school.

“Twice a week, I drive over to Woodinville [High School] and work with the coach there,” said Jones. “I warm up on my own, typically, and then we do jumps, and then call it a day. The other days of the week, I’m at Inglemoor because I also do sprinting.” 

During the district championships, she jumped 12 feet and three inches, but she’s been able to jump 13 feet during practices at her pole vaulting club. She changed from practicing indoors to practicing outdoors during the track season, which she said affected her height at the beginning of the season when she cleared 11 feet. 

“I’ve had a slump at the beginning of the season. I’ve had a huge mental block. The problem with pole vault is it’s very specific. You have to have the right form in order to do it right, and you have to have full commitment or else. If you back off, you don’t have enough power to complete the vault, and so you’re not going to be jumping as high as you normally do if you’re not fully confident in it. I’ve been struggling with that this season particularly because I’ve only been doing it for about a year,” said Jones.

Junior Caden Whitmire (he/him) competed in the 300 hurdles at the district championship. He experienced the steep learning curve that comes with the event, but he also said he feels “like it’s one of the easier events once you get good at it.” The event he likes most is the 4×400 relay. 

“That’s the most fun event because it’s the last one. Everyone wants to go home, everyone’s cheering you on, and it’s just really good for team bonding,” said Whitmire. “There’s this stereotype that everyone who does it hates it, which is kind of funny because me and the other people on my team, we always joke about hating it, but we all actually really like it.”

Cowan, Vesely, Nina Pizzuto and Paige Stewart competed in the 4×400 relay at the district championship. Vesely also competed in triple jump and the 300 hurdles. She won first place in triple jump and placed third in the 300 hurdles. In the state championship, she placed 10th in triple jump and 15th in the 300 hurdles. 

Meets provide a way for team members to cheer each other on because the events are at different places and times across the field.  

“We’re all very supportive of each other. I guess you could say that about a lot of sports. I think because track is such a wide variety of events there’s something for everyone… but we all still act as one team and it’s fun that way,” said Jones.

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Boden Little (he/him)
Boden Little (he/him), Cheeky Editor
Junior Boden Little is the Cheeky Editor for his second year on Nordic News for the 2023-2024 school year. This year he hopes to keep getting better at photography and continue making people laugh. Around school, you can find him on the Inglemoor track and field team, and still trying to decide what club to join. Outside of school, you can find him playing popular indie games, still waiting for Hollow Knight: Silksong or listening to music artists you’ve never heard of.
Sarah Krug (she/her)
Sophomore Sarah Krug is a reporter in the 2022-2023 school year. This is her first year in Nordic News. She is excited to learn how to write interesting and impactful articles for people to enjoy. By doing this, she is also hoping to improve her own writing skills and explore the world of journalism. Outside of Nordic, Sarah plays trombone in the school band, participates in various STEM activities, participates in Model UN and dances.

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