Sports

Tracksters sprinting off season’s starting block

Bremerton’s Alex Griffin finished first in the 200-meter dash at last weekend’s Kitsap County Classic, hosted by the Knights at Memorial Stadium. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Bremerton’s Alex Griffin finished first in the 200-meter dash at last weekend’s Kitsap County Classic, hosted by the Knights at Memorial Stadium.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

By WESLEY REMMER

Staff writer

Like a well-oiled machine set for a long road trip, the Bremerton High School track and field team is tuning up for the 2008 season. And the squad’s first series of proverbial body work — the Kitsap County Classic, held last Saturday at BHS — has come and gone with no real hitches.

“The county meet is a tune-up,” said coach Lloyd Pugh. “The main thing in our season is advancement to state competition.”

The BHS girls took fifth place and the boys grabbed fourth at the Kitsap County Classic, each finishing in the middle of a nine-team field.

Seniors Jacki Hill and Alex Griffin — both high-speed runners — led the Knights’ charge. Hill took three events for the girls, finishing first in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. And Griffin, who said he wants to win an individual state title, won the 100 and 200 dashes for the boys.

“My goal for the season is to run under 11 (seconds) in the 100, and win state,” Griffin said. “And to run at least under 21 (seconds) in the 200.”

Griffin’s hopes are high after last weekend’s performance. Like the entire BHS track and field team, his main focus is on achieving his preseason goals.

“I talk to each one (athlete) to find out what each expects from himself (and) herself,” Pugh said of his early season coaching style. “At the start of the season each person writes something out.”

And while Pugh hopes to see his athletes compile nice stats and top-notch times, he believes there is more to track than results.

“Expectations for and from my athletes vary for each individual, but for all the expectation is to represent our program and BHS in a positive way,” he said. “I expect that they will do what they are asked in terms of their own program and in terms of being good examples to all who observe them. They are expected to compete hard and smart.”

BHS is in action today, hosting the 10th annual Bremerton Relays. Pugh said he will emphasize the importance of improving on individual times rather than winning the overall team meet.

“Since track and field is a game of numbers for dual and triangular meet scores and we have a relatively small team, we tend to look past the league meets and focus on individual performances,” he said.

Rosie Lewellyn, Kia MacIntyre, Alaina Hoffman, Adrianna Hernandez-Jones, T’Lea McLeod, Angela Anderson, Kaitlyn Gervais, Ari Kuykendall and Stephanie Himmelsbach also competed for the girls last weekend and are expected to play major roles in the team’s 2008 success.

John Wittneberg, Jamaree Wells, Chris Fleming, Jamiere Abney, David Fry, Keving Shardelman, Courtney Stone, Kyle Kennedy and Demasha Aldridge, along with others, posted solid performances for the boys.

“We can’t run a box and one to defend anyone. We do not have distance runners who can play rabbit,” Pugh said of his individual athletes. “We just prepare individually as well as possible and go into competition with a good attitude.”

Pugh hopes to see every individual on the team suceede. And while the 2008 track and field season will be the seniors’ last chance to win a state medal, it will open the door for younger competitors to step up.

“For my Seniors who have been with me for a number of seasons I would like them to know that I sincerely care for them,” Pugh said. “As the season progresses I expect the newer athletes to know that they are cared for too. They need to know that I want them to be successful in all they do, not just in athletics.”

The Bremerton Relays began at 8:30 a.m. at the high school.

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