Alley wants to go out in style

Lloyd Pugh surveyed the mass of organized confusion that was transpiring on the field at Memorial Stadium.

“It makes kind of a nice show with all this activity,” said the Bremerton High coach, eyeballing what could have been mistaken for a circus if they had put up a big top. “It’s a little different wrinkle for the kids and it allows more kids to participate.”

Bremerton Relay Classic IV attracted 18 teams on Saturday, March 23. It would have been 21, but three schools were late scratches.

“We could probably handle more,” Pugh said. “It’s a question if we want to. If we went to 24 teams, that would mean three heats in most events.”

The show included non-WIAA sanctioned events like the hammer throw and steeplechase for boys and girls. It included sprint and distance medleys.

Winners in the field events were determined by the combined total of their three entrants. For example, Bremerton’s boys won the triple jump with a mark of 121-feet, 6 1/2 inches. BJ Ray (41- 1 1/2), Tieba Bropleh (40-5) and Kellen Alley (40-0) were the members of the winning team.

Alley was the major contributor toward the Knights’ second-place finish in the overall team competition. He won the 300 hurdles in 40.19, breaking his own school record of 40.9 that he set in the same meet a year ago, was second in the 110 hurdles (15.5) and ran a leg on the 4x200 relay that placed sixth.

“He has the gifts,” Pugh said of the Bremerton senior who’s signed a letter of intent to play football at Montana State but is also going to take a visit to the Air Force Academy.

Football coach Fisher DeBerry was in Bremerton recently to talk to the versatile athlete, a wide receiver in football.

Alley’s got the potential to be among the state’s best in the 300 hurdles, said Pugh.

“Kellen can run 36 or 37,” Pugh said. “Did you see him at the start? He just languished out to the first hurdle. It took him a while to get in his rhythm. With some conditioning, he should really come along well. He could be a good quarter-miler if he wanted. He’s got the strength and speed to do it.”

Alley wants the school record in the 110 hurdles, too. He’ll likely get it as he was just a tenth of a second from tying it at the relays.

“My trail leg’s real lazy,” said Alley, which ran in a different heat than the winner, Central Kitsap’s Dustin Wilson.

Wilson, who ran 15.0, placed sixth at state a year ago and has a best of 14.6.

“We’re going to battle,” predicted Alley, who knows he didn’t reach his potential a year ago.

“(Coach) Pugh was mad because I didn’t work at it,” he said.

Alley said this year’s different.

“This year is special because it’s the end of my high school career,” he said. “I can’t go out like a chump.”

Bremerton’s Lih Kuhlman, who advanced to state in cross country, won the 2000-meter steeplechase in 7:49.60.

“She has a lot of pace to learn, but she will,” Pugh said of the sophomore. “She just needs to get some experience and get stronger.”

Senior MarCia Abrams ran strong anchor legs in the sprint medley and 4x200 relay, helping the Knights to fourth place in both events. Christina Fontenette, Jessica Belden and Cassie Slurkoski were other members of the relay. Tomitka McMurrin set a school record in the javelin (117-11) for the Knights.

Other Bremerton highlights: Eric King (150-1 in the javelin), Anthony Ragsdale (20-7 in the long jump) and Bremerton’s high jump relay of Ray (5-10), Emmanuel Coats (5-10) and Justin Robinette (5-8) , who placed second. Bremerton’s sprint medley was also second.

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