Kayhi Track and Field will be traveling to Washington this week to compete in their first two meets of the season. They will be the only out-of-state team attending both the C2BL Meet in Toutle Lake, WA and the Al McKee Invitational in Stevenson, WA. Head coach Alex Pennino has purposely kept the Washington trip in the season schedule for seven consecutive years because of the exposure it gives the team.
“The best part about Washington is getting to check out some different tracks, meets, and athletes,” said Pennino.
Although the trip is beneficial to the new team, there is also a huge setback due to poor scheduling for the 2018 season.
“The worst part about the trip is that it coincides with Music Fest this year, so we had to leave behind some of our more competitive athletes, including seniors,” said Pennino.
Competing against teams that aren’t in the same conference–let alone the same state– is one of the best ways to start Kayhi’s season: having no pressure or expectations and just getting some experience in. But, because the competition in Washington is at a naturally higher level, any less-experienced team would prefer to bring it’s better, more experienced members. With the absence of those stronger members, the new athletes on the Kayhi roster have been expected to step up.
“We have a lot of new and unproven athletes this year on the trip,” said Pennino. “Hopefully it will be a good learning experience for the kids and get them prepared for the season with some races under their belts.”
With the members that are traveling, Pennino believes the team has a lot of potentials that Kayhi fans can look forward to. He has confidence is some strong upperclassmen on the boys’ side that have been proving their place at practices.
“I’m expecting some strong work out of Seniors Luke Reynolds and Paul Allmendinger,” said Pennino. “Junior John Barron has been a beast at practice and I’m looking forward to seeing him in competition.”
This season, the presence of first-year members on the girls’ side overpowers that of the boys’. From what Pennino’s seen, he predicts there will be a pair of underclassmen runners who will shine at the upcoming meets.
“I’m not positive who will stand out but if I had to bet, I would wager on Ashley Cyr and Rachel Knight,” said Pennino. “We also have a few girls who will be in their first meet ever and it’s exciting to see how they will do.”
Kayhi’s Track and Field has grown significantly over the years, with more and more people wanting to join in. Pennino and the rest of the coaches have taken notice of the newfound interest in the sport.
“We have 60 members on the team this year and I think kids at Kayhi are starting to figure out that track is a pretty dope sport that isn’t just running around in a circle,” said Pennino.
With a large number of members comes a large amount of potential. Pennino makes sure to emphasize the teams’ main focus when asked how the season should play out.
“Our main goal of the season is to see improvement from race to race and meet to meet,” said Pennino. “It’s pretty hard to learn the events and it’s a definite strain on your joints and muscles–but it’s pretty rewarding and I’m really stoked to see what this group can achieve.”
The Kings’ first meet will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at Toutle Lake High School, followed by a 12 p.m. meet on Saturday at Stevenson High School.
Washington Trip Roster
Keri Thomas- Hurdles, Distance, Sprints
Kaiden Hodges- Sprints
Victoria Adams- Throwing
Luke Reynolds- Distance
Nolan Meyers- All the difficult stuff
Nate Ellis- Distance
Dawson Entwit- Throws
Chris Salita- Throws
German Passion- Jumps
Paul Allmendinger- Distance
Rosie Kacenas- Sprints
Elizabeth Knight- Distance
Kaileigh Edenshaw- Sprints, Jumps
Crist Carlson- Hurdles
Brendon Wong- Throwing
Franklyn Correa- Sprints
ER Caparas- Jumps, Sprints
John Barron- Distance
Madi Rose- Sprints, Distance
Ashley Cyr- Distance
Hunter Matthews- Distance, Jumps
Rachel Knight- Sprints, Distance
Carlee Zartman- Sprints