Track season ripe with high hopes

March 23, 2010

By Tim Pfarr

Track preview

Haley Jacobson, of Issaquah, anchors the 4x200 relay team to take third place at the state 4A track and field championships in 2009. By Greg Farrar

Troy Solly, a Liberty High School senior, towers over his opponent at nearly 6-feet, 5-inches tall, and he uses his long legs to race down the track.

Solly, who also played lineman and linebacker on the football team and power forward and center on the basketball team, is now in his fourth year on the Liberty track team.

“Originally, I just came out because I didn’t play baseball,” he said.

Last year, he ran in the 400-meter sprint, 4×400-meter relay, 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. He recorded the team’s best time of the season in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 41.35 seconds at the KingCo Conference Championships.

He also posted personal bests of 54.34 seconds in the 400-meter run and 17.04 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles.

This year, he looks to participate in the same races and possibly the javelin throw or the triple jump.

He said he loves track because he gets to battle the clock and push himself as hard as he can.“It’s more of a self-motivated kind of thing,” he said. “It’s just basically you trying to bust your own best time.”

Like other three-sport athletes, he conditions himself in different ways for each season, shifting from weights for football to sprints for basketball and now to endurance training for track.

He said his goal in training is to keep up with Eric Bice, cross-country and distance runner.

“He’s probably the fastest guy on the track team, at least for training,” Solly said.

Next year, Solly will either attend Washington State University, University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado School of Mines or Carroll College in Wisconsin.

He said he may do track in college if he attends Colorado School of Mines or Carroll College.

Track coach Mike Smith said he expects Solly to have a great senior season.

“He’s our go-to guy in the 400 range,” Smith said, adding that Solly is a great all-around person. “Having kids like that makes your job real easy.”

Other talented members of the Liberty boys team include Bice, Jay Chakravarty and Peter Stacy. Stacy should rank among the 3A KingCo Conference’s best in the javelin and discus. He has already thrown the javelin 170 feet in practice this spring.

The Liberty girls team will see the return of Maddie Birdsall, Emily Pefei-Dimmitt and Elizabeth Ryker. Birdsall is expected to anchor the 400 free relay. Pefei-Dimmitt competes in the hurdles, as does Ryker. One of the top newcomers is Elaine Agnew.

Skyline girls shoot for another league title

The Skyline girls could be in the running for a ninth-straight KingCo title in 2010. In addition to winning 4A KingCo in 2009, Skyline won districts for the sixth year in a row and placed fifth at state.

If returning leaders like sprinter Shea O’Donnell, hurdler Amber Dodd and triple jumper Kayli Kohlrus perform as well or better than last year, the Spartans will be a force to be reckoned with in Class 4A competition.

Newcomers Haley Smith, Kassia Fortier, Ashley Richardson, Lindsey Coutts and Elise Pletcher look to round out the team this spring.

The Skyline boys, however, are looking for better than eighth place at state this season.

With all-stars like junior Kasen Williams, the Spartans have a good chance. Williams won the state high jump title last spring, going 6-10. He also took second in the triple jump (47-10.25) and third in the long jump (23-05).

Williams will join top returning runners and captains Alex Lee (sprints and relays), Mark Frerker (distance), Dustin Bratten (sprints and relays), Michael Aboud and Ben Ressler.

New coach Marc Hillestad said the roster of 104 boys features a good mix of youth and experience.

Issaquah’s top sprinter returns

The Issaquah girls team will have one of the state’s top sprinters in Haley Jacobson, who set school records in the 100 and 200, and was a member of record-setting 400 and 800 relay teams last year.

Kim Varney was on two of those relays, too.

Other top returning athletes include Madison Callan and Sarah Hitchings in the sprints, Eva Perry in the sprints and pole vault, Kelly Chen in the javelin, Carson Powers in the shot put, distance runners Nicole Migotsky, Jocelyn Eng and Arielle Walton, and Riley Foreman in the high jump and pole vault.

The Eagles looked strong in their first meet of the season March 20, placing third at the Seattle Academy Relays. Jacobson, Perry and Chen each had first places and the Eagles won the 800 relay.

Jacobson won the 100 meters in 12.74. Perry captured the pole vault, going 10-6. Chen won the javelin with a throw of 112-4. Mckenna Hogan, Callan, Hitchings and Jacobson made up the winning 800 relay.

The Issaquah boys team figures to be strong in the distance events because of members from the cross country team, which finished third in the 4A state meet last fall.

The distance runners include Kevin LeMond, Chris Brasino, Turner Wiley, Jon Wallis, Isaac Robinson, Dennis Leigh and Spencer Hildie.

Issaquah will look for points from Michael Baba, Jonathan Martyn and Andy Meigs in the throwing events. In the jumps, the Eagles will depend on Jason Hollaway, Jeremiah Odom, Blake Wedekind, Matt Hjelm, Allen Su and Kyle Farmer.

Alexander Farmer and Josh Martyn are Issaquah’s top hurdlers. Farmer, Su, Hjelm, Josh Chinn, Kevin Hwangpo, Connor Pearl and Odom are the sprinters. Odom also competes in the pole vault.

Football players Daniel Fleischman and Greg Finch, both newcomers to track, hope to make an impact for Issaquah in the throwing events. Other newcomers include Patrick Violette, Nick Brothers and Connor Higgins in the distance events.

Issaquah won the 800 relay and the 1,600 relay. Kyle Farmer, Josh Martyn, Alexander Farmer and Su made up the 800 relay. Martyn, Odom, LeMond and Pearl made up the 1,600 relay.

LeMond also took second in the 1,600. The Eagles also took second in the 400 relay. Kyle Farmer, Hwangpo, Alexander Farmer and Su made up the relay.

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or Bob Taylor: ext. 236, or Tim Pfarr: ext. 239, or Comment at

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