Kentwood girls track team conquers the South Puget Sound League, 4A North |Track and Field
May 12, 2010 · 7:56 PM
The gymnasium at Kentwood High is filled with championship banners.
In fact, the nearly 30-year-old building is the home of title banners from virtually every sport — except one.
It has been a long road for Kentwood’s girls track and field team, one that has not included a South Puget Sound League North Division title.
On Thursday, the Conquerors finally got it done.
Behind another strong performance from star Holly DeHart, a personal record by Aiesha Goodlow and a sweep in the throws by Alyx Toeaina, Kentwood turned back Kent-Meridian 101-49 to claim its first ever girls track and field title. The Conquerors concluded the regular season with a perfect 5-0 SPSL North record.
The championship helped the Conks prove a point, DeHart said.
“It has been our goal probably since I first started at Kentwood as a freshman,” said DeHart, a junior who won the 100, 200 and who ran a leg on the 4 x 200 relay team. “It has been our goal all year. Coach (Steve) Roche would point and show us that there isn’t a (banner) for girls track up there. It was embarrassing. This was the year we came out and proved to everyone that track and field means something at Kentwood. It was fun to finally come out and prove everyone wrong and show everyone what we’re made of.”
What the Conquerors have been made of this year is success. That was no different on Thursday, when Kentwood won 14 of the 18 events.
“They’re loaded,” noted Kent-Meridian coach Ernie Ammons.
Kentwood hopes to take the momentum into the postseason, which began Wednesday (May 12) at French Field, which is hosting the South Puget Sound League meet. The meet concludes on Friday (May 14). The top 10 placers in each event advance to the district meet, which is slated for May 21-22 at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma.
The win over the Royals not only sealed the division title for the Conquerors, but also showed DeHart is fully healthy. The Kentwood junior has been nursing a tender left hamstring the last couple weeks and wasn’t sure how it would react.
“It was a hard week for me that didn’t include a lot of practice,” DeHart said. “I did a lot of icing. I iced during school, during class and did a lot of stretching.”
And once she got out on the oval?
“It felt great,” DeHart said.
Things apparently felt great for the rest of the Conquerors as well.
Super sophomore Toeaina pulled a sweep of the throwing events, winning the shot put (38-9), the discus (118-3) and the javelin (109-2).
Meanwhile, Goodlow grabbed gold in the long jump with a personal record of 17-feet-6 inches. Goodlow, however, was not finished. She proceeded to establish a new personal best in the 100 hurdles, where she broke the tape in 16.9.
Goodlow wasn’t the lone Conk establishing new bests. Savannah Luther not only broke her previous best performance in the 1,600, but she shattered it, running a 5:26.99. The mark is nine seconds better than Luther’s previous best.
Other Kentwood winners included: Megan McNally (800), Kailey Ulland (3,200), Erin Chinchar (300 hurdles) and both the 4 x 200 relay team (DeHart, Dana Wareham, Goodlow and Quincie Proctor-Guyton) and the 4 x 400 relay team (Alena Davis, Wareham, Proctor-Guyton and McNally).
“(Winning the title) is so cool,” Roche said. “The first girls title in school history for track. It’s the last program at Kentwood to get a league title. Not in an insulting way, but a couple of years ago I pointed it out to the girls where there’s only one sport in the gym that doesn’t have a league banner hanging down.”