Falcons Doing their Thing Come Rain or Shine

  • Written by Derek Johnson
Former Woodinville trainer Shan Souza and I used to joke around during track and field events. Weather-related humor was a staple. When it rained the kids often complained about being wet and cold. But when spring temps warmed to the high 70s, the kids would stream toward Souza’s tent to ward off heat stroke. (Shan found that endearingly amusing, since she hailed from Hawaii).
But come last Thursday, a cold drizzle descended upon Woodinville High School. And there I was, huddled beneath a tent… Shielding my Nikon and warily peering toward the sky like a wuss.(Hopefully Shan won’t read this).  
DSC 2605Catherine Janiszewski (left) and Alex Howerton on the 100m hurdles. (Photo by Derek Johnson)Every few minutes I did venture out into the drizzle to track down athletes as they finished their events. Woodinville’s competition this day was Bothell and Inglemoor.  
Dylan Usoro, a wide receiver from the Falcon football team, finished 4th in the men’s 100m with a time of 11.60. “I felt pretty good on my start,” Usoro said. “Lots of good competitors from Bothell so it was a good race. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up. Sunny is my element. That’s when I’m all warm and can go out and fly. I’m a lot faster when it’s not cold and rainy.”
Melissa Phung finished second in the 200m with a time of 27.74. She also said she couldn’t wait for the weather to improve. But she felt grateful to be healthy again, after stress fractures in both shins kept her from postseason action last year.
“I had to take three months off and it gave me a lot of time to think,” Phung said. “It was super frustrating. But once I was healthy and able to run, it gave me a greater appreciation for being able to run. My goal this season for the 400m is to run sub 60 [seconds]. It would be awesome, I know it’s possible. I just have to get my mind right.”
Another Falcon bouncing back from injury was Luke Houser. The junior missed the cross country season last fall with a foot injury. But now he has returned to his old self. On this day, he finished 3rd in the 400m and won the 3200m with a time of 9:33.30.
DSC 2615Dustin Lind coming down the stretch. (Photo by Derek Johnson) “I feel fully recovered,” Houser said. “It feels good to be able to run again. I don’t run the 400 very much, but I did today and I think it was a [personal record]… I’m running it because I wanted to get my speed up for longer races.”
Senior Dustin Lind finished second in the 1600m with a time of 4:31.92. He’s headed this fall to Claremont McKenna College where he’ll run track and cross country.  Before he graduates from Woodinville, he has goals to accomplish.
“I want to break 2:00 in the 800m, and I want to break 4:20 in the 1600m,” Lind said. “I was 4:23 last year. I have these barriers that I want to break.”
Catherine Janiszewski gave her coach Mike Mills a happy hug after her third and final event of the day.
“Today I PR’d in all three events,” she said. “100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, and the 4x100 relay. I qualified in those for the Pasco event coming up during Spring Break [this week].”
Janiszewski credited Mills for much of her success in the hurdles.
“It was a surprise to do it today because of the weather,” she said. “And what I’ve done so far this season hasn’t been up to standard [that she has set for herself]. Coach Mills has worked with me individually, he has counted my steps to make sure I get over the hurdles. My form, my arms, everything possible to make sure I get over the hurdles as best as possible.”
Sophomore Ben Smith was struggling with a strained quad muscle. But one wouldn’t have known it based on the results from Thursday afternoon. On the high jump event, the sophomore cleared 5’6” on his best jump – which tied his PR and drew applause from onlookers.
DSC 2638Woodinville's Ben Smith attempts to clear the bar. (Photo by Derek Johnson)“Before the end of the year I want to hit 5’10” or 6’0”,” he said. “I think I can do it. I’m not far off. When the quad is healed and the weather is better, I should do better. I just need to get better at arching my back as I clear the bar.”
When distance coach Sandy Lawrence stepped down a couple years ago for personal reasons, it came as a surprise to her athletes. Melissa Phung was coached by Lawrence in her freshman year, and recalls the lively coach fondly. 
“Shout out to Sandy!” Phung said. “She got me where I am today, she got me into cross country. She’s awesome and we miss her. She and my sprint coach told me cross country would make me a better sprinter. And now I’m a junior and I’m a captain on the team... Cross country is about getting that base training and about having fun.”
Phung laughed when asked for her favorite Coach Sandy story.  
“Sandy would wear pink, some sort of pink, on her outfit every day,” Phung said. “Even if nothing on her outfit was pink, her phone case would be pink or she’d have pink shoes. It was great.”
Phung was also asked about current coach Frank Shuck.   
“It has been awesome, he’s super inspirational,” she said. “He has gotten me to think about things I’ve never thought about before. Not just in running but in terms of important things in life too. He’s very insightful.”
20180405 230855The Falcon girls 4x100 Relay Team (left-to-right) Katie Minnehan, Catherine Janiszewski, Melissa Phung and Alex Howerton. (Photo by Derek Johnson)Other notable Falcon performances from 4/5/18
Tyler Rodshagen  2nd -400m (51.54), Joe Mucklestone 3rd -110m hurdles (17.92), Nick Hastings 1st -Shot Put (46-08.00),  Nick Hastings, 1st -Discus (122-00), Jeff Liang 1st -Pole Vault (8-02.00), Caleb Howerton 2nd -Pole Vault (8-00.00), Bryce Stickley 2nd -Triple Jump (35-06.75), Elyn Lee 2nd - 800m (2:31.08), Alex Howerton, 3rd- 300m hurdles (49.94), Kaitlyn Gallo, 3rd Shot Put (25-09.00), Ryann Davis, 3rd – Discus (72-06), Cate Quilantang, 2nd – Javelin (88-03), Ryann Davis 3rd – Javelin (87-08), Anna Klein, 3rd High Jump (4-02.00), Katie Webb, 1st Pole Vault (10-06.00), Makenna DeBoer 2nd – Pole Vault (9-00.00), Gabi Hansen 3rd – Pole Vault (Katie Minnehan, 2nd – Long Jump (14-01.50), Katie Minnehan, 2nd Triple Jump (38-01.50). 

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