It’s hard to believe that the regular spring season for some Olympic Peninsula sports ends as early as today.
This prep season has gone by so very fast. It was the closest we’ve come to a “normal” prep season since winter 2020. It felt nice. We certainly kept busy.
As we enter spring postseason, here’s some things people should keep an eye out for.
Track and field. As always, the Peninsula will have several athletes who will place at the various district and state meets coming up later this month. The three people and teams I’m keeping the closest eye on will be Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt, the Sequim 4×400 girls relay team and javelin hurler Tusker Behrenfeld of East Jefferson.
Pyeatt has been absolutely dominant all season, winning the 100 meters, the 200, the 400, the 800 and the 1,600 a total of 13 times this season. About 40 years and 60 pounds ago, I rode in some cycling events and I know there’s a huge difference between a sprinter and a distance rider. It was considered simply impossible to do well at both because they use different muscle groups.
It’s a different sport, but the concept is the same. It’s almost unheard of for an athlete to be a great sprinter and a great distance runner. Pyeatt’s best event is right in the middle — the 800. She holds the No. 1 time at the 2A level in the state at that distance — by a gap of seven seconds.
Pyeatt also anchors a very strong 4×400 relay team. The lineup has changed a little over the season, but the team of Eve Mavy, Kaitlyn Bloomenrader, Emily Carlier and Pyeatt has the No. 1 time in the state, though a team from Burlington-Edison is .01 of a second behind.
Behrenfeld, meanwhile, has the No. 2 javelin throw in the state at the 1A level.
Softball. I don’t know if Ratings Percentage Index numbers mean a lot in softball, but the 13-1 Port Angeles girls are ranked No. 1 in the state. The Roughriders have a lot of power, hit a raft of home runs and ride the solid pitching of Teagan Clark.
It was a real shame the Roughriders didn’t get a shot to go to state last year. They ended up 15-1 and looked utterly unbeatable at times. They ended up losing one game 13-12 to a 3A school, Bainbridge. One run spoiled a perfect season.
The past two years combined, the Riders are 28-2 on the diamond. They only graduated two kids from last year’s team and this year, they get a chance to show what they can do in district and at state. You know they’ll be hungry.
Another team to keep a close eye on is Forks baseball. They have had trouble getting games in, but the Spartans are 11-0 on the season, and only three of their games have even been remotely close. The Spartans have outscored their opponents 143-31 (an average score of 11-3). They’ve scored 10 or more runs eight times.
The Spartans are led by seniors Logan Olson, Dalton Kilmer and Logan Urvina, who have all been a big part of the Forks sports scene for four years and are getting one last chance to do damage in the playoffs after COVID-19 disrupted their careers. They also have a very talented super soph in Gunner Rogers, who is batting over .600.
Finally, there’s the Sequim boys golf team. They’ve had a couple of close matches, but they remain unbeaten late into the season. They have three golfers — Pryce Glasser, Ben Sweet, Dominic Riccobene — who consistently shoot in the 30s or low 40s. Cole Smithson has joined this trio in dropping scores in the low 40s. This team is good and deep and will almost surely place at state. The question is how high.
So, hang on, this final month of preps. The first “normal” season of preps in what seems like an eternity is going to be a thrill ride.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at [email protected]