Eastlake track teams open season with strong marks

April 1, 2014

By Neil Pierson

Kyle Suver’s victory in the 1,600 meters against Newport March 27 was an even bigger achievement than it appeared at first glance.

The Eastlake High School senior broke away on the last lap and won the one-mile race in 4 minutes, 42 seconds during the season’s first Class 4A KingCo Conference meet at Eastlake.

Eastlake’s Brandon Naluai cruised to a victory in the 110-meter high hurdles during a March 27 KingCo Conference track and field meet against Newport.  Photo by Neil Pierson

Eastlake’s Brandon Naluai cruised to a victory in the 110-meter high hurdles during a March 27 KingCo Conference track and field meet against Newport. Photo by Neil Pierson

But it’s a minor miracle Suver was running at all. Near the end of the cross country season in November, he found out the back pain he was suffering with was due to a partial stress fracture.

That forced him to take a seat during the winter, and he only began running again within the last month.

“It’s just really hard because it’s starting from the beginning again,” Suver said of the recovery process. “I did swim in the offseason just because it was less stress on my back.

“It’s just that period of not being able to work out at all – it killed, pretty much. It was a sad time.”

However, Suver is showing he’s capable of being one of the top athletes on an Eastlake long-distance squad that should have several postseason qualifiers. He’s already within 10 seconds of his personal-best in the 1,600, and he’s hoping to make some noise in the 3,200, his main event.

Eastlake sophomore Nathan Pixler, who won the 800 meters against Newport in 1:58.50, should be a contender at the state meet in May, Suver said.

“Other than that, it’s up in the air,” he added. “We have a lot of really good guys, but it’s a really competitive conference.”

Eastlake’s boys dominated Newport in most events. In the sprints, twin brothers Troy and Drew Lewis got the season off to a flying start.

A returning state medalist, Troy Lewis won the 100 (11.24) and 200 (22.54), and Drew Lewis was second in both events (11.34 and 22.94, respectively).

Brandon Naluai, a junior, won the 110 and 300 hurdles, and is among the top 10 4A athletes in both events thus far.

Other winners included Ryan Urh in the long jump (17 feet, 6 inches), Eric Uhlar in the pole vault (12-0) and Ryan Wasserman in the shot put (42-3 1/2).

The Eastlake girls also showed quality in several events, although it was tough to tell how they stacked up against Newport because meet results were incomplete.

The Wolves think they’ll have a strong group of sprinters. The foursome of Brooke Calhoun, Audrey Knutsen, Anna Carskaden and Maddie Kennedy got off to a good start by winning the 4×100 relay in 50.84 seconds, putting them squarely among the state’s top 10.

Kennedy, a sophomore, ran the anchor leg and said the team’s familiarity with each other should prove beneficial.

“I think we have a really good group,” she said. “I think we’ll go far in the season, and I actually hope we break the school record soon, because it’s 49-something. We’re getting pretty close to it.”

Ali Becker ran with Knutsen, Carskaden and Kennedy in the 4×200 relay, and the team put up a time of 1.48.50 — good for a spot on the state leaderboard.

In the 100 hurdles, Eastlake junior Ellie Woerner cruised to victory; her mark of 15.45 put her third in the state behind Emerald Ridge’s ShaRaya Quinn and Skyview’s Madison Lanford.

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