Two Knights relays also finish first at 1A meet
By David Pan | May 30, 2019 Edmonds Beacon
King’s junior Naomi Smith captured the 1,600- and 3,200-meter titles at the 1A state track and field championships.
At the start of the track and field season, King’s Naomi Smith wasn’t really thinking about winning state titles.
The junior standout, who placed first at last fall’s state cross country meet, was more concerned about getting healthy.
Smith missed the Knights’ first two meets because of Illiotibal (IT) Band Syndrome, an overuse injury that causes pain in the knee and leg.
“I was not sure I was going to run at state,” Smith said.
But with a lot of help from her doctor and physical therapist, Smith recovered and finished out a memorable junior season by adding two more state titles to her already impressive running resume.
Smith outkicked Bear Creek’s Olivia Markezich to win the 1,600-meter race Thursday, May 23, at Eastern Washington University in Cheney. Two days later, Smith cruised to an easy victory in the 3,200, finishing more than 30 seconds ahead of Bear Creek’s Andrea Markezich.
“This whole season I’m so grateful,” Smith said. “Every PR. Every single accomplishment felt like just a gift. I’m so thankful for my coaches and my teammates. I didn’t know if I would be able to run. I’m just so thankful. It was better than I expected.”
A week earlier at the Bi-District meet, Olivia Markezich edged Smith by less than a second in the 1,600 by outkicking her in the final stretch.
After talking strategy with her coaches, Smith decided that she needed to start her kick earlier at the state championships. Instead of waiting to the final 250 or 300 meters, Smith started her sprint to the finish line with about 500 meters to go. The strategy paid off as Smith won the race in 5 minutes, .04 seconds. Olivia Markezich finished second in 5:04.18.
“It worked out,” Smith said. “It was important to get that gap.”
Smith then turned her attention to her favorite of the two races – the 3,200 and went into Saturday’s finals with confidence.
“It was a battle to stay focused and stay on your pace,” she said. “I really enjoyed that race.
The King’s standout placed first in 10:35.35, while Andrea Markezich took second in 11:05.97.
Smith said that having to overcome her injury made her a better runner.
“I’ve learned a lot about running, recovery, just being an athlete and having a better training cycle,” she said. “I definitely think that I had good training partners with some teammates – Anthony Hart and Nick LeBar. They were able to push me. That helps a lot.”
Smith plans to take some time off and then resume training for her senior season. Her goal is to stay healthy.
“I’d like to have a season that goes well,” Smith said.
As a team, the King’s girls team took second at the state cross country meet and finished third at the state track and field championships.
“Being a leader, I want to try to push everyone to be their best and just see what we can accomplish as a team as well,” Smith said.
RELAY WINNERS: The King’s boys and girls track and field teams both had relays that won state titles. The Knights’ 1,600 boys relay team of Michael Gabelein, Pierce Papke, Cooper Rolfs and Lincoln Going finished first in 3:28.69 just ahead of Columbia (White Salmon), which clocked in at 3:28.97. King’s 1,600 girls relay squad of Hannah Hawkins, Emma Culberson, Kat Kirkpatrick and Maci Hodgins won in 4:04.20 with Cascade (Leavenworth) placing second in 4:06.03.
Papke took second in the boys 300 hurdles and Anthony Hart finished fourth in the 3,200 and eighth in the 1,600. Nick LeBar place seventh in the 1,600. Culberson took fourth in the girls 100 hurdles and was seventh in the 300 hurdles. Hodgins finished fourth in the pole vault and Hawkins took sixth in the 400. The 400 relay team of Hawkins, Hodgins, Hannah Carrithers and Kirkpatrick took second.

King's Girls 107 outscored Meridian 94, Lynden Christian 92 and Northwest 79 for the third year in a row.

King's will be moving on 10 girls to the State Championships next week in Cheney.

The Lady Knights were led by event wins by Maci Hodgins - Pole Vault, Naomi Smith - 3200m, Hannah Hawkins, Hannah Carrithers, Kat Kirkpatrick and Maci Hodgins - 4*100 relay, Emma Culberson, Kat Kirkpatrick, Maci Hodgins and Hannah Hawkins - 4*400 relay.

Other great performances were by Kat Kirkpatrick - 200m 2nd, Hannah Hawkins - 400m 4th, Naomi Smith - 1600m 2nd, Emma Culberson - 100m hurdles 3rd and 300m hurdles 3rd, Elizabeth Anderson - Javelin 2nd, and Brenna Gerspacher - Triple Jump 4th.

The boys team placed 3rd with 86.5 points to 113 of Meridian and 110 of South Whidbey.

The Knights were led by victories by Alex Grimm - Pole Vault, Michael Gabelein, Pierce Papke, Cooper Rolfs, Lincoln Going - 4*400 relay, Pierce Papke - 300m hurdles.

State qualifiers were David Zhang - Triple jump 4th, Casey Needham - Javelin 3rd, Michael Bicknell - Discus 4th, Anthony Hart - 3200m, Nick LeBar - 1600m, Michael Gabelein - 100m 3rd and 400m 4th.


  • 100M - CONLISK - COUPEVILLE 11.04
  • 200M - CONLISK - COUPEVILLE 22.06
  • 400M - CONLISK - COUPEVILLE 51.18
  • 800M - YALE - S.WHIDBEY 1:58.91
  • 1600M - YALE - S.WHIDBEY 4:27.60
  • 3200M - DHATE - MERIDIAN 10:00.69
  • 110H - STUIT - MERIDIAN 14.80
  • 300H - PIERCE PAPKE - KING'S 40.71
  • 400 RELAY - COUPEVILLE 44.16


  • 100M - MACK - MERIDIAN 12.39
  • 200M - MACK - MERIDIAN 26.12
  • 400M - DEJONG - LYNDEN CHR. 61.02
  • 800M - RICHMOND - S. WHIDBEY 2:20.47
  • 1600M - NAOMI SMITH - KING'S 5:02.04
  • 3200M - NAOMI SMITH - KING'S 10:44.95
  • 100H - EMMA CULBERSON - KING'S 15.35
  • 300H - BARNES - MERIDIAN 48.41
  • 800M RELAY - MERIDIAN 1:47.39
  • TEAM - KING'S 154.5 - 2ND YEAR IN A ROW

2019 North Sound Conference Champions

Girls Team - KING'S HIGH SCHOOL 192 points

  • 100 meter - Matason Straub - South Whidbey 13.00
  • 200 meter - HANNAH HAWKINS - KING'S  27.36
  • 400 meter - HANNAH HAWKINS - KING'S 60.95
  • 800 meter - NAOMI SMITH - KING'S 2:21.80
  • 1600 meter - NAOMI SMITH - KING'S 5:01.11
  • 3200 meter - Kia Swegler Richmond - South Whidbey  11:36.89
  • 100m hurdles - EMMA CULBERSON - KING'S 15.94
  • 300m hurdles - EMMA CULBERSON - KING'S 48.13
  • 4*400 relay - South Whidbey 4:26.95
  • Shot Put - Emma Smith - Coupeville 31'9
  • Discus - Lexi StaretsFoote - South Whidbey 84'2
  • Javelin - Mikhala Brown - Cedar Park Chr. 104'3
  • High Jump - EMMA STORKSON - KING'S 5'1
  • Pole Vault - MACI HODGINS - KING'S 9'6
  • Long Jump - Maya Toomey Stout - Coupeville 15'11
  • Triple Jump - Daesha Smith - Granite Falls 32'3

Boys Team - South Whidbey 142.5

  • 100 meter - Jean Lund Olson - Coupeville 11.25
  • 200 meter - Danny Conlisk - Coupeville 22.75
  • 400 meter - Danny Conlisk - Coupeville 51.76
  • 800 meter - Calahan Yale - South Whidbey 2:05.24
  • 1600 meter - Calahan Yale - South Whidbey 4:28.66
  • 3200 meter - Isaac Cortes - Granite Falls 10:07.14
  • 110m hurdles - Body Hezel - South Whidbey 16.04
  • 300m hurldes - PIERCE PAPKE - KING'S 40.44
  • 4*100 relay - Coupeville 44.21
  • 4*400 relay - South Whidbey 3:40.29
  • Shot Put - Sam VanPeursem - Cedar Park Chr. 59'7
  • Discus - Sam VanPeursem - Cedar Park Chr. 160'1
  • Javelin - CASEY NEEDHAM - KING'S 151'6
  • High Jump - Koa Davidson - Coupeville 5'10
  • Pole Vault - CODY CHEW - KING'S 13'6
  • Long Jump - Sean Toomey Stout - Coupeville 20'3
  • Triple Jump - DAVID ZHANG - KING'S 38'4

Apr 25, 2019 , Edmonds Beacon, David Pan

King’s Naomi Smith looks like she could add a couple of track and field titles to her resumé.
Smith, who won a 1A state girls cross country title last fall, currently has the fastest times in the, 1,600 and 3,200-meter races. Smith finished the 1,600 in 5:00.65 at the Kent-Meridian Invitational on March 30 and ran a 10:25.50 in the 3,200 at the Viking Classic on April 20. Smith also has the second fastest 800 time – 2:20.95.
The King’s junior standout likely will have company on the podium at the state championships. Senior Emma Culberson has the fastest 300 hurdles time (47.52) and the third fastest 100 hurdles time. The Knights 800 relay (Hannah Carrithers, Kat Kirkpatrick, Maci Hodgins and Hannah Hawkins) and the 1,600 relay squad (Kirkpatrick, Culberson, Hodgins, Hawkins) both are ranked No. 1.
King’s senior Pierce Papke has the fastest time in the boys 300 hurdles (39.89) and junior Cody Chew has the top mark in the pole vault (14 feet, 6 inches).

King's boys track team has won the state title in 3 of the last 4 seasons. That makes 9 total titles which is the most of any team in King's history.

Most of those contributors are gone but present group of athletes are capable of continuing the tradition of success.

Seniors Anthony Hart (distance), Pierce Papke (hurdles and relays), Michael Bickness (discus), Alex Grimm (pole vault), Sam Arnott (shotput), Jason Labusky (distance), Robin Cheung (distance), Wesly Bahng (shotput), Bruno Christensen (middle distance), Diego Lamba (high jump) and Josh Cizek (pole vault), are all working to finish their high school careers with a bang. 

The under classmen are led by state competitors Michael Gabelein (sprints), Josh Vasquez (sprints) and Cody Chew (pole vault). Their experience should inspire them to get back to the show and inspire others as well. Kacey Needham (javelin), Cooper Rolfs (jumps, hurdles), Anthony Scherrer (long jump), David Zhang (jumps), Titus Shorack (high jump), Nick LeBar (distance) and Lincoln Going (sprints and relays) should make a name for themselves this season as well.

The boys team seems ready to defend their state title but the girls might be even better.

King's girls track team won their 8th state title in 2014 but haven't earned a trophy since 2017. That should change this year.

Senors Emma Culberson (hurdles and relays), Greta Gunning (distance), Gabe Grimm (pole vault) and Alexandra Christophilis (middle distance) will lead the team back to the promised land.

State competitors Naomi Smith (distance), Hannah Carrithers (sprints and relays), Maci Hodgins (pole vault and relays), Kat Kirkpatrick (sprints and relays), Emma Storkson (high jump), Ellie Gaenz (shotput) are working to make the journey back to state.

Underclassmen Reagan Christensen (jumps and hurdles), Brena Gerspacher (jumps and hurdles), Marin Hawley (jumps), Hannah Hawkins (sprints and relays), Lucy Gunning (hurdles and pole vault), Jenae McInnes (distance), Payton Hammond (sprints and relays), Campbell Baker (distance) and Taylor Faris (middle distance) all give the team a strong group of up coming contenders.


Track and Field

1st Team All Conference Boys

Event                    Name                                                    Grade                                   School

100m                     Michael Gabelein                             10                                           King’s

200m                     Matthew Simmons                          11                                           South Whidbey

400m                     Matthew Simmons                          11                                           South Whidbey

800m                     Justin Young                                       12                                           Cedarcrest

1600m                   Grant Van Valkenburg                   12                                           Cedarcrest

3200m                   Grant Van Valkenburg                   12                                           Cedarcrest

110 m HH            Kristopher Dixon                              11                                           South Whidbey

300 H                    Pierce Papke                                      11                                           King’s

400m Relay                                                                                                           South Whidbey

1600m Relay                                                                                                         South Whidbey

High Jump           Nikko McNeal                                    10                                           King’s

Long Jump          Ryan Kenny                                        10                                      Archbishop Murphy

Triple Jump         Silas Newby                                       12                                           King’s

Pole Vault            Cameron Chew                                 12                                           King’s

Shot Put               Samuel Van Peursem                     11                                      Cedar Park Christian

Discus                   Samuel Van Peursem                     11                                      Cedar Park Christian

Javelin                  Owen Boram                                      11                                           South Whidbey


1st Team All Conference Girls

Event                    Name                                                    Grade                                   School

100m                     Grace McKenzie                               9                                              Granite Falls

200m                     Dayana Diaz                                        12                                           Cedarcrest

400m                     Dayana Diaz                                        12                                           Cedarcrest

800m                     Elizabeth Donnelly                           12                                           South Whidbey

1600m                   Naomi Smith                                      10                                           King’s

3200m                   Naomi Smith                                      10                                           King’s

100m H                 Sophia Nielsen                                  12                                           South Whidbey

300m H                 Holly Sudol                                         11                                  Archbishop Murphy

400m Relay            King’s - Maci Hodgins, Hannah Carrithers, Kat Kirkpatrick, Emma Culberson

800m Relay                                                                                                                Cedarcrest

1600m Relay                                                                                                              Cedarcrest

High Jump           Emma Storkson                                12                                           King’s

Long Jump          Holly Sudol                                         11                                   Archbishop Murphy

Triple Jump         Sophia Nielsen                                  12                                           South Whidbey

Pole Vault            Kelsey Bassett                                   12                                           Granite Falls

Shot Put               Sylvia Hendrix                                    12                                           King’s

Discus                   Grace Wright                                      12                                           Sultan

Javelin                  Emily Vanberg                                   10                                           South Whidbey 

2nd  Team All Conference


Event                    Name                                                    Grade                                   School

100m                     Matthew Simmons                          11                                         South Whidbey

200m                     Michael Gabelein                             10                                           King’s

400m                     Max Kelleher                                     12                                  Archbishop Murphy

800m                     Cameron Chew                                 12                                           King’s

1600m                   Isaac Cortes                                        10                                           Granite Falls

3200m                   Isaac Cortes                                        10                                           Granite Falls

110 m HH            Pierce Papke                                      11                                           King’s

300m H                 Kristopher Dixon                              11                                           South Whidbey

400m Relay                King’s - Brennon Blevins, Silas Newby, Niko McNeal, Michael Gabelein

1600m Relay              King’s - Michael Gabelein, Josh Vasquez, Pierce Papke, Cameron Chew

High Jump           Issiah Gonzales                                 10                                           South Whidbey

Long Jump          Cameron Jensen                              11                                           South Whidbey

Triple Jump         Peter Kulits                                         12                                           King’s

Pole Vault            Cody Chew                                         10                                           King’s

Shot Put               Grant Soule                                        12                                           Cedarcrest

Discus                   Martin Napeahi                                12                                 Archbishop Murphy

Javelin                  Daniel Enciso Navarro                    11                                           Cedarcrest


2nd Team All Conference


Event                    Name                                                    Grade                                   School

100m                     Karyna Hezel                                      10                                           South Whidbey

200m                     Grace McKenzie                               9                                              Cedarcrest

400m                     Lauren Krause                                   11                                           Cedarcrest

800m                     Kate Vergillo                                       12                                           Cedarcrest

1600m                   Kaia Swegler Richmond                 9                                              South Whidbey

3200m                   Kaia Swegler Richmond                 9                                              South Whidbey

100m H                 Emma Culberson                              11                                           King’s

300m H                 Emma Culberson                              11                                           King’s

400m Relay                                                                                               South Whidbey

800m Relay         King’s - Maci Hodgins, Hannah Carrithers, Kat Kirkpatrick, Emma Culberson

1600m Relay                                                                                             South Whidbey

High Jump           Annika Ruud                                       9                                              King’s

Long Jump          Sophia Nielsen                                  12                                           South Whidbey

Triple Jump         Lauren Krause                                   11                                           Cedarcrest

Pole Vault            Sophie Paradis                                   12                                           Cedarcrest

Shot Put               Ellie Gaenz                                          10                                           King’s

Discus                   Emma Fettel                                      9                                 Archbishop Murphy

Javelin                  Mikaehle Brown                               10                                Cedar Park Christian


Boys track won the State Championships for the 3rd time in 4 years and 9th overall. This the 17th State Championship for the track team as the girls team has won 8 as well. No boys team in the state of Washington has won more team titles.

The team was lead by triple jump state champion Peter Kulits who jumped 46'9. This mark would have won 2A and 3A state titles.

Cameron Chew excelled in the rare combo of pole vault and 800 meters. Cam placed 3rd in the vault with a jump of 14'0 and placed a surprising 2nd in the 800 battling the strong head wind.

Pierce Papke closed out an outstanding season with a 2nd place finish in the 300 meter hurdles as well as placing 8th in both the 110 meter hurdles and the 100 meter dash.

Silas Newby struggled in the triple jump but came back to place 2nd in the long jump with a jump of 21'6.

The relays teams continued their recent success. The 4*400 team of Michael Gabelein, Pierce Papke, Cameron Chew and Silas Newby (with Josh Vasquez as alternate) placed a close 2nd place with a time of 3:26.31. The 4*100 team of Brennon Blevins, Silas Newby, Nikko McNeal and Michael Gabelein placed 5th as well.

Strong performances we had by Kobby Solomon with a 6th place in Discus, Cody Chew in 8th place in Pole Vault, Anthony Hart in the 3200m, Peter Kulits in the Long Jump, Michael Gabelein in the 100m and 200m, and Nikko McNeal in the 200m.

2017 adds another Track State Title to King's Track team. This time the boys team won scoring 67 points over the 50 points of Deer Park. This the the 8th Team Title since 2005 which equals the 8 titles that the King's girls team has won. The 16 total team titles is the most of any team in the state of Washington.

The boys team was lead by Caleb Perry as he defended his title in the 100 meters into a strong head wind. In the prelims of the 100 meter, Caleb broke the state meet record with a time of 10.77 but it was slightly wind aided. Caleb also won the 200 meters, ran first leg on the winning 4*400 relay team and anchored a thrilling come from behind victory with the 4*100 relay. The 4*100 relay team of Brennon Blevins, Silas Newby, Nii Ingmann and Caleb Perry were looking to break the school record but after some iffy hand offs and a huge come from behind win, they were happy with the victory. The 4*400 relay team of Caleb Perry, Connor McElmurry, Silas Newby and Matt Jackson finished 2nd last year and made up for it with a wire to wire victory and the second fastest time in state meet history.

Matt Jackson ran down the state meet 800 meter record holders in a thrilling lean at the tape for a huge win, a huge personal record and the second fastest time in state meet history (1:53.89).

Luke Wicks broke the long standing school record with a pole vault of 14'3 placing second. Chewy Zevenbergen placed 5th in the high jump in his first trip to state. Pierce Papke placed 6th in the 300 meter hurdles in his first trip to state. Peter Kulits placed 6th in triple jump in his 3rd trip to state.

While the boys team was favored to win, the girls team surprised everyone by placing 3rd. The girls scored 40 points to finish close to Lakeside's 51 points in 1st. The girls were led by Maddie Neilsen who placed 3rd in high jump and 4th in triple jump. Emma Culberson placed 3rd in the 300 meter hurdles in a personal record of 46.20 and 6th in the 100 meter hurdles. Tirzah Pilet placed 4th in discus with a personal record of 120'4. Naomi Smith placed 4th in the 1600 meters and 4th in the 3200 meters in a new school record of 11:09.70 . A great showing for the girls team all competing strong in the 90 degree heat.

King’s senior not just a natural speedster, he’s ‘the full package’
Cameron Van Til•
Tue Mar 21st, 2017 10:57pm•
SHORELINE — Caleb Perry will soon be taking his blazing speed to Pullman, where the star running back is signed to play football at Washington State University.

But first, Perry has business to tend to on the track. The King’s senior standout, one of the state’s fastest runners regardless of classification, figures to be in contention for multiple state titles this season.

“When you have a talent like Caleb,” King’s coach John Ricardi said, “you’re watching him in the stands and he just doesn’t look like a high-school sprinter (with his speed) and his form. He’s a powerful and mature kid. It’s exciting to see.”

Perry, who also plans to run track at WSU, won the Class 1A 100-meters state championship last spring and came within a whisker of a second title. He took second place in the 200 meters, finishing just 0.01 seconds behind state champion Keyhon Ross of Medical Lake. He also helped the Knights to second- and fifth-place relay finishes.

Perry said that while the 200-meters race wasn’t his best performance, falling just short has provided extra motivation this season.

“It just wasn’t that good of a race on my part,” Perry said. “I take full responsibility for that, but this year will be different. … I know I have one more year this year and that I’ll be better than ever. So I’m not really too worried about it, but I definitely run with a chip on my shoulder every meet.”

Perry’s fastest time in the 100 meters last season was 10.76 seconds, which ranked sixth-fastest in the state regardless of classification. His fastest 200-meters time was 21.84 seconds, which was third-fastest in all classifications.

While much of Perry’s elite speed stems from natural ability, it’s also a product of hard work and technique.

“Caleb has a lot of talent,” Ricardi said. “You’re born with that. But when you get that kind of talent with a kid that’s willing and able to work hard, then special things start to happen. I think that’s what you’re seeing with Caleb.”

Perry, who began running track in seventh grade, has trained at the University of Washington each of the last three offseasons. In addition, next month he will spend his fourth consecutive spring break training in Houston, where he will learn from Olympic sprinter Derrick Brew.

“He teaches me to make sure my arms are nice and tight, that I have good form and then coming out the blocks to make sure I take nice, wide steps for the first 10 meters,” Perry said. “So from all those trainings, I’ve learned to make sure I maintain my technique.”

“In running the times he’s run in the 100s and 200s, you have to be really efficient,” Ricardi added. “He’s got really good form and he’s worked really hard. He’s a really strong kid, and he’s mentally really strong too. So he knows how to prepare himself for the race and not make mistakes.

“I think that’s really important in sprinting and that kind of separates some of those really good athletes. You can be really talented, but Caleb’s the full package.”

Perry’s speed also stands out on the football field, where he uses sharp cuts and rapid acceleration to burst by defenders who seemingly were in good position to make a play. He averaged 11.5 yards per carry last season, rushed for 19 touchdowns and is ranked by as the top senior running back in the state.

Perry also had offers from the University of Missouri and the University of Cincinnati, but chose WSU partly because he believes the Cougars’ spread offense is best-suited for his playing style.

“I felt Washington State best fit my skill-set of getting in the open, making sure I have one-on-ones with defensive backs and just letting my speed take (over),” Perry said.

Though Perry’s primary focus at WSU will remain on the football field, he said he’s been in contact with the track coach and received permission from the football program to run track for the Cougars.

“We’re really excited about his future,” Ricardi said. “He’s a good kid of character and he’s going to represent King’s, his family and WSU well.”