Four seniors have had huge success since joining the team as freshmen. Riley McFarlin, Gage Cubbedge, Samantha Oliver and Jaymi Bethea are the only seniors who have qualified for state all three years of their high school careers.
“It is a really good group,” Kodiak coach Marcus Dunbar said. “There is a lot of experience there and a lot of them have been with us for four years. It is always sad to see them have their final meet here.”
Their names are also sprinkled throughout Kodiak’s record book.
As a sophomore Oliver set the school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.47 and is fifth in the shot put at 33-01.
She is the most versatile girl on the team.
“Samantha has been consistent all four years,” Dunbar said. “If we could have duplicated her four times over that would have been nice, because she is needed in so many different places.”
As a junior, Bethea set the school record in the 800 with a time of 2:21.18. This season she has moved to second on the 3,200 list with an 11:11.50 and third in the 1,600 with a 5:12.39 — both those times are state leading times.
“Jaymi has really, really come on, especially this year,” Dunbar said. “She started off with a great freshman year and then her sophomore year was down. She didn’t perform nearly as well. I think it is a credit to her that she rebounded back from that and really got into the training part of the off-season.”
Bethea should have good competition this week with Service’s Jenette Northey, who is ranked second in the state in the 3,200, fifth in the 800 and sixth in the 1,600.
Cubbedge and McFarlin have carried the sprinters group the last three seasons.
This season McFarlin has jumped into sixth place on the 100 list with a time of 11.58. He is also ranked fifth all-time in the 200 with a time of 23.60 and ninth in the 400 at 52.52.
Last week, Cubbedge’s 23.91 time in the 200 moved him into eighth all-time for Kodiak.
The two are also on the 1,600 relay team that has clocked a 3:32.75, good for eighth-best all-time.
“They have been the core of the program for the sprinters the past four years,” sprinting coach Rob Stauffer said. “It is sad to see them go. They are so team-orientated. They help everybody out. They are not intimidating as the top guys.”
Unlike Kodiak’s past two sprinters — Michael Odell and Andy Dittman — Cubbedge and McFarlin are not fierce competitors against each other.
“They have been friends first and if there is competition it is more about what other people say,” Stauffer said. “I don’t ever see them compete. They kind of match stride and stay with it … They have been fun to work with.”
Friday’s meet begins at 3 p.m. with running events starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday’s meet starts at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony at 11:45 a.m.
Mirror writer Derek Clarkston can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
3 p.m. — Shot put and long jump. 4:30 p.m. — 100 hurdles, 110 hurdles, 800 relay, 3,200, 100, 400 and 3,200 relay. 7 p.m. — High jump in the middle school gym.
10 a.m. — Triple jump and discus. 11:45 a.m. — opening ceremonies. Noon — 1,600, 400, 300 hurdles, 800, 200, 1,600 relay.