Track time for Sailors

Jacob Burchell sprints down the runway for the long jump at the Reedsport Invitational on March 22. Burchell also threw javelin and competed in the high jump at the event. Photo by Zac Burtt/Siuslaw News

New season brings new coach for Mapleton T&F

March 29, 2023 — The small but mighty Mapleton track and field team got its season going a few weeks ago under new leadership.

A few months ago Jessica Krull was announced as the new head coach for the Mapleton track and field program taking over for Ed Dillahay who led the program for one season.

Krull comes with extensive experience on the track as an athlete herself. In high school she competed in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, 4x400m relay, and high jump and also did some work on distance running and ran cross country.

After high school Krull went to Washington State University and continued her athletic pursuits, this time in the classroom.

“I got my degree in Athletic Training at Washington State University, and worked closely with all of their sports teams throughout my education,” said Krull. “While getting my degree,  I also did an endorsement in physical education and coaching.”

Then, after college she worked as a certified athletic trainer in a physical therapy clinic and at a private high school.

“I worked medical for all of the sporting events and practices,” explained the coach. “I also worked in the physical therapy clinic helping people rehabilitate from various injuries and conditions.”

All this prior experience points to Krull being a very qualified leader for these Sailor athletes.

“Although this is my first year coaching, I believe my education and work experience have helped me gain a great understanding of the mechanics of the sport and how to keep your body and mind healthy for competing,” said Krull. “I still have a lot to learn, but I am excited to see what the season brings.”

Krull and her team opened their season at the McKenzie Icebreaker on March 16. Then, a week later, on March 22, the Sailors traveled to the Reedsport Invitational where they joined the host school along with Waldport and Yoncalla.

The highlight of the day for the Sailors was Ramil Beers’ performance in the 100m.  The freshman won the race, only the second of his high school career, with a time of 12.1 seconds.

Another impressive Sailor performance was that of fellow freshmen Natalie Stevens. After all other runners scratched she ran the 400m by herself and despite running alone she set her personal record for the race by two seconds when she finished in 1:23.8.

Another freshman, Jacob Burchell, competed in the javelin, high and long jumps. Senior Sam Cody tried her hand at javelin, high jump and long jump.

“I think all of these athletes did great at the reedsport meet despite the rough weather,” said Krull. “I was very happy with all of their performances.”

Only part of the Sailor track team was on hand in Reedsport. Also competing for Mapleton on the track or field this year will be freshman Caleb Cody, sophomore Helen Burruss, junior Dom Stewart and seniors Caleb Lewis and Tristan Stewart.

With the young Sailor roster Krull understands this is the beginning of a long process.

“This year I’m hoping to get the team established,” the coach said. “We have a pretty young team this year, and although we started small we have new students joining each week. The athletes are having fun at practice and meeting new goals at every meet, and I think the environment is encouraging the team to grow.”

Things are already going better than expected.

“These athletes have exceeded my expectations for this year already,” said Krull. “They are all motivated and driven to succeed. When given the option they choose to work harder to get better. I am so impressed with their dedication to improving. At the first meet of the season, every single athlete PRd in at least one event, and I believe that’s a testament to their hard work.”

Next up for the Sailors is a short trip to Florence for a meet with their friends and rivals from Siuslaw at Hans Petersen Memorial Field. The event on Thursday, April 6 begins at 4 p.m.