Over fifty students to participate in FHHS track and field

This year’s Boys and Girls track team for Friday Harbor High School is the largest group that coach Shannon Plummer has had in his seven years as track head coach. With 54 athletes already signed up and more continuing to join as the team begins their practices, the group is nearly five times the size of Plummer’s first team of 15 students. Plummer expects the students will compete across a wide range of track and field events, and has expectations of potential state contenders.

In addition to Plummer, who also has 29 years of experience as the FHHS football coach, he is joined by assistant coach Willie Blackmon. Blackmon was a member of the track team during his time as a FHHS student, earning the title of 2B state champion in the 300-meter hurdles event at the end of his senior year in 2015. Plummer has also brought on two additional coaches who reached out with an interest to help the team. Josh Bjornstad is the manager for Extreme Fitness and will assist with strength and conditioning, and Richard Pitchford competed for UCLA in high jump, clearing 7’ 6” for the division one school.

“[Bjornstad and Pitchford] pretty much sought me out. They were just interested in giving back to the community,” said Plummer.

When it comes to goals for the team, Plummer is always encouraging the athletes to do their best and do whatever they can to help them succeed. However, Plummer believes it is up to the students to put in the effort to reach their goals.

“ Somebody has to win, it might as well be us,” said Plummer. “That’s what we try and coach them into believing; that if you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it 100 percent. It’s all up to them. We will give them all the abilities, so it’s up to the athletes. We will do our best as coaches to have them ready and prepared.”

Plummer anticipates a number of students qualifying for state, naming girls’ triple jumple jump and girls’ relays as top contenders. He also mentioned that boys’ relays and both boys and girls distance runners have the potential to make it to the state competition as well. According to Plummer, many of the returning track members are coming into their prime, and he encourages community supporters to keep an eye out on the team’s rising stars.

As for competitors, Plummer believes that FHHS’ league competitors, La Conner and Coupville, will have good teams for the students to match themselves with. Additionally, Plummer sought some more challenging opportunities for the team to compete in, going up against larger schools in Bellingham as well as Mount Vernon Christian school as a way to prepare the students for the state competition.

“I see this as a really, really good challenge for our track team to represent Friday Harbor High School really well,” said Plummer.

For those who want to support the track team from home, the track teams from Orcas and Lopez will compete at FHHS around mid-May.