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Chuck Randall Relay adds light-hearted aspect to March 22 track meet
by Safa Pinkens
In Arlington High School track, the Chuck Randall Relay meet is like no other. The same can be said for the man it honors. Randalls dedication to the Arlington schools and athletic programs was extraordinary. He taught at the old high school from 1967 to 1997, coached track for 30 years and cross country for 20 years.
The current track assistant coach, cross country coach and Arlington High School teacher Mike Shierk said that Randall was able to motivate his athletes in an extraordinary way.
They appreciated him so much that a group of them changed the words of songs to fit Randall and their experiences in track and cross country. For example, When Randall comes jogging in again was performed to the tune of When Johnny comes marching home again.
Ive got spikes went with the tune of Ive got spurs that jingle jangle jingle, and Randalls little runners to the tune of Shortin Bread.
Randall thought outside of the bubble, said Shierk. He held cross country meets at new and interesting places, like the Pilchuck Tree Farm.
It was a natural place to have a cross country meet.There was no traffic to worry about, said Randall, who has been an great outdoorsman through his life.
In track, Randall primarily coached shot and discus as these were the events he specialized in when he was in high school and college.
His commitment, however, was not limited to the track. It extended to the students he taught.
Alice Smithson, an AHS teacher who taught at the high school with Randall for 14 years, said he was very concerned about the kids.
He was all about what you got out of it, Smithson said.
He worked to motivate his students so they not only passed the class but also began to appreciate the subjects he taught. He mostly taught science.
The time he spent as a coach and teacher did not stop him from helping in many other ways.
He would take the initiative and do it, Shierk said.
Randall helped build the ticket booth and repair the bleachers at the old high school in Arlington. Before every meet he would put the lines on the old cinder track.
Randall is still actively involved in the community. He has been working at Arlington Hardware store for six or seven years. Currently he and his wife Bea Randall are involved in finding people to support the opening of the White Horse Trail, from Arlington to Darrington. She is the chairperson of the Snohomish-Arlington Trail Coalition and he is the former chairperson.
Track brought Chuck and Bea Randall together and they have been married for 43 years. They have three sons and six grandchildren, two of whom participate in track at Stanwood.
Chuck Randall is loved and respected by many people.
So when Arlington began hosting a new track meet, the decision to name it after him was immediately supported by all.
He liked relay meets best, said Bea Randall.
The meet was announced at the 2003 opening ceremony of Arlington High School, and on Saturday, March 22, the track team competed in and hosted the fifth annual Chuck Randall Relays.
This meet is unique among many others for the 3-by-400 hurdles race and the 4-by-200 coed race. Since it is a relay meet, even the throwing and jumping events incorporate relay teamwork. Athletes in those events are put in groups and their scores are added together so groups place instead of individuals.
It makes you dependent on each other, said Smithson, who is often involved in track meets.
The Chuck Randall Relays is an important meet in Arlingtons track season and a few events give the meet a lighter touch, such as the coaches and throwers relays. They provide opportunities to those who dont usually have the chance to race.
Some take this very seriously, and some dont, according to Karen Keith, a teacher and volunteer at AHS track meets.
Some people laugh hysterically as they come across the line, Keith said. She said the Chuck Randall Relays provide a more relaxed atmosphere. The variety of events makes the meet exciting and fun for athletes and spectators alike.
Arlington performed well at the March 22 meet, placing second overall with 198 points, behind Burlington-Edison with 200 points.
Arlington placed first in the following events:
Girls 3-by-400 meter hurdles (Amanda Wregglesworth, Jenna Tizsler, Kylie Swegle),
Boys open 100 meter race (Marcus Dolan),
Boys throwers relay (Kurt Hampton, Jurell Frank, Jordan Hawthorne, Weston Jorgensen),
Girls throwers relay (Kjirsten Jensen, Marissa Elgarico, Quinn Kesselring, Bree Covey),
Girls shot put (Kjirsten Jensen, Brittany Covey, Marissa Elgarico),
Girls javelin (Quinn Kesselring, Stephanie Van Slageren, B. Covey),
Boys high jump (Colt Kesselring, Brandon Gunter, Ryan Schimpf),
Girls high jump (Virginia Wilson, Courtney Van Dyke, Kylie Swegle).