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Great Oak’s Doug Soles named HSGametime Girls Track Coach of the Year

By in Press Enterprise on June 17, 2017

By Jeffrey Parenti

A year after sweeping the perennially strong Southwestern League and CIF-Southern Section Division 1 titles, Great Oak’s girls track team took on the challenge of defending those titles without two significant stars.

Coach Doug Soles’ team had relied heavily on distance runner Destiny Collins and triple jumper Ciynamon Stevenson to snap a near-decade of dominance by Long Beach Poly and win the program’s first CIF-SS D1 girls team title.

Collins and Stevenson accounted for 30 of the team’s 49 points in the 2016 victory. But both graduated.

Fast-forward to 2017, where Soles would need new stars to emerge if this team were to defend.

Behind a group of legacy senior distance runners Evelyn Mandel, Kiyena Beatty, Sydney Belus and Nicole Rice, and youngsters like sophomore Kolonnie Green and juniors Deja Alexis and Sandra Pflughoft, the Wolfpack nearly pulled off another sweep.

“I think that is a testament to how we develop athletes in our program,” Soles said. “We are always developing three teams at one time; current varsity, next year’s varsity and our future varsity. We usually don’t fall off much because of that model.”

After taking the league title, the Wolfpack girls fell just six points short of perennial champion Long Beach Poly in the CIF-SS D1 finals. They scored 50 points, 39 from the distances, including 14 from Mandel, nine from Beatty and eight apiece Pflughoft and Rice. They got points in 11 events, one more than the year before. And they did it with mostly fresh faces. Of the eight who scored points in the 2016 CIF-SS finals, only two also scored in 2017.

For these reasons, Doug Soles is the HSGametime Girls Track Coach of the Year.

Asked what he was most proud of from the girls track season, Soles said:

“I think the girls coming together in so many different event […]    

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