Boys Track: Helmer makes his move
By Sandy Ringer
Seattle Times staff reporter
Jeff Helmer is off and running again, this time for Everett High School.
Helmer, the defending Class 4A state champion in the 3,200 meters and reigning cross-country champ, has transferred from Jackson of Mill Creek to finish his senior year, and is eligible to compete for the Seagulls.
Helmer, who has signed with Arizona State, had chosen not to turn out for track at Jackson this spring because of ongoing conflicts with coach Eric Hruschka. Helmer originally thought he would have to forgo his senior season. But he discovered he could transfer within the Everett School District and remain eligible, according to Washington Inter-
scholastic Activities Association guidelines, with the district\'s approval. Helmer said he and his family received approval a week and a half ago.
Still, it wasn\'t an easy decision. Helmer had hoped he could continue to attend classes at Jackson and run for another school.
\"Having to give up graduating with the friends I\'ve had since fifth grade, that was a big deal for me,\" he said. \"But the positives definitely outweighed the negatives.\"
Helmer said he chose Everett over Cascade, the other high school in the district, because he knows a few athletes on the team, as well as coach Doug Hall. He was cleared last Friday and attended his first practice. With Everett schools on spring break this week, his first day of classes will be next Monday.
\"I\'m just happy to be running and happy to get the chance to hopefully come back to the state meet and try to defend my title,\" Helmer said.
He needs the WIAA-mandated 10 practices before becoming eligible to compete for the Seagulls, who are 5-0 this season to stretch their WesCo South meet win streak to 30.
\"I\'m glad for him, that he has a chance to race, and we\'re glad to have him,\" Hall said. \"Not just because he\'s a state champion, but because he brings a state-championship attitude. He\'s been in some big-time meets.\"
Sandy Ringer: 206-718-1512 or firstname.lastname@example.org