The verdict is in – Curtis High track star Kennadi Bouyer is one of a kind.
The junior owns the state’s best times this year in the 100 and 200 meters regardless of classification. Bouyer also runs a leg of the Vikings’ highly regarded 4x100 relay and is a state contender in the long jump.
However, those accomplishments alone aren’t what make her unique.
“She works really, really hard,” Curtis track coach Sarah Burns said. “She does extra time. Sometimes she is out here after everyone else is gone. She’ll stay out here and work on little things that matter.”
“She is so funny,” Burns said. “She is always smiling and knows how to make light of every situation, pretty much. Not just that, she’s a competitor. She just wants it. She told me once there is nothing else besides track that she’d rather be doing.”
Her father, Bruce Bouyer, also has noticed something about his daughter that separates her from other athletes.
“Being humble all of the time,” Bruce Bouyer said. “The last two or three years her level of success has elevated, but she has stayed humble throughout that time. That’s what I appreciate. It’s hard for people to get to that level and stay humble.”
Thanks to that hard work and distinctive character, Bouyer has propelled herself into a favorite’s role to win several state titles this year and possibly next.
Although she is developing an impressive track and field profile, Bouyer is more excited about her team’s prospects.
“It makes me really happy because last year there wasn’t a lot of girl talent,” Bouyer said. “I’m not someone that is scared to shine, but it makes me happy that there are other people that shine too and can help me and I can help them. It’s almost like I can (reach) my full potential around people that want to be their full potential, too.”
Part of the reason for the program’s turnaround is first-year head coach Burns.
A former Vikings track and field athlete herself, Burns set several school records from 2002-04. Coincidently, Bouyer and Burns competed in the many of the same events.
While her school records are still intact, Burns, who went on to compete for Washington State, said Bouyer is aware of her accomplishments and wants to leave her own mark.
“Yeah, she does (know),” Burns said. “I think I am going to give her (and the team) a little bet or challenge for state. If you can beat the long jump and our girls relay record, I told them I would do something really cool for them.”
With those records in sight, Bouyer said she has a special connection with her new coach.
“She’s meant a lot,” Bouyer said. “She is really reliable and it feels better to be able to talk to someone who you know has gone through what you’re going through. Instead of someone who say ran the mile or something. When I can tell her how I feel about my jumps, she really understands when I can tell her what I did wrong and she can tell me more about what I did wrong to get better. It does help to know she went through exactly everything thing I am going through.”
4A, 3A West Central/Southwest Bi-District track and field meets
Where: Mount Tahoma Stadium
Schedule: Today – 11:30 a.m.; Saturday – 11 a.m. blog.thenewstribune.com/preps