Track team runs circles around the law

A track member during “training” / Photographer: Hunter Knapp

When it was announced that there would be a track team this year at Orcas Island High School, the news made big waves. Students have been asking for one for years, and with the newly renovated track and field, it seemed like the time had come to host a team. But, what many people do not know is that the Orcas Island track team is really a front used by a gang of ruthless burglars.

The principal of the school, who will not be named in order to maintain his safety, told us that the group was “mafia-like.” He claimed he was bribed, threatened, extorted, beaten, coerced, bullied, and toddy-walloped into not disbanding the team. He told us he was even pressured by Janna Carter, whose daughter is a known member of the gang. 

The group has already robbed more than $300,000 during the season, and they only seem to be speeding up. Off-island meets contribute the greatest amount to their earnings, as the school buses can hold vastly more loot than can be ordinarily carried. Because of their association with schools, too, people are less likely to be suspicious of buses parked in their neighbor’s driveways. One gang member is reported to have stated “When we go to Friday Harbor, we’re taking everything. Literally everything. The painting on the wall and then the wall itself. Normally we leave at least a bit, but no, no mercy for those [censored] [censored] little [censored]s.” 

Team coach and mafioso Michael Kulper told us his perspective of the mob. “Everything has gone a lot smoother than what I expected. Despite us lacking certain facilities and many of the members being so… inexperienced, we have made great progress.” 

Kulper already has experience leading organized crime, as he has coached the school’s cross country team for several years. 

When asked why he was so excited about track, Kulper told us the difference between the sport and cross country was night and day. “With cross country, you can’t be too bold,” he said, “but track provides the perfect alibi. If someone catches us at a bad time, we can just tell them we’re having a late night practice. People would get suspicious when they saw the cross country team with all our equipment.” 

He mentioned how each event was perfectly designed to train the group for a different aspect of robbery. The running, obviously, was useful for quick get-aways, while hurdles allowed them to easily hop fences. Discus throwers would be used to toss spoils effectively, and the shot put trained them to brick people’s windows. 

Not everything is perfect, though. The team still lacks a few “events” that would increase efficiency more; “We are trying to get the pole-vault going to make getting up to second stories easier,” Kulper rued. “And javelin throw would be a lifesaver when it comes to taking care of witnesses.”