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Track pushes off the starting line | Track and Field
The track and field season is off to a brisk start with the first meets in the books.
Kentlake competed against Kentridge on March 26 and the Chargers boys team won 80-63 while the girls team won 104-41.
Tahoma took on Kentwood on March 27 at Tahoma and the Conquerors defeated the Bears’ girls team 94-56. The Kentwood boys team edged out the Tahoma boys 77-68.
The South Puget Sound League 4A North champs last year for both the boys and girls, the two Tahoma teams went 4-0 on the season in 2013.
On the girls team key returners are senior hurdler Cheyenne Haverfield, senior sprinter Danielle Agoh who also competes in long jump and triple jump, and senior Clair Whiting who competes in shot put and discus. Also returning is distance runner Delaney Tierman.
Top newcomers as anticipated by the Bears’ girls coach, Jeff Brady, are Olivia Ribera, Peyton Shinnick, and Kayla Conteras.
“We are a very young team so we will be putting a lot of focus into technique and hoping to get some good, positive experiences in for these younger athletes,” Brady wrote in an email.
Key returners for the boys team are seniors Tucker Mjelde, Brock Eager, Riley Campbell and Denham Patricelli.
Patricelli was the state champ in javelin in 2013 and Mielde made the state podium last year in pole vault. Eager is one of the best in the state at hammer throw according to boys coach Gary Conner, and Campbell is a key distance runner for the team.
“Our depth is our biggest asset,” Conner wrote in an email.
The Kentwood boys track team went 4-1 in 2013 and the girls went 3-2. This year coach Steve Roche has his eye on a SPSL North league title.
“Goals for both boys and girls teams is to improve every meet, compete hard every meet and win the SPSL title,” Roche wrote in an email. “Our focus is always on improvement, hard work, discipline and competition.”
Key returners for the Conquerors this year are Terence Grady, Brandon Stribling, Bailey Paladin and Robin Cheema on the boys team. On the girls team the key returners are Sarah Toeaina, Amari Leander, Tessa Carlin, and Brittany Woke.
Grady is a hurdler and also throws shot put and discus, and he qualified for the state championship meet in discus in 2013. Stribling is a sprinter who qualified for state in the long jump last year, and was a part of the Conqueror’s state relay for the 4x100 meter relay that finished second at the championship meet. Paladin was a state qualifier in the 100 meters and 200 meters last season, and also was a member of the state 400 relay and the 1,600 relay teams.
Toeaina placed seventh in the long jump at the 2013 state championship and also competes in the triple jump. Leander runs the 400 meters and was a member of the Conks’ state qualifying 1,600 meter relay last year. Carlin runs the 800 meters and was also a member of the 1,600 relay in 2013. Woke competes in high jump and was also a part of Kentwood’s 4x200 relay last year.
Top newcomers are distance runners Nicole Soleim and Emma McMeen and sprinters Bebe Thomas and Reese Paladin.
Kentlake has been working on building its track and field program and this year is no exception for coach Brian Wilson.
“My hope this year is to be competitive in all events,” Wilson wrote in an email. “We are working on getting kids into every event and making sure that we have underclassmen in events to replace this year’s seniors.”
Last year the Falcons’ girls team went 3-2 on the season and the boys team went 1-4.
Key returners for the Falcons this season are Travis Rogers who competes in shot put and discus and qualified for the state championship meet in discus in 2013, sprinter James George, sprinter Casey Schwartz, distance runner Ben Mitchell, sprinter Vincent Menickelly who also competes in long jump, Malik Arrington who is a sprinter and competes in triple jump, Timary Mathena who is a pole vaulter, Lizzy Reichlinger who qualified for districts in pole vault last year, Jessica Kuntz who specializes in the 400 meters and also qualified for districts last year, Kaela Galvizo who is a sprinter and district qualifier, and Avalyne Peters who qualified for districts in the high jump and triple jump in 2013. Wilson also noted that many of the aforementioned returners are also key contributors to the Falcons’ relay teams.
Top newcomers this year are sprinter Carson Whitaker, distance runner Liz Archuleta, Derek Welch who throws the javelin, and thrower Mia-Elena McFarland.