Frontier boys track
If there’s a barrier to scale or a distance to leap, West Valley’s boys track and field team can do so with flair.
Expect, therefore, the Eagles to defend their Frontier League track and field championship this year because of their hurdlers and jumpers.
The team could even surpass last year’s fourth-place state finish, despite a new regional format that makes getting there more difficult.
“That group is really state quality,” said coach Jim McLachlan. “We were in the running last year and all the kids should make it on (qualifying) marks, anyway.”
During last weekend’s memorable season-opening invitational meet in Clarkston,Wash., Eagle leapers set one school record, just missed another and recorded formidable marks elsewhere regardless of the obstacle.
East Valley’s numbers make them the logical challenger to a repeat WV league championship. The Knights have a few state possiblities of their own. The two teams meet April 23.
Eagles ‘field’ the goods
Numerous Eagle tracksters made marks as freshman. Now that they are juniors, as the incredible Clarkston showing indicated, they are ready for bigger things.
Junior Rick Collins upped his year-old school pole vault record by 3-1/2 inches when he cleared 14-7.
“He was over 15-feet twice in practice and isn’t even on his good pole yet,” said coach Jim McLachlan.
During the same meet senior Devion Tensley triple jumped 46-4, an inch off the school record, despite never reaching 45 feet prior to the jump. He also went 22-7-1/2 in the long jump. His goals are to reach 48-feet in the triple and high 23’s in the long.
Senior Ryan Schroder cleared 6-7 in the high jump and junior Brad Groh, who also has eclipsed 43 feet in the triple jump, ran a 15.0 high hurdles race.
The Eagles are deep in the jumps. Tjay Frampton has 14-foot potential and Josh Rieger is a 13-6 pole vaulter.
Eric Deno has cleared 6-6 in the high jump.
Groh and Andy Miller, nearing 42 and 21 feet in the events, add exceptional horizontal jumps depth.
“The relays and sprints are areas we’ve got to get better,” said McLachlan. “Everything else is pretty well covered.”
Sergio Allen and Eric Salle are chasing Groh in the hurdles events.
Sean McLachlan has already run a personal-best 4:31 1,600 meters and is joined by distance mates Eric Gorton, David McNeill, Eric Brosvik, John Frostad and Kevin Lybarger from cross country.
Ryan Spivey, Jesse Oka, Chris Sorensen, Lee Rottweiler and Trevor Britton are weights throwers.
Tensley, Britton and junior Wes Hood lead a young sprint crew. Tony Hernandez, Tate O’Neal and Ryan Kettleson are freshmen.
New names are sprinter Brent Krous, throwers Corde Kurtz, Lance Pecht and Nick Fusare, hurdler-jumper Dan Ferguson.
“We’re a pretty good team and will get better as the year goes on,” said McLachlan.
EV seeks dividends from big turnout
With a turnout of more than 90 athletes, the Knights hope they have the ingredients to wrest a title from WV.
“It’s hard to get a feeling,” said coach Dave McCarty. “We don’t have studs like WV, but nearly everything is covered and we have a lot of bodies to choose from.”
State qualifiers Andrew Burgess in the high jump, Corey Haskins, a 14-footer in the pole vault, and hurdler Brandon Blize return. They, along with thrower Nick Hansen and the state qualifying cross country crew are EV’s areas of strength.
Hardest hit by graduation were the horizontal jumps where McCarty is looking for able bodies.
Burgess has been reluctant to diversify, so veteran sprinters Adrian Likely, Jeff Storey and Andrew Gillespie are the likely prospects, and the best could be javelin thrower thrower Jared Van Duyne.
Throwers Hansen and Van Duyne are joined by other district competitors Dan Pooley, Blake Horgan and newcomers Scott Skogan and Justin Olson.
Matt Manuel returns in the pole vault.
Jim Marlow, a cross country veteran new to track, leads the distance group that features Ryan Coordes, Bryan McCarty, Matt Auclair, Kyle Christen, Jared Birt, Sean Williams, Charles Payne, John Schindler and freshman Ben Hall.
Besides Blize, hurdles veterans include Jesse Nicholson, Jason Key and Kaipo Keuhu.
Other sprinters are Steve Kimberly, newcomers James Moss, Shawn Damien and Matt McAdam.
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