2023 Spring Sports Preview: Track and field capsules for the Greater Spokane League
Sun., March 19, 2023
From staff reports
Capsules for 2023 track and field teams in the Greater Spokane League.
Teams listed in alphabetical order. Records and standings from 2022 season.
Cheney: State qualifiers Braxton Hinton in sprints and Calvin Hilton in distance lead the largest Blackhawks boys team fielded in recent years. There’s talent across many events for a team that is looking to finish in the top three in the league this year. The girls team, featuring state qualifying high jumper Mariah Hill and javelin thrower Curran Moore, will have incredible depth in field events.
Central Valley: The depth is there for a boys team that returns tons of talent from its fourth-place state team, including ambulatory shot put champion Brandon Thomas and all-around thrower Rodney Minette, who’s finally healthy after an ACL surgery. Hall of Fame cross country coach Dennis McGuire takes over a girls program mostly comprising freshmen and sophomore talent. WSU commit Nicole Bissell is the top senior talent, coming off a fourth-place finish at state cross country.
Ferris: First-year head coach Brian Davidson takes over a Saxon boys team that loses two key state participants that carried the team last season in hurdler Kenlove Oakley and jumper Anthony Aguirre. Sophomore Isaiah Newman headlines a young team on the sprint side.
Gonzaga Prep: The Bullpups’ strengths will come from its distance side for a young boys team led by three state cross country qualifiers, featuring Graham Cleveland in the 800 and 1,600. The girls graduate Emma Van Gemer, third at state in triple jump, and Noelani Krauss, 13th at state in 800, but return four other state participants, including members of the school record breaking 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.
Lewis and Clark: Both teams lose a core of graduates, including Noah Barbery and Ferris Cline on the boys side and Audrey Thronson and Ali Groza on the girls side. The Tigers do return a pair of talented state distance participants in Bridget Burns, 10th in the 3,200, and Evan Bruce, fourth in 3,200 and eighth in 1,600. Between both the boys and girls teams, the Tigers bring in 91 freshmen to make up a young core of athletes.
Mead: Year two for boys head coach James Lehr could be his best group yet. The Panthers return seven state participants, including sprint standout Dominick Corley, who’s coming off an indoor season in which he ranked 12th in the nation in the 60. The girls are just as talented, perhaps even better , with eight state participants back led by three-sport standout Teryn Gardner and two-time state cross country podium finisher Charlotte Cullen.
Mt. Spokane: The girls team could surprise some people this season. Senior depth will play a big part in the Wildcats’ success this year, led by rising-distance star Charlotte Pedersen and state participant Dakota Hansen in hurdles. Second-team all-GSL thrower Rylee Andrews and high jumper Maggie Degenhart are two others to watch for.
North Central: Andrew Steinhart, third at state in pole vault, is a big loss for the boys team, but head coach Mark Vandine feels confident in his underclassmen cohort to make up some ground behind Cameron Dewey in sprints and Micaiah Aden in distance. The girls team had a bigger turnout this spring and will be led by state triple jump participant Marlee Schoeffler and distance standout Kendall Carter.
Ridgeline: Things are starting to piece together for the girls team going into year two as a program. This will be the strongest group yet with sprinters Izzy Olson and Preslie Young coming back after earning a pair of fifth place finishes at the state meet in their respective events.
University: Much more is expected for the Titans boys team, which didn’t lose a ton to graduation. Larry Trefrey is one to watch in the 400 and 800, while Myles Wyatt looks to keep his momentum going from last year’s state run where he finished third in the 200 and fourth in the 100 for ambulatory athletes. The girls will be expecting big things from its underclassmen group, including state participant Dakota Daines in pole vault and newcomer Kyla Roberts, state participant in cross country this last fall, in the 400 and distance events.
Clarkston: Plenty of sophomore talent across the board for both Bantam teams, featuring Claire Dooley for the girls in the 100 and 200, and Luke Siler in the 400 for the boys.
East Valley: Replacing the 2A shot put champion Cody Lewis and long and triple jump state participant Ryan Conrath will be tough . The boys do return regional experience, featuring Donavan Brown in distance races, and will bring in a highly competitive freshman and sophomore group. Five state participants, including state placers Logan Hofstee, Abby Crossley and Avy Phillpot, look to lead the girls team to another league title with arguably head coach Shane Toy’s most talented group.
Pullman: A trio of state participants graduate, but the Pullman boys return enough talent to compete in the GSL. The workload will be relied heavily on distance runners Liam Fitzgerald and Tim Chapman and thrower Cotton Sears. The girls team comes off a district championship and return a handful of participants from the group. Jennabee Harris was sixth at state in the 300 hurdles and will be in the running to compete for a state individual title this spring. Anna Fitzgerald is another returning state participant to watch in the 800.
Shadle Park: Pole Vaulter Josie Anselmo, third at state, is one of three returning state participants the Highlanders hope can lead them to a GSL title, maybe a district title, on the girls sides this spring. The boys should have a competitive bunch to compete for the league title as well, featuring state cross country participant Luke Hammond.
Rogers: The spotlight remains with EllaBelle Taylor on the girls side. The senior was last year’s state runner-up in the 100 and will be in contention to win this year’s state title if everything falls into place. The boys are still building around a group of inexperience athletes. Luckily, state pole vault participant Michael Athos is back for one last season with leadership experience.
West Valley: The boys remains a talented bunch for head coach Vic Wallace despite graduating state pole vault champion Gavin Hoskinson and state finalist Trent White in the 100. Jayden Barta, an EWU commit, and Grady Walker, second at state in high jump, are the key duo the Eagles will need big years from to compete for another GSL title. The girls lose solid thrower in Madison Carr, who was fourth at state. Roxi Fredericksen is expected to play a bigger role this season, coming off a cross country season where she finished eighth at state.
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