If you are a track fan, this could be a banner year.
Schools that got back to us indicate there’s lots of talent from Brewster to Curlew.
Ernie Nanamkin is expected to anchor the Brewster track team.
Nanamkin finished sixth in state with a javelin throw of 162 feet, one inch.
“He is a very talented runner as well and should add to his state event list in the 200 and 400 this year,” Brewster track coach Greg Austin said.
Nanamkin has personal bests of 24.21 seconds in the 200 and 52.00 in the 400.
“Alfredo Nila just missed out on a state trip by 2 inches last year in the shot put (39-11),” Austin said. “Excited to see what he can accomplish this year.”
Also, back are Karste Wright (tied for sixth at state in high jump at 4-10) and Kelly Ochoa in the 800 (3:01.4).
“Excited to see what our young athletes can do as we see promise down the road with a few of these,” Austin said.
“We have eight athletes on our team this year,” said Kerri Miller, who has been the assistant coach the last eight years. “Six are freshman boys, one freshman girl and one junior girl. Since I did not coach them last year, I am not quite sure what to expect from them although most of the team is returning members (many participated on the high school team last year as eighth-graders).
“I expect that both of our female athletes will make it to regionals and beyond in distance runs. As far as the boys go, some will sprint, others throw, and a few will jump. What they will achieve will only be a surprise. It is still way too early in the year to have any set predictions, but they all have great attitudes and a desire to improve, so I expect it to be a great season!”
Okanogan returns a ton of athletes wanting to improve on last year’s team scores – girls were fifth and the boys 17th.
Leading the boys are Chet Craigen, who at state last year was fifth in shot (50-11) and 12th in discus (131-00).
His personal bests were 51-11.75 for the shot set at the District 6 championship and 139-1 for the discus set at the Caribou Trail League meet.
Also, for the Bulldogs are Clancy Andrews (10:40.37 PR in 3,200) and Kaedn Daling (11.66 in 100; 24.85 in 200).
“Last year the boys were third at league and fourth place at districts,” said Okanogan track and field coach Zach Spaet. “The major scorer from last year’s team, Greyson Fields, has graduated. Although this year’s team is less experienced, it is much deeper in talent.
“We have started the year off with 20 boys and have quite a bit of work to do because of our inexperience. We are hopeful the boys will be a competitive/dark horse team at the end of the season.”
The girls return three key competitors with lots of experience.
They are Kendra Sachse in the 100 (10th, 12.85), javelin (second, 146-6), long jump (fifth, 16-10.25) and triple jump (fifth, 35-5.75); Rachelle Hamilton in the high jump (fifth, 5-0) and Jillyan Taylor in the 300 hurdles (she has a personal best and school record of 46.98 set at District 6 championship).
“Last year the girls were the league and district champions,” said Spaet, saying the last time that occurred was in 2006. “In addition, the girls finished fifth at the 1A state meet.
“Although we did lose points with the graduation of some key seniors, we have underclassmen that are ready to fill in. We have 20 girls at the start of the season and will be able to fill all events. It is not a far-reaching expectation for our girls to defend their league and district team titles.”
Omak will field a young squad overall.
The girls will be paced by Centaya Mendoza in the shot (34-10), discus (77-2) and javelin (50-4).
Evangeline Lamb will be in the 3,200 (13:10.15).
Returning for the boys are Israel Escamilla in the 3,200 (10:30.92) and 1,600 (4:49.6); JJ Ibarra in the 400 (55.37), 800 (2:19.27) and 1,600 (5:17.25).; Tanner Sackman in the shot (35-10), discus (109-8) and javelin (94-2); and Lonnie Cawston in the 100 (12.43), 400 (1:01.38), javelin (128-10) and long jump (19-3).
At state last year, the Omak boys were 18th and girls tied for 34th
Tonasket will be anchored by Garrett Wilson, who competed in state in the pole vault, 1,600 and javelin.
“(He’s) looking strong coming off winning state in wrestling, again,” Tonasket track and field coach Bob Thornton said.
Also, back for the Tigers are Katie Henneman in the 100 and 400 and Sage Young in the 100 hurdles. Young missed going to state last year in the hurdles by 0.02 second.
“It is early but overall the team is looking good this year,” Thornton said.
Oroville returns 11 veterans who competed at the state track meet last spring, Oroville coach Harold Jensen said.
They include senior girls Katie Egerton (6th pole vault), Tylynne Watkins (pole vault), Tori Kindred (7th shot put) and Teresa Fast (relays); sophomore Julissa Alvarez (sprints, relays).
Senior boys include Seth Miller (hurdles, sprints, relays), Caleb Mills (shot put, sprints, relays) and Drake Fox (pole vault); juniors Jerry Milholland (sprints, relays), Anthony Jamison, (hurdles, relays) and sophomore Austin Bernard (relays, sprints, hurdles).
“Other talents include Spencer Martin, (jumps, throws), Dorian Carteton, (jumps), Mikaela McCoy (hurdles, discus) and Hannah Hill, (sprints),” Jensen said.
Oroville opens its season with the Oroville Invitational at 11 a.m. March 17.