Youth springs eternal for track and field

Sophomore Bevan Taylor runs the boys 4x400 relay. - JESSE BEALS/Staff photo
Sophomore Bevan Taylor runs the boys 4x400 relay.
— image credit: JESSE BEALS/Staff photo

Young Spartan team faces tough opponents in the Metro League.

Head coach Andy Grimm knows that the Spartan track and field team will have to run just a bit farther if they want to stay competitive in a tough Metro League race.

After finishing third in 2003 and fourth last year in State for the boys, and a ninth place finish for the girls last year – their highest ever – they’re dealing with turnover.

Among the leaders lost to graduation were state champion Matthew Wauters (shot put and discus), Nolan Amy (who finished second in the 3200 and fifth in the 1600 at State) and Veronica Ivey (state champ in the 800)

Grimm acknowledges that the team is young and inexperienced in the sprints, but they have an influx of talent in the numerous freshman and sophomores who should do well in the longer races.

“Our strength will be middle distance – from the 400 on up to the two-mile run on both sides,” he said. “That’s where we are going to get our points.”

Senior Angelo Ritualo will be a part of the mid-distance runs, along with junior Colin O’Keefe, senior Will Zuchero and freshmen Austin Hallett and Colin Schultz.

For the girls, junior Zena Hemmen, sophomores Maren Swanson, Geneva and Hilary Pritchett and freshmen Daron Vandalver and Dina Singer will be the main runners for the Spartans in the mid-distance events. Seniors Michelle Baggett and Brittany Belt will be the top runners for the 100, the 400 and the hurdles, respectively.

Another strength for the boys team are the throwing events, such as the discus, the shot put and the javelin.

Grimm hopes that Patrick Wauters, a sophomore, can duplicate his brother’s shot put success, in the discus.

Other top performers should be juniors Jacob O’Malley in shot put and Nathan Draper in the javelin, while sophomore Connor Holloway looks to make some noise in the throwing events and in the vault.

For the jumping events on the boys side, seniors Will Glass and Bryan Jacobsen will be the top competitors in the long, high and triple jump.

The girls team hasn’t had many who stand out, according to Grimm. Junior Emily Pierce, who is recovering from a knee injury, will be expected to perform well in the shot put and the discus.

She will be joined by sophomore Hannah Stewart who will compete in the throwing and jumping events.

Grimm feels their success will depend on the newcomers and how they deal with the extremely strong competition in the Metro League. The state champs in boys (O’Dea) and girls (Rainier Beach) both reside in the league.

“The people who get out of our league have a good chance to place at State, because our league is so tough,” he said. “As far as our chances, you can look at the results from last year and see how we might do.

“I think the girls are a stronger team because they’re a bit more competitive, but both teams have versatile kids. That’s where our strength is, our versatility.”

* * * * *

First run

The Bainbridge girls took fourth place and the boys fifth in the opening meet of the season, the Central Kitsap Invitational held Wednesday at Olympic High School.

The girls earned 81 team points, behind Gig Harbor (124), CK (112) and Peninsula (90), and topped Olympic (52) and King’s West (30).

Alana MacWhorter won the girls 400 meter dash with a time of 1:02.55, besting the second-place finisher by five seconds. Lizzy Brackett placed second in the 200 meter dash with a time of 27.67, just 0.41 seconds off the pace. Brackett took fourth in the 100 meter dash with a 13.30, 0.79 seconds off the top pace.

Caroline Johnson claimed the 1600 meter crown with a time of 5:20.63, besting the competition by half a minute. Hillary Pritchett took second in the 800 meter at 2:24.53, four seconds off the pace.

Vanessa Brewis-Condon placed fourth in the 300 hurdles at 54.38.

The girls 4x200 relay team placed third at 2:00.64, while the 4x400 squad placed second at 50 seconds flat, one second off the pace.

In the boys competition, Tucker Hannah placed fifth in the 100 meter at 11.87, while Bryan Jacobson took third in the 200 at 23.07.

Angelo Ritualo placed second in the 400 at 52.58, a second and a half off the pace, and Colin O’Keefe came in second in the 800 at 2:07.33. Bevan Taylor placed third in the 1600 at 4:51.24. Trubee Davison finished third in the 3200 at 10:03.

In relays, the Bainbridge boys took second in the 4x100 and third in the 4x400.

Will Glass placed third in the high jump at 5-2, and third in the long jump at 18-01. Clif McKenzie was second in the triple jump at 37-08.25.

Jeff Pritchard placed fourth in shot put, while Patrick Wauters placed second in discus and Nathan Draper was seventh in the javelin.

The compete next Thursday in a three-way meet at Nathan Hale.

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