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Quest to return to state meet begins this week | SPRING SPORTS PREVIEW

Assistant Coach Dean Tarbill counsels Spartan senior Jay Terry on his hurdling technique during track practice at Spartan Stadium.  - Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review
Assistant Coach Dean Tarbill counsels Spartan senior Jay Terry on his hurdling technique during track practice at Spartan Stadium.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review

The field is thick with top returning athletes.

Indeed, more than a third of the contingent of 85 Spartans who have come out for track this season are veterans of last year’s squad.

Coach Andy Grimm said his roster is replete with returners who are ready to make an impact. The standout Spartans include plenty of upper classmen, both boys and girls.

All told, 51 boys and 34 girls turned out for track this season.

While the number is high, it isn’t exceptional, Grimm noted.

“That’s normal. Our kids have lots of choices at the high school, for all seasons, but spring especially,” he said, pointing to the number of sports that have gotten underway in recent weeks, from boys soccer to lacrosse.

“It’s a good number for us. I’m not complaining,” he quickly added.

The aim, he said, is to finish with as many qualifying athletes as possible. That means ignoring team scores or trying to strategize ways to outpoint their opponents as the regular meet season continues. Instead, it’s all about the individual athletes and their performances.

“Our district is so strong. If you can get to that point and get out of districts to state, you’ve got a shot to do something at state because you’ve had to be so good to get there,” he explained.

“Our goal is to get as many kids to state as we can. As many disciplines, as many kids, in as many events as we can,” he said.

Last year, the Spartans took 12 athletes to the state championships.

And as Bainbridge prepped this week for its opening meet against Chief Sealth and West Seattle, Grimm said the Spartans will field plenty of top returners and sudden-impact athletes.

Top returners on the boys side include Tyler Cox, a senior who ran the 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter last year.

Matt Stone, a senior, is the team’s leading sprinter. He was a Metro League qualifier in the 100 and 200 last year.

“He’s a threat at least to get to districts in those two sprints,” Grimm said. “And after that, it’s kind of a crapshoot its so competitive.”

Stone also ran on the 4x100 relay last year for the Spartans.

Joe Misenti, a senior, will also compete in the sprints and relays, as well as in the pole vault. His best mark last year in the vault was 12 foot.

Taylor Wilson is another top returner in the field events. The 11th-grader will look to improve on his best throw in the javelin last year; 144-foot-3.

In the boys hurdles, Bainbridge will turn to senior Jay Terry in the 110 hurdles and sophomore Casey Brink in the 300 hurdles.

Brink was also big last year in the discus; his best throw toss was 100 feet.

Mid-distance runners for BHS this year include Austin Harper.

“He was on the Metro 4x400 last year and ran the open 400,” Grimm said.

Tyler Martinez will also compete in mid-distance races for the Spartans.

Impact athletes include 10th-grader Nich Allen in the sprints and relays; fellow sophomore Jackson Garber in mid-distance races and jumps; senior sprinter and jumper Ryan Abbott; sophomore sprinter, relay runner Morgan Leader; sophomore

Issac Pyne in the sprints and relays; senior distance runner Godon Shelton-Jenck; and junior distance specialist Sean Simonsen.

The team’s top newcomers include Jack Odell (junior, high jump) and Ford Eimon (senior, mid-distance/jumps).

The Spartans boast a dozen top returners in the girls events.

Mikelle Ackerley, a 10th-grader and state competitor for the Spartan swim team, will compete in the 800 and 1600.

Danielle Bogardus, a junior, will look to improve on last year’s PR in the 400 meter of 61.51.

Fellow junior Signe Lindquist will compete in the 1600- and 3200-meter races.

Katie Shephard, a senior and a state meet hurdler, will return to compete in the 100 hurdles.

She’ll be joined in that event by Tatiana Sills, also a senior.

Junior Ivy Terry will race in the 400- and 800-meter for BHS.

In throwing, the Spartans will rely on Isa Todd. The junior had PRs last year in the shot put of 26-foot-8, and in the discus of 78-foot-11.

Lindsay Wienkers, a 10th-grader, is on tap for the 400 meter. She was also a member of last year’s Spartan state team in the 4x200 relay, with Bogardus.

In the sprints/relays, Bainbridge is betting on juniors Serena Canner and Bailey List.

Other top returners include Anna Misenti (senior, distance runner) and Maddie Rogers (sophomore, hurdles).

Grimm said the immediate impact athletes include Paige Adams, a sophomore vaulter; and distance runners Kellie Miller (sophomore), Elizabeth Von Ruden (junior), Katy Wade (junior) and Alison Wise (junior).

The coach also expects big things this season from freshman Aerin Amore, who will compete in sprints and jumps.

 

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