Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review - Bainbridge High School’s Kati Cooper strikes the bar in the pole vault event at the recent Logan Relays Jamboree track and field meet at BHS.

Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review - Bainbridge High School’s Kati Cooper strikes the bar in the pole vault event at the recent Logan Relays Jamboree track and field meet at BHS.

2019 Spartan Sports Preview | Slew of state returners sprint to forefront of Spartan track and field pack

Returning athletes with state-level experience, both boys and girls, will lead a large team of newcomers in track and field events at Bainbridge High School this year.

Exactly 100 students make up the beefy roster of this year’s BHS track and field team — 60 boys, 40 girls — which is again led by returning longtime Head Coach Andy Grimm.

The boys’ team boasts many returning and first-year seniors, Grimm said, including Sebastian Belkin, Carter Hall, Carlo Ruggerio, Akio Hansen, Evan Kimmerlein,Casey Langsjoen, Patrick Ledoux, Sean Lindsey, Nathan McVay, Andrew Owen, Kyle Smit, Joey Tabisola, Pierre Visconti, Leander von Specht, Andrew Westphal, Elliott Windrope, Matthew Zuleger-Hughes, and Connor Sanford.

“This group has a ton of potential,” Grimm said, “and if they can make it through the Metro and the Sea-King District [tournaments] and qualify for state, they will have a chance to podium at the state meet.”

If the cross country season is any indication, it’s even quite likely.

In November, for the second straight year Belkin took second place at the Washington State 3A Cross Country Championship in Pasco, once more following wins at both the Metro League Championship and at the SeaKing District Championship.

The boys team then followed Belkin’s lead and again doubled their previous season’s success as well, once again qualifying for the state meet (as no Bainbridge XC team has done since the stellar girls squad of 1997-98) and again claiming eighth place in the 16-team field.

Six seniors returned to Pasco, including Belkin, Ruggiero, McVay, Windrope, Hall and Lindsey — most of whom have reportedly run together since middle school.

Additional star returners, who did not manage to qualify for state, include juniors Rueben Allen (hurdles) and Hugh Fordyce (pole vault).

Also returning this year are Steven Albergine, Ryan Brandon, Micah Glasby, Ethan Glasby, Akio Hansen, John Hunt, Sean Lafer, Patrick Ledoux, Jay Lollman, Michael Lynch, Josiah McDaniel, Nathan McVay, Connor Sanford, Kyle Smit, Marcus Gerlach and Brian Taylor.

Some of the most promising newcomers on the boys’ side, Grimm said, include Morgan Apel, Sawyer Blair, Jacob Brown, Joe Capps, James Carey, Max Fanberg, Julian Florez, Aiden Freitas, Josh Goguen, Evan Gray, Max Hayes, Peter Korytko, Mathurin Le Dorze, Alex McCulloch, Ben Meir, Alex Miller, Andrea Palazzo, Andrew Peterson, Ellias Roa, Henry Sauermann, Salvatore Spills, Alec Stauffer, Charles Smith, Thorin Smith and Max Strom.

The girls’ team also has some stellar Spartans set to return this season, including state vets Emma Brundige, Liz Messinger, Natalie Taylor and Reese Hill.

“Supported by a number of talented returners and newcomers, this group has a ton of potential and will be strong by the end of the season,” Grimm said.

Sophomore Charlotte Bourgeois and junior Keagan Daniels, both Metro qualifiers who didn’t make it to state last year, are back this season as well, among fellow star returners Elena Conklin, Mataya George, Zoe Lim, Josie Meier, Sarah Salot, Maddie Swietlik, Audrey Wales, and Nicole Wentworth.

Promising newcomers on the girls’ team, Grimm said, include Sarah Aamodt, Sophie Allen, Smantha Bedell, Naszya Bradshaw, Marisol Brown, Katharine Cooper, Morgan Daniel, Sophia DeBellis, Eva Entress, Claire Jackson, Lucy King, Angelina Kollodge, Charlotte Larson-Freeman, Jiana Lyons, Meghan McPherson, Eden Michaels, Adelaide Miller, Amber Murrell, Julia Nordgren, Caroline Payne, Kari Perry, Lucia Pontieri, Sophia Soltes, Bryn Tiernan, Mia Vilke, Allie Wildsmith, Javier Garcia, Ava Haden, and Eva Haden.

The Spartan track season began Saturday, March 9 with the Logan Relays Jamboree at BHS.

This year, the team is slated to host a good many meets, starting with a three-team contest featuring Ballard and Roosevelt at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21.

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