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Catch them if you can: Speedy Spartans are set for season | SPRING SPORTS PREVIEW
Some of these Spartans have run in these circles before.
Coach Andy Grimm said Bainbridge returns to track and field this year with a veteran girls team with lots of depth at mid-distance.
Bainbridge also has a young boys team that will be led by state veterans Taylor Wilson (Javelin) and Jack Odell(High Jump).
Wilson, a senior, who claimed second place in the javelin at the state 3A track meet in 2013 with a terrific toss of 182 feet, has signed with the University of Idaho.
Odell, also a senior, finished in eighth place at last year’s state meet.
Last year, the Bainbridge boys team ended the season at eighth in the league, and the Spartan girls finished at fifth.
Where the teams themselves place at the end is not the point, and that’s something that guides Grimm, now in his 16th year as coach, through the season.
“The way the track meets work in Metro, [it’s] about qualifying for the end of the season. They keep score, theoretically, but we don’t focus on team scores,” he said. “We’re trying to get as many kids qualified for the league championships [as we can].”
Wilson and Odell, “those two are the two kind of known quantities on the boys side,” Grimm said.
Wilson is rebounding from an ankle sprain which will delay the start of his competing this season, however.
On the girls’ side, the Spartans expect to be buoyed by its mid-distance depth and versatility in the 400 and 800.
In addition to training for their own events, middle distance runners can also more easily run a shorter, faster race, Grimm said.
“A 400-meter kid can come down and run a one and a two,” he said.
“That’s where I feel the strength of this team is.”
Returning veterans for the team include junior Mikelle Ackerley, who took fourth place at state in the 800-meter; and Danielle Bogardus, a senior who finished at 10th place in the triple jump with a distance of 35-1. She was also a state qualifier last year in the 4x200 and 4x400.
The Spartan squad also boasts Aerin Amore, a mid-distance/sprints/relays runner and a state 2013 qualifier in the 4x200 and 4x400 as a sophomore; Lindsay Wienkers, a junior and middle distance sprints/relays runner who was also a state qualifier in the 4x200 and 4x400 last year; and Allison Murphy, a sophomore distance runner who was seventh in the 3200 at the state meet in 2013.
Other top returners include seniors Serena Canner and Bailey list on sprints/relays (the pair were both state qualifiers in the 4x200 in 2013);Ivy Terry, a senior middle distance runner; Isa Todd, senior, throws; distance runners Kellie Miller, a junior, and Katy Wade, a senior; senior Alison Wise, mid-distance/relays; Kiera Gallagher, a sophomore jumper and Metro qualifier last year; and sophomore hurdler Shelby Sundquist.
On the boys team, the Spartans will hope to turn last year’s Metro qualifiers into state contenders.
Top returners and league qualifiers in 2013 include junior Casey Brink, hurdles/throws; sophomore jumper Connor Evans; senior vaulter Dan Gwaizdon; sophomore mid-distance runner David Kimmerlein; Morgan Leader, a junior who runs sprints/relays; and sophomore jumper Charlie Rice.
Other top returners are sophomore hurdlers Charlie Hanacek and Ben Scott; distances runners Sean Simonsen, a senior, and Robert Lafferty, a junior; and sophomore mid-distance runner Noah Strevell.
Top newcomers for the boys are Nich Entress (senior, distance), Jacob Shore (senior, sprints), Cole Pugliano (sophomore, throws), James Payne (freshman, hurdles), Wyatt Longley (freshman, jumps), Joe Cibula (sophomore, throws), Dejah Bowden (freshman, throws) and Peter Adams (sophmore).
Top athletes to watch on the girls team are Naomi Van Ruden (freshman, distance), Audrey Weaver (freshman, sprints), Sarah Lucioni (freshman, jumps) and Amanda Siefert (sophomore, hurdles).
The Spartans opened the season by hosting a jamboree with North Kitsap and Kingston on March 15, and opened Metro League action late last week against Chief Sealth and West Seattle.
Grimm said the next Metro meet (April 10, against Holy Names Academy and O’Dea) will bring a team title contender to the island.
“If you look at team titles, it’s the same big names,” Grimm said.
“O’Dea’s pretty well-rounded. They usually have a ton of great sprinters.”
Seattle Prep, he noted, “They’re very strong in the distance, and that makes sense because they’re very strong in cross country.”
“Blanchet’s up there [as well].”
“Most of the city schools will have at least one or two really fast kids, maybe hurdlers maybe straight sprinters. Where our strength has been since we’ve been in Metro, has been middle distance and field events,” Grimm said.