A large pack of remarkable returners are set to retake the track this season, as the Spartan varsity track and field team eyes another shot at State, seeking a repeat (at least) of last year’s success.
Last season, nine Spartans made the trip to the big show.
The 4×400-meter relay team of Cole Brundige, Carlo Ruggiero, Carter Hall and Wyatt Longley returned to the Rock with the 3A event title, setting a new Bainbridge High School record (3:20.47).
And the relay team were not the only Spartans to return from the championship event with honors, either.
On the girls team, Bainbridge record-holder Sarah Lucioni completed her outstanding high school career as a high jumper with a fourth-place tie (5 feet, 2 inches).
Junior Anna Scott was 14th in the preliminary 800-meter run (2:25.39), while freshman Emma Brundige finished 11th (61.04) in the preliminary 400.
The girls 4×400 team of Emma Brundige, Scott, Elizabeth Messinger and McKenzie Korican was also 11th (4:08.22), which left middle distance Coach Garry Osmond excited about this year’s prospects, since, as he said at the time “all these girls are young and returning.”
And they’re not alone.
The BHS track and field team boasts 80 athletes this year, many of them proven returners.
The top returning boys are: seniors Evan Kimmerlein (1600 relay, state champion 2017), Bo Baird (district qualifier in pole vault), Will Hobbs (Metro qualifier in pole vault), Christian Nonga Kingombe and Joel Lafer; juniors Sebastion Belkin (district qualifier, 1600/3200-meters), Carlo Ruggiero (1600-meter relay state champion in 2017), Carter Hall (1600-meter relay state champion in 2017), Kyle Hammer (mid-distance relay, state champion in 2017), Andrew Owen (district qualifier, high jump), Joe Tabisola (districts qualifier, javelin), Elliott Windrope (districts qualifier, hurdles), Sean Lindsey (Metro qualifier, hurdles), Ben Cibula (Metro qualifier, relays), Patrick Ledoux, Akio Hansen Nathan McVay, Brian McKinnon, Connor Sanford, Jacob Tomer, Leander Von Specht and Matthew Zuleger-Hughes; and sophomores Sean Lafer, Spencer McCoskery and Elliot Weaver.
The top returning girls are: seniors Emma Brundige (state 400-meter qualifier), Emma Chee (district qualifier, pole vault), Anna Scott (800-meter state qualifier), Liz Messinger (district qualifier, 1600-meter relay), Capri Fain and Tate Goff; juniors McKenzie Korican (400/1600-meter relay district qualifier), Natalie Taylor (district qualifier, hurdles), Hannah Tonsmann, Lillian Adudell, Elana Dorsey, Jose Meier, Laura Murphy and Audrey Wales; and sophomores Madeline Swietlik and Brooke Troyer.
Team officials are excited for the season’s prospects.
“[The] boys are lead by a talented group of juniors Carlo Ruggerio and Carter Hall,” said returning, longtime BHS Head Coach Andy Grimm. “Sebastian Belkin, [who] just missed state in 2017 and is coming off a second-place state finish in cross country. Jo Tabiosola just missed state in discus and javelin, and will be a threat in both this season.
“This group has a ton of potential and if they can make it through the Metros and the Sea-King District, and qualify for state, they will have a chance to podium at the state meet,” Grimm said.
The girls’ side, too, Grimm said, boasts abundant returning talent.
On the track, the girls are lead by seniors McKenzie Korican, Anna Scott, Emma Chee and talented sophomore Emma Brundige, the coach said.
In other events as well, there are Spartans stars on the rise.
“[They’re] led by state veterans Taylee Undem, second in state long jump, 14th triple jump [and] school record holder in both, and Hannah Tonsmann, 10th in 800-meter run,” Grimm said. “Grace Hall just missed state in the shot put and javelin last spring.
“Several athletes will be in the hunt for a state berth in mid-May.”
There are fresh faces worth watching as well, according to team officials. Grimm singled out Charlotte Bourgeois, Elana Conklin, Talia Cunnigham, Keagan Daniels, Morgan Dierickx, Liberty Flowers, Mataya George, Reese Hill, Zoe Lim, Valeria Mazzel, Alathea Pippinger, Sarah Salot and Daley Trost as the most promising new girls on the team.
Steven Alegrbine, Ryan Brandon, Brock Cunningham, David Curcie, Nathan Eaton, Hugh Fordyce, Mark Gerlach, Ethan Glasby, Micah Glasby, John Hunt, Ari Jabloner, Jake Jensenlopez, Casey Langsjoen, Jay Lollman, Chris Longridge, Noah Osborn, Elliott Lynch, Jacob Mathisen, Josiah McDaniel, Kyle Smit, Brain Taylor, Guy Weibel, Andrew Westphal, Sean Williams and Breckin Wingfield are, the coach said, the top incoming boys.
The Spartans hosted their first home meet on Thursday, March 22, with athletes from Ballard and Roosevelt, and will again play host at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, to Bishop Blanchet and Lakeside.