By Oliver Lazenby
With nearly half the team competing in high school track and field for the first time, the Borderites are facing a rebuilding year, said head track and field coach Carey Bacon.
The team shined last year. Seven members made it to the state tournament, where the team received six medals. Bacon called the team one of the best he’s ever had in an interview with The Northern Light last year. In all, nine talented athletes graduated last year, Bacon said.
Twenty-five of the 56 athletes who turned out for the team this year are newcomers. The relatively inexperienced team still has some athletes to watch for, though.
Standout athletes on the boys team include returning senior Parker Morris, who will be strong in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, Bacon said. Anthony Frey, a senior newcomer, shows promise in the 400-meter run and in relay events.
Juniors with a chance to be competitive include sprinter and triple jumper Alfonso Dermendziev, disc and javelin thrower Tucker Jensen, long jumper Ben Fletcher and pole-vaulter Haden Anthony, Bacon said.
Bacon also expects the 4×4 relay team to be competitive, with sophomores Isaiah Russ and Dalton Mouw contributing to the speedy team.
Standouts on the girls team include returning sophomores Ariyana VanderVeen-Raum in the 400-meter and relay events and Sophia Dwyer in the 800-meter run and 4×200-meter relay.
The girls team also has some promising newcomers such as sophomore Rani Prasad and senior Ashley Quesada, Bacon said.
“Once competition starts, we will likely see some other faces that will have an impact,” Bacon said in an email. “It has been a fun bunch to work with and a great start to the season.”
Blaine’s first meet was March 17 at Burlington-Edison High School. The first home meet is Thursday, March 31 at 3:30 p.m.