Raider Track returns with experience, leadership
Left to Right- front row: Marissa LaFountaine, Mary Ann Matheson, Kim Barry, Mikel Friedlander, Amanda Palmer, Oscar Pakootas, Zachary Erickson, Samantha Turner; middle row: Head Coach Lori Adkins, Alex Garcia, Katelynn Schilling, Charli Knight, Octavio Gleason-Sanchez, Rahnee Jane, Sean Waters, Kyonna Pakootas, Assistant Coach Kate Olin; back row: Volunteer Coach - Jordan Adkins, Octavio Alejandre, Levi Joseph, Jesse Adkins, Luke Night Wolf, Matthew Timentwa, Assistant Coach Paul Braun; Not pictured: Clare Castrodale, Dominic Cotton, Miranda Salas, Demi Whiteman
Fourteen returners, including three participants of the 2011 state track-and-field tournament, bring optimism to Raider Track for the 2012 season.
Once again there will be no home meets for the Raider track team. This slight is easily forgotten when compared to the exposure to college recruiters that LR athletes will receive in Spokane-, Yakima- and Wenatchee-area meets.
Head Coach Lori Adkins likes what she sees thus far.
“The Raiders are giving the extra degree of effort to improve their times, distances and heights during the upcoming season, realizing there is no easy fix,” she says. “Hard work is the secret to success.”
Three Raiders returning competed in the state 2B meet last year. Senior Kim Barry is the reigning state champ in the 800- and 1600-meter runs, along with her second-place finish in the 3200 and a fifth-place in the pole vault.
Senior Jesse Adkins finished seventh in the triple jump at state and will again compete in the jumps and sprints. Junior Sean Waters returns as a state participant in the discus and is in a good position to challenge for state again in the throws.
All the sophomores are returners who will be challenging the competition for a state berth.
“Most were on the bubble at last year’s district qualifier, narrowly missing state berths.” Coach Adkins states. The sophomores include Mary Ann Matheson (who participated in state cross country) in the distance races, Mikel Friedlander in the 400 and the hurdles, the speedster Octavio Gleason-Sanchez in the sprints, and Cheyenne Kelly-Marconi in the triple jump and the hurdles.
In the throws, senior Miranda Salas is coming off emergency surgery and will have a slow start, but she will still be competitive and ready for another run at state. Junior newcomer Charli Knight has the potential to surprise the competition in the throws; look for her to be a dark horse come district competition time.
Raider Track gets an infusion of nine freshmen this season. In the throws, Octavio Alejondre and Katelynn Schilling are jumping right in to the different environment and will be instant competitors challenging the upperclassmen all season.
The Raiders are also joined by a girl from Almira-Coulee-Hartline’s school, through a new cooperative agreement with that 1B district. She will compete as an ACH Warrior but is practicing with the Raiders.
“Overall, we field a well-rounded team that shows promise in the upcoming season,” Coach Adkins says. “Athletes are working hard to develop skills that will be honed over the next 10 weeks as they strive to reach the boiling point.”
Fans will be able to follow the Raiders’ progress on Athletic.net. The Star Online (grandcoulee.com) will link to that site each week.
The Raider coaching staff includes throwing events Coach Paul Braun, and new hurdles/pole vault coach Kate Olin.
The Raiders will open the 2012 season at West Valley High School in Spokane on Saturday. Field events will begin at 10 a.m. while track events start at 10:30 a.m.