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Barlow enters the season clearly the state's best

BOYS TRACK PREVIEW - The duo of Arthur Delaney and Ryan Crouser has the Bruins looking at a potential state scoring record
by: file photo Barlow senior Arthur Delaney is the reigning 6A champion in the 100 and 200 sprints.

The Barlow boys track and field team has become the class of the always talented Mount Hood Conference, entering this season with a potent 1-2 combination in seniors Ryan Crouser and Arthur Delaney that make the Bruins the front-runner for the Class 6A title.

The Bruins last won the big-school crown in 2008 by putting up an impressive 70-point total. Barlow has suffered a pair of near-misses the last two years, coming up six points short of making it three straight first-place trophies. No meet was closer that last spring's showdown, which saw the Bruins carry a nine-point lead into the final event only to stand on the side and watch as Tigard won the 1,600 relay and moved to the top of the final team tally.

'The kids performed incredibly last year after getting hit with all those injuries,' Barlow coach David Kilian said. 'We felt a little like the Blazers - we had all this talent, but a lot of it was sitting on the sidelines.'

Following are previews of the five East County programs:

Barlow

• The Bruins fell one point short of winning state last season, despite being without the services of world-class thrower Ryan Crouser, who went down with a broken foot at mid-season. Crouser is back and healthy, turning in a winter season in which he set several indoor national records. With him in the lineup, the Bruins could be on pace to break the 70 points they put up as state champs three years ago.

'He's just a worker, and his winter season was incredible,' Bruins' coach David Kilian said.

The Bruins have some depth in the throws with senior Casey Leabo able to score some points in the shot put and discus, as well. He filled in for an injured Crouser at last year's Nike team nationals.

While, Crouser is a likely candidate to pick up state wins in all three throws, teammate Arthur Delaney will challenge for first-place points possibly in the maximum four events. He is the reigning state champ in the 100 and 200, while taking third by a slim margin in the long jump.

This year, he is likely to trade in an appearance in the relays and tackle the 400 instead. He ran the race at last summer's all-star Border Duel and set a meet record.

'We'll have to see how the state schedule stacks up, but he's expressed interest in doing that,' Kilian said. 'He's one of those special guys that wants to do his part to make the entire team better.'

A full look at Barlow's preview along with the four other East County schools appears in the March 20 edition of The Outlook