Tribe track teams terrific,
- John Brewington
- South County Spotlight - Sports
Both boys and girls have title aspirations
Both the Scappoose boys and girls track teams have large turnouts, returning talent, and may be the favorites to win district titles this spring.
The girls eclipsed favored Astoria at district last year, and while the Lady Fishermen return some elite athletes, Scappoose may have the depth to again take the title.
Astoria has three girls that scored 56 points in the 4A state meet last season. They won and were runner-up in the shot and discus, plus won the long jump and triple jump.
Scappoose coach David Harley says Astoria is a 'big meet' team that could win a title if they can come up with talent in other events.
'Going head-to-head and at district we should be able to pick and grab enough points to beat them,' he said.
Scappoose has around 100 athletes out for track this spring, split about 50-50 between boys and girls.
Leading the girls will be Jenny Elder. The senior distance runner was the 3,000 meter district champ last season, and a state leader in cross country before she was injured last fall.
'She wasn't cleared to run until the end of December,' Harley noted, 'but she's been making up a lot ground since then. She was tremendous last spring and she should have a good season.'
The Lady Indians also have back three-fourths of their short relay team-Christine Wheeler, Chloe Wight, a junior, and Christine Hickman, a senior. They lost anchor Kasey Kave to graduation, but Harley thinks they should be able to find a speedster to fill out the team.
Stacy Marshall, a senior, was fifth in the state in the pole vault last season and 'she should have a big, big year in the pole vault and in the jumps,' the coach added. 'She's been working out through the winter and has been to a couple of meets.'
Another leader on the team will be Rebecca Rafferty. 'She's our best multi-thrower in the shot and district, placing in both events last season.'
'All of those girls have a chance to do well at district and place at state,' Harley says.
The boys finished third in the district meet last season, but are moving up.
'We have a lot of boys back from last year,' Harley said. 'Riley Cronin (a junior) won the 1,500 and 3,000 last season. Chance Rice (a senior) was the district champ in the 400 meters. Kevin Carpenter (a senior) was the runner-up in the 100. They are the ones we are going to count heavily on.'
Harley said senior Jared Graham missed last track season with a student exchange trip to Argentina. He's an all-state distance runner and a team leader, the coach said.
'Eli Icenogle (a senior) can do a lot of things for us-relays, sprints, jumps, and throws the shot. Apostolis Bakouros (a sophomore) was our best hurdler as a freshman,' he said.
'We have the potential to have a really, really solid year and do some good things,' Harley added. 'I don't like to make us the favorites, but based on last year and the number of kids coming back we should do well. We have some holes to fill, but we should be able to do that and we'll be tough to beat. We have some younger kids that are good enough athletes to have some good success.'
Harley attributes the upswing to having track back at the middle school for the past two years. 'I think that's got the kids excited. They've been out at the middle school and are not quite as intimidated. It really helps the program.'
All in all, Scappoose is looking forward to a really good year in track.