But they'll get plenty of competition from Cascade and Molalla
The Capital Conference should be well represented at the 2007 Class 4A State Track and Field Meet.
Gladstone and Cascade should be in the running for a trophy on the girls side, while Gladstone and Molalla could be contenders at the boys state meet.
Gladstone girls and boys placed sixth and seventh respectively at last year's state meet, and the Gladiators return their top female and male point-getters in Amy Skofstad and Jordan Aldredge.
Cascade returns the top athletes from a girls team that placed fourth at state a year ago; Molalla returns many of the top athletes from a boys team that was state runner-up.
Skofstad returns to lead Gladstone girls, and the senior talent is eager and as healthy as ever after taking a break from basketball last winter.
Skofstad leaped a near school-record 18-7 in the long jump in her first meet of the 2007 season.
A year ago she won state in the long jump with a leap of 17-8-3/4, placed first at state in the 200 meters (25.9), and placed fourth in the 100 (13.1).
Skofstad isn't the only Gladiator female returning with proven talent.
Gladstone senior Annan Applebee placed fourth at state in the 800 meters last season, and Gladiator junior Nikki Ramsey earned third place in the javelin.
The Gladiators also return several other talented athletes who placed at district a year ago. Tasha Dearborn just missed advancing to state, placing third in the discus. The talented senior also earned fifth place in the shot put.
Junior Shanoaleigh Roseby last year placed fourth at the Tri-Valley League district meet in the low hurdles and sixth in the high jump. Roseby has already cleared 5-2 in the high jump this season.
Other top prospects returning to the girls team include senior Melyssa Milano (hurdles), junior Rachele Douglas (hurdles), and sophomore Elle Durkee (400).
Gladstone's girls team has also gained a talented pole vaulter in Tawny Dasher, a transfer from Oregon City. She cleared 9-0 to place at the Three Rivers League district meet a year ago.
And the Glads have gained a talented throws specialist in freshman Taylor Aldredge, Jordan Aldredge's sister. She launched the shot put over 32 feet in the first meet of her high school career.
Aldredge has ambitious goals
Jordan Aldredge has ambitious goals of contending for state titles in four events. The Gladiator senior talent placed at state in four events a year ago, winning the discus, finishing state runner-up to Molalla's Jake Barker in the shot put, placing fourth in the 100 meters and placing fifth in the javelin.
The Gladiators also have a talented distance runner returning in senior Matt McCrary, last year's Tri-Valley League district champion in the 3,000 meters. McCrary went on to place ninth at state in the 1,500 and 11th in the 3,000.
Sophomore Justin Lundgren is another athlete likely to make waves for Gladstone boys. As a freshman, Lundgren placed fourth at district in the triple jump, sixth in the long jump and eighth in the high hurdles.
Lundgren won both hurdles events and the long jump in Gladstone's recent season opener with Milwaukie, and he and Gladstone senior Casey DePeel finished one-two respectively in the triple jump.
The Glad guys also return a veteran high jumper in junior Nicholas Maszy.
Gladstone hosts Cascade and Stayton in a Capital Conference dual meet next Tuesday; the Glads and Molalla meet on Tuesday, April 17, when they travel to Estacada for a three-way meet with the Rangers.
Falcons will hold their own
Look for La Salle to hold its own in Capital Conference track and field competition this spring. Track is on the upswing at La Salle and the Falcons return a host of athletes who will be much improved over last year, when they placed fourth at the TVL girls meet and sixth in the boys meet.
The Falcons return two district champions, senior Abe Webb (800 meters) and sophomore Laura Schmitt (400 meters). Schmitt went on to place fifth at last year's state meet.
Junior Connor Streed, who cleared 10-6 for sixth place in the pole vault at last year's TVL district meet, has already cleared a school-record 13-0 this spring.
Other top prospects returning for La Salle girls include: senior Dolores Lyons (100 meters and all three jumps), juniors Collette Levesque and Katy Cloughesy (middle distances), senior Steffanie Christie and sophomore Maddie Morton (distances), junior Kate Bailey (hurdles) and senior Yana Nemecek (pole vault).
Lyons and Levesque both made state qualifying a year ago.
Other top prospects for La Salle boys include: seniors Nic Stevens (sprints), Alex Gay (middle distances) and Riad Edwards (high jump); and juniors Ian Compton (hurdles) and Eric Whalen (discus).