Both boys and girls have a lot of untested athletes

by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens sprinters Jeff Steinke (left) and Tanner Long line up for a 30-yard time trial during practice last week. Longtime Coach Gerry Tinkle was the starter. St Helens figures to be a young, but talented team this year.St. Helens High Track Coach Gerry Tinkle wouldn’t call it a building year, but more of a wait and see year when it comes to the 2013 track season.

It’s Tinkle’s 40th year coaching, 31st year at St. Helens, and 34th as head coach. He has a good turnout this spring with 61 boys and 42 girls.

“After all these years, I am still excited about the season,” Tinkle said. “We are a young team in both boys and girls. We graduated a lot of point getters (from) the boys’ team, but mostly on the track. In the field, we will be pretty strong.”

The Lions were third overall last season far behind winner Wilsonville, but just 10 points behind Milwaukie.

The Lions have some field athletes who should compete well this season including (all seniors): Nathan Reed in the javelin, discus; Jared Bonney, high jump; Nick Dummer and Corey West, discus; and Matthew Denakis, shot. by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens' Jared Bonney indicates how high he might high jump this season or he could just be pointing at an airplane.

On the track, the top points person for the Lions was Thomas Hughes, a junior. Tinkle says he should compete for a shot at state in both hurdle events. He expects to pick up points from distance runner Bryan Strang, a junior, this season, too. Strang finished with the leaders (fourth) and Tinkle expects him to be among the best in the 1,500 and 3,000. Jeff Steinke, a senior, Tanner Long, a junior, and Joey Johnson, a junior, will be the Lions' top sprinters.

“Wilsonville looks like the team to beat for the boys with Milwaukie close behind,” Tinkle said. “We hope to be in the top half.”

On the girls’ side, Tinkle said they have most of the team back from last year.

“We have a little of everything—throwers, sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers,” Tinkle noted. “Some notables: senior Jillian Ross in the horizontal jumps; seniors Chelsea Rennie, Regan Duarte, and Dana Sukau in the throws; Megan Waite in the distances; juniors Kylie Reinholdt in the sprints and the triple jump; Alyna Habel in the hurdles; Alyssa Holz in the high jump; Lucy Kyle-Milward in the PV; and sophomore Sydney Nett in the sprints. We have a lot of rookies that look pretty good.”

Tinkle said Sandy is the defending champion and should be again this season. He wasn’t quite sure how the girls would do overall, saying a lot depends on how the rookies do.

The Lions kick off their season Wednesday at Westview in the Polar Bear Invitational. Central Catholic usually attends and sometimes one or two other schools, Tinkle said. The Lions will have an inner squad meet at some point, but don't have another meet scheduled until they host Milwaukie on April 4.

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