The graduation of a talented senior class leaves Sandy looking to restock this spring

It is a season of transition for the Sandy track and field team. The Pioneers lost a huge senior class and the returners have some big shoes to fill.

The girls’ squad has the task of replacing a class that won four consecutive league titles.

“The girls are young this year, so for them, a lot of the season will be mental,” Sandy track and field coach Anouxa Vixathep said. “They don’t have a ton of experience, but they are a talented group.”

Although all of Sandy’s state qualifiers graduated, the Pioneers have some young stars-in-the-making to help make up for that void. Rachel McKinnis will be one of the top throwers on the team, while swimmer Zayna Salveter will take to the track as one of the team’s top runners.

The boys’ team will have more depth than the girls’ squad. Isaac Mitchell was sidelined for much of the offseason with a stress fracture in his foot, but he will be back for the beginning of the season and will be a top-end runner for the team. James Frazier joins Mitchell as one of faster sprinters on the club. Ryan Skidmore checks in as the top long jumper on the team and could be a factor in the league meets.

Even with all the Pioneers lost, they gained quite a bit in facilities. No Sandy class has ever had the facilities that the team has this year, and that could make a difference.

“I have had a lot of past athletes tell me how jealous they are,” Vixathep said. “The team this year will really appreciate what we have, especially after a few road meets.”

With all that considered, Vixathep believes the team can be just as successful as it has been in the past few years. That is certainly where the Pioneers’ aim is.

“Our goals really don’t change much and we are still trying to win the conference championship,” Vixathep said. “Really, we are just going to try to control what we can control and do the best we can.”

The Pioneers open the season against Wilsonville on April 3 on their home track.

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