Sequim aims to reclaim league titles

Sequim High School's track stars - particularly on the girls' side - have enjoyed quite a run of success the past five years.

But if turnout is any indication, they may be tested this year.

With about 15 fewer athletes working out for head coach Brad Moore and fellow SHS track & field coaches, the Wolves are smaller in number but bring back a number of experienced returnees looking for another shot at state.

Allison Cutting, Christina Bruce, Laura Moser and Heather Smith lead a traditionally strong distance running squad that's been the hallmark of the girls' group. That group, however, has to make up for the losses of state champion Stephanie Marcy to graduation.

The sprint group looks solid with Anna LaBeaume, Persephone Nelson, Chase O'Neil and Megan Zumbuhl all back in the fold hoping to build upon the Wolves' school record-setting 4x200 and 4x400 relay times from last spring.

Anna Wilmot leads the hurdling crew and O'Neil, Lauryn Garrett and Sierra Clark provide a good jumping corps.

Samantha Whiteside, a surprise state qualifier last spring, attended a pole vault camp earlier this year and projects to top her 17th-place finish at state last year.

LaBeaume, a two-time National Junior Olympics placer in the shot put, figures to score plenty of points for the Wolves in the shot, sprints, relays and other events, as does all-around athlete Megan Zumbuhl.

Moore says the girls' one weak spot may be the discus and javelin, but with Clark and others trying them out, the Wolves should be covered in all events.

Still, with just 30 females out for the team, Moore says it may be difficult to put up enough points for Sequim to repeat as league champs or match the second-place finish at districts. The Wolves lost plenty to graduation (Marcy, Summer Steenberg, Hannah Ohnstad, Melissa Zumbuhl) and other reasons such as out-of-district moves (Alex Sele, Morgan Shattuck, Kelsey Langston, Amy Oppfelt).

"It's just a matter of, 'Do we have enough to cover everything?'" Moore said. "We're not going to have that kind of depth this year."

On the boys' side, sprinter Kincaid Nichols looks to improve upon his fifth-place finish in the class 2A state 100-meter finals while distance runner Kenny Russell eyes improvements in his metric mile and particularly the 3200, an event in which he placed 10th at state in 2007.

But the boys squad took its hits as well thanks to graduation, losing stellar jumper Jordan Garrett, who qualified for state last spring in all three jumps, three of the four 4x400 relay teammates (Garrett, Shane Dinius, Cory Parrish) who earned a state finals berth and took eighth overall, and thrower James Henning, among others.

With 38 bodies out for the boys' squad, Moore figures the squad is in decent shape and may depend on returnees such as Russell, Nichols, hurdler Josh Fodge, thrower Ethan Hinton and pole vault specialist David Copeland to score big points for meet wins.

Sequim's track & field athletes get two home meets in 2008: March 27 date against Peninsula High (Gig Harbor) and Klahowya (Silverdale), and April 24 against Port Angeles and Olympic (Silverdale).

"I like having the home meets, for the people, the parents," Moore said. "I like the fact that people can come and see their kids. We're gone all the time. We're ... kind of a ghost sport because we just don't have (many) home competitions."

Sequim's biggest rivals at districts figure to be their foes from last season - Foster edged Sequim's boys by less than five points for the team title while Fife outpaced the girls by 28 points.

"We don't have the depth ... but we still have some really good (athletes)," Moore said. "People certainly will be gunning for us (since) we did so well last year."

Sequim High Wolves track & field

2007 records:

Boys - 6-1 in Olympic League; fourth at league meet; 23rd at class 2A state meet

Girls - 7-0 in Olympic League; league champions; 12th at class 2A state meet

Coaches: Brad Moore (head coach, javelin and pole vault), 13th year; assistants Don Lichten (distance events), Isaac Rapelje (sprints, jumps), B.J. Schade (shot put, discus), John Fodge (hurdles)

Top returning athletes: Boys - Todd Baldwin (distance), Chris Consoliver (distance), David Copeland (pole vault), Tyler Crowell (hurdles), Josh Fodge (hurdles), Mitchell Fowles (jumps), Ethan Hinton (throws), Rex Ingalls (pole vault), Jordan Kirsch (hurdles, jumps); Gabe Lichten (distance), David McComas (jumps, throws), Steven Moore (throws), Kincaid Nichols (sprints), Colby Robb (distance), Kenny Russell (distance), Anthony Sturgell (distance), Tyler Wilson-Walters (distance)

Girls - Christina Bruce (distance), Sierra Clark (jumps), Allison Cutting (distance), Carolina Garcia (middle distance), Lauryn Garrett (jumps), Anna LaBeaume (sprints, throws), Laura Moser (distance), Persephone Nelson (sprints), Chase O'Neil (jumps, sprints), Meredith Roberts (distance), Heather Smith (distance), Samantha Whiteside (pole vault), Anna Wilmot (hurdles), Megan Zumbuhl (sprints)

Newcomers: Boys - Trey Baldwin, Kevin Beck, Alex Bullock, Brett Cain, TJ Cashman, Josh Daker, Joe Dapcevich, Jeremy Fodge, Joey Gish, Joey Hall, Nick Grinnell, Austin Henry, Alex Jenkins, Derrell Jensen, CJ Kapetan, Kevin Larsen, Derek Morgan, Travis Smith, Stephan Stilts, Brock Turner, Roman Turner, Brogan Vesterby, Dalton Wilson

Girls - Stephanie Alberti, Sarah Berkes, Sara Hankins, Rachel Hardy, Rose Hawkins, Alice Hastings, Rebekah Kirsch, Audrey Lichten, Mackenzie Marmol, Brenna Moore, Kaylee Olson, Alex Rose-Albert, Desiree Scalia-Jourdan, Christine Schell, Louise Showers

Outlook: The Wolves will be hard-pressed to stay at or near the top in both boys' and girls' divisions. While the girls look to continue their reign atop the 2A/3A Olympic League, the boys are looking to regain the league crown they captured in 2006. Both teams, however, need help from incoming freshmen to provide depth.

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