Sequim High’s Riley Pyeatt, pictured here competing at the 2019 class 2A state meet, looks for more postseason berths in her sophomore year in 2020. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim High’s Riley Pyeatt, pictured here competing at the 2019 class 2A state meet, looks for more postseason berths in her sophomore year in 2020. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Spring sports preview: Sequim track & field squads look for repeat of ‘19 success

Editor’s note: After a handful of practices, Sequim High School’s spring sports seasons were cancelled before any officials games were played following statewide shutdown of schools and all extra-curricular activities in April. These previews were written just prior to those seasons were slated to begin. — MD

Spring sports preview: Track & Field

Head coach: Brad Moore (26th year)

2019 finish: Boys — 8-0 in Olympic League (champs); West Central District champs,; state 2A champs (1st track title in school history); Girls — 6-2 in Olympic League; third place at league meet, 10th at districts, three athletes to state

Top returning athletes: Boys — Darren Salazar (sr.), Logan Laxson (jr.), Sidney Johnston (jr.), Pascual Roybal (jr.), Adrian Brown (so.), Erik Christiansen (jr.), Jaxson Cogburn (so.), Ty Coone (so.), Zach Gulfer (so.), Henry Hughes (so.), Charlie Logan (so.), Theo McMurray (so.), Koda Robinson (so.), Kenneth Wolfley (so.). Girls — Riley Pyeatt (fr.), Abby Schroeder (so.), Hope Glasser (sr.), Daisy Ryan (sr.), Rileigh Vandyken (so.), Lesea Pfeffer (sr.), Lindsey Leader (sr.), Gabby Happe (sr.), Mary McAleer (jr.)

Key newcomers: Boys — Brandon Barnett (jr.), Andy Benitez (so.), River Bess (fr.), Burke Henderson (fr.), Ayden Humphries (fr.), Noah King (jr.), Calem Klinger (fr.), Finn Marlow (fr.), Truman Nestor (jr.), Randall Owen (fr.), Caleb Pozernick (jr.), Mirek Skov (fr.), Jax Thaxton (sr.), Talon Wilhelm (fr.). Girls — Abigail Benjamin (so.), Roxanne Benson (jr.), Danika Chen (fr.), Macy Cogburn (fr.), Coral Disinski (jr.), IO Dressell (N/A), Bailey Farley (N/A), Sibyl Finman (N/A), Kjirstin Foresman (sr.), Olivia Hare (jr.), Ally Johnson (fr.), Hannah Reed (jr.), Estrella Ruiz (fr.), Emily Silva (sr.), Anastasia Updike (fr.)

Key league competition: Boys — North Mason, North Kitsap, Port Angeles. Girls — Port Angeles, North Kitsap, Bremerton

Expectations for the 2019 Sequim High track squad may not be in the same stratosphere as last spring, when a senior-loaded boys team peaked at the perfect time and came away with the first ever boys team title in school history.

But longtime head coach Brad Moore said he likes what he sees in preseason practices and expects the Wolves, both boys and girls teams, to have strong 2020 campaigns.

“We’re going to be competitive,” Moore said last week.

On the boys’ side, Moore and assistants have the unenviable task of replacing a slew of stars, from state 800 champ and relay stalwart Murray Bingham to a trio of state runner-ups in hurlder Riley Martin, middle distance star Alec Shingleton and javelin thrower Riley Cowan, plus state placer Fischer Jensen (hurdles) and state qualifier Liam Byrne (pole vault).

But senior Darren Salazar returns, a two-time state medalist in 2019 (100, 200) who leads a fast pack of sprinters into the spring.

“We’ve got some really good kids, especially among the sprinters,” Moore said. “We may have one our fastest sprinting crews.”

SHS senior Darren Salazar had a breakthrough season in 2019, earning two spots on the medal stand at the 2019 state meet. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

SHS senior Darren Salazar had a breakthrough season in 2019, earning two spots on the medal stand at the 2019 state meet. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Backing Salazar is state relay runner Logan Laxson, a district qualifier in the 200- and 400-meter races, and Theo McMurray, part of the Wolves’ 4×100 relay that placed eighth at state.

That postseason experience should help SHS’s sprinters in late-season meets, Moore said.

“Experience has such a huge impact on how you perform at state,” he said.

Also back are Erik Christiansen, a district meet qualifier in high jump, and Rigo Langston, a district qualifier in javelin.

Moore said he’s expecting Christensen to excel, particularly in the pole vault. The junior topped 9-6 at the Olympic League meet after “dabbling” in the event, the Sequim coach said.

“He has a lot of promise; he’s very explosive and can jump,” Moore said.

Sophomore Adrian Brown showed promise in hurdles as a ninth-grader, earning top-eight finishes in both 110- and 300-meter races at the sub-district meet as a freshman.

On the girls’ side, while the Wolves lose three-time state qualifier Elizabeth Sweet (pole vault) to graduation, two of Sequim’s three state qualifiers are back.

Sophomore Riley Pyeatt raced to a fifth-place finish in the 400 and 12th place in the 200 at last year’s state meet and is primed for another strong season, Moore said.

Also back is junior Abby Schroeder, who leapt to 14th place in the high jump at last year’s state meet and was a 300-meter hurdle district qualifier in 2019.

Returning are a trio of district meet qualifiers in seniors Hope Glasser (discus, javelin), Lesea Pfeffer (100 hurdles) and Gabby Happe (high jump).

Then freshman Rileigh Vandyken showed promise in 2019 in the pole vault, Moore noted, clearing 7 feet at three meets.

“She started to look at the end of the season like she was getting it.”

He added, “The girls will be very competitive.”

Sequim was slated to open the season at the Logan Relays on Bainbridge Island on Match 14, but the meet was postponed because of COVID-19 coronavirus concerns.

The Wolves are scheduled to open the season March 21 at the Port Angeles Invitational.

SHS track and field— 2020 season schedule

Date Opponent/meet Time

March 14* at Logan Relays, Bainbridge Island 11 a.m.

March 21 at Port Angeles Invitational 10 a.m.

March 26* at Bremerton, Port Angeles 3:15 p.m.

April 16 at Kingston, Klahowya, Chimacum 3:15 p.m.

April 18 at Terrace Invite, Edmonds 9:30 a.m.

April 21 at Port Townsend, Olympic 3:15 p.m.

April 25 at Eason Invitational, Snohomish 10 a.m.

April 29 vs. North Kitsap, North Mason 3:20 p.m.

May 2 60th Shelton Invitational, Shelton 1 p.m.

May 14 at 2A league meet, Poulsbo 3:15 p.m.

May 16 at 2A league meet, Poulsbo 10 a.m.

May 18 at 2A league JV meet, Kingston 3:15 p.m.

May 22-23 at 2A West Central District meet,Belfair TBA

May 28-30 at 2A state meet, Tacoma TBA

* — Postponed, to be rescheduled

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