ARLINGTON — The Lakewood track and field team has kicked off its 2013 season with the Island Jamboree in Oak Harbor, and most recently the Chuck Randall Relays at Arlington High School, where the boys and girls teams both took fifth place.
There were eight schools competing in the event, and the Cougar boys scored 65.97 as a team, while the girls scored 63.92 as a team.
“We placed fifth and we competed really well,” said head coach Jeff Sowards. “We have a great group of young kids, about 120 kids total on the team this year, and we have a lot of solid performers.”
The 2013 season has brought a number of promising newcomers to the Cougars track and field team.
“Right now our best 100-meter sprinter is a freshman, and leadership like that will really encourage returners,” said Sowards. “Josh Dickey ran the 100 meters at the Island Jamboree, and he’s just trying to figure out how to sprint, but he came out with a 12.02 and I think he can run a low 11 seconds before the end of the year.”
Some of the returning athletes have competed at a state level and are continuing their impressive performances.
“Senior Ariel Jensen has one of the top times in the 2A state right now in the 800,” said Sowards. “Senior Justin Peterson was the state champion last year and won the high jump on Saturday at six feet.”
Junior Mitchell Darrah took third place in the boys 1,600-meter race with a final time of 4:57.94. Junior Andrew Stich took second place in the boys 110-meter hurdles with a final time of 16.26, while Ryan Whitehead took 10th place with a final time of 17.95.
“Andrew Stich is going to be one of the best hurdlers in the state,” said Sowards. “He set a personal record at the Chuck Randall Relays with a 16.26. He has trained hard and pushed himself.”
The girls 4x100-meter relay team of Hunter Clark, Stephanie Smith, Taylor Storms and Callanan took second place with a time of 54.15.
The boys distance medley team of Preston Davis, Drew Cabales, Alex Cooper and Douglas Davis took second place with a time of 11:20.52.
The girls distance medley team of Ariel Jensen, Chloe McCann, Darby Throndsen and Rachel Sowards took third place with a time of 14:16.8.
“David Otte is a leader in boys shot put and Tristan Nelson is a state returner for discus,” said Sowards. “Taylor Studzinski will probably do really well at pole vault this year, and Skylar Cannon will be a leader in javelin.”
“We are really happy with the kids’ attitudes and their willingness to compete,” said Sowards. “We have a meet on Thursday against Archbishop Murphy. Our schools are often rivals, and it’s a dual meet, so that will be fun to see if we can do the same thing that football did in the fall and beat them.”
The Cougars host Archbishop Murphy at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.