Sports & Outdoors

Track looks strong in early going

The Logger track team has been gearing up for their 2011 season  since their return to campus a week early from Christmas break. Their first meet was Saturday, Feb. 5 in Nampa, Idaho, where a couple of school records were broken.

Junior Andrea Leiken (Portland, Ore.) broke her own school record in the 400 meter with 1:01.17. She also broke the school’s three-year-old record in the 200 meter with a 26.81.  Leiken, along with freshmen Meg Gilbertson (Clackamas, Ore.), Brenda Seymour (Seattle, Wash.) and Alicia Burns (Spokane Valley, Wash.) broke the school record in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 4:19.

There were also some spectacular performances that did not break records. Sophomore steeple runner Carrie Keith (Erie, Colo.) finished top with a 5:40 mile and freshman Maggie Rowe (Helena, Mont.) jumped to the 4-11 mark in the high jump.

On the men’s team junior sprinter Daniel Clarke (Colgate, Wis.) led the team in the 60m (7.68) and the 200m (24.22). Freshmen mid-distance Trey Chenier (Anchorage, Alaska), Sean Tyree (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Bryan Soto (Davis, Calif.) and sophomore jumper/sprinter Michael Haas (Cupertino, Calif.) crossed the line at 3:36.12 in the 4x400m relay. Haas also led the team with his 19-09.00 long jump.

There are some exciting new team dynamics this year. Senior distance runner Hayley Walker (Cambria, Calif.) said, “I can say that our team is definitely very young this season and we have had a good freshman turnout – making the next few years look promising hopefully for the team!  Our mid-distance and sprinter squads are looking strong as are the distance runners despite there only being a few of them this season.”

On the same note, senior sprinter Chris Pierce-Wright (Portland, Ore.) commented, “As a young team we are focused on developing into the future, forming a strong base for next year where we can hopefully make a strong challenge at the conference meet – even if I won’t be around then.”

The team has been working hard to meet both personal and team goals.

“One of my goals is that I want to break my personal record in the 400m dash. I also want to stay healthy for the rest of the season. I was doing a lot of weight training in the fall to prepare for the season, but I had to stop for a while because I was sick. Luckily, I’m healthy now and I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. I mainly run the 400 m and I’m on the 4×4 relay team.  I’d like to see our team do well in every meet that we participate in. I’m really excited for the girls 4×4 team to run a race because we have a lot of potential and could be really good this year,” Burns said.

Pierce-Wright is also excited for the coming season. “I run the 100 and 200 meter dash. Last year I missed over half of the season with a stress fracture, and so this season one of my major goals is to be healthy and be able to compete the whole year. To do this, during the fall I lifted weights three times a week on my own time in addition to fall workouts, and continued to lift over winter break. The meets I am most looking forward to are our home meets, which include the first meet of the season as well as the conference meet.”

The track team looks like it is going to have a successful season with the hard work of the runners and talents of Head Coach Mike Orechia, two time winner of the West Region Indoor Track Coach of the Year award.

If they keep their focus and reach their goals, they will become a highly competitive team and have a rewarding season.

The next meet is in Seattle on Feb. 12 and 13.  The first home meet will be on March 4, so get out there and support your team!