Distance runners hold the key for IHS

<I>DAMIAN MULINIX photo</I><BR>Due to freak hail and snow storms last week, members of the IHS track team resorted to games like capture the flag during their practice time.

ILWACO - Last season, 14 Ilwaco athletes made the trek to the State Track and Field Meet in Cheney and a dozen members of that talented delegation of runners will return to lead a Fishermen and Lady Fishermen charge to the Eastern Washington University track in 2006 for Coach Joe Williams.

Jordan Williams and Dylan Wirkkala, hot off a state tourney visit in basketball, will try to improve on their third and fourth place finishes at state last year in the 800-meter race at the 1A level. The pair also made up half of the 4x400 relay team that earned an eighth place medal with teammates Matt Kaino and David Casper.

John Hayes placed 11th at state in the 3,200 and 14th in the 1,600 while Carl Jackson was 13th in the 3,200. Both return with hopes of moving up in the distant race standings. Casper also competed at state in the high jump and Robert O'Brien and Eddie Knick were alternates for the Fishermen who finished tied for 20th with 12 points at EWU.

The Lady Fishermen 4x400-relay team took home hardware at state last season and Bonnie Perez and Katie Freese return as half of that fourth place team. Freese also competed in the 400 race and Monica Millner was an alternate on the relay team. Ilwaco girls scored seven points last year in Cheney and finished tied for 24th. Both the boys and girls cross-country teams finished third in the state and the majority of those squad members will bolster Williams' track squad.

Shaun Peterson and Saskia Maertens are other seniors out for track. Juniors on the squad are Gwen Gerke, Luke Jensen, Laura Schott, and Amber Stanley.

Kelly Freese, Erin McDonnell, Nick Morrison, Jacob Nesbitt, and Shane Persinger are sophomores working out on the oval. A large contingent of freshmen is led by distance runners Stephen Berglund and Robert Gibbons. Elizabeth Bonney, Banesa Chen, Anna Gerke, Chris Magee, and Mia Staudenraus are also competing this season.

Both boys' and girls' track squads placed fourth at last season's District IV meet and both teams should do at least that well on the strength of their middle-distance and distance race performances. Williams is ably assisted by Ned Bittner, Sarah Taylor and Michael Anderson.

BB

16 - Wishkah

17 - Wahkiakum

20 - @ Quinault

SB

16 - Wishkah

17 - Wahkiakum

20 - @ Quinault

TR

16 - Home

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