NASELLE — “We have lots of new kids willing to try track and field. We have a great group of returning veterans, as well. Track is definitely not the easiest sport to take — if it was, everyone would be doing it — but it is the most rewarding,” Debbie Denny said of her Comets team of five girls and 13 boys.

Rob Baker and Kai Leach made up half of the Comets 4x100 district champion team last season and they would like another chance to run at state in 2011. Baker will also compete in the long jump and high jump, where he placed fifth at district. He and Leach will compete in the 200-meter race. Leach will also run the 100, long jump, and pole vault for Naselle.

Nathan Reitz is another Comet with state experience in the 4x400 relay. He will triple jump and join Cramer Smith in the distance races. Both should be a threat to place high at district after their cross country success and Smith will also throw the javelin. Jake Condon will run the hurdle races and pole vault. He was an alternate on Naselle state relay teams last season.

Brenden Greenfield will run in the sprints, high jump and pole vault. Dakota Thompson will be a sprinter and will long jump and pole vault. Austin Smith and Keith Reitz will compete in the distance races. Each of the runners will compete to join Baker and Leach in the relay races, where Naselle should be a contender for state berths.

Ryley Queener, Jason Cooley, Dakota Phillips and Brant Arionus for the boys and Jordan Badger, Emily Gudmundsen and Kelly Kelsey for the girls are all new to track and will compete in the throwing events. Katie Green will be a distance runner with the potential to place at district as a freshman and classmate Kayti Nelson will be a sprinter and compete in the long jump and triple jump.

Scott Smith will again be assistant coach. Russ Hickman will coach the middle school track team and he is assisted by Jon Tienhaara. 

The Comets will host meets March 17, 31, and April 12, and will visit Ocosta March 24 to kick off the season.

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