ILWACO, Wash. - Ilwaco track coach Sarah Taylor said, "We have a good mix of experienced and new athletes joining track this season."
One of those veterans is Cameo Ulbricht who finished 13th in the 800-meter run at state last season and this year was sixth at the state cross country meet for the Lady Fishermen.
Tanner Weidner earned 18th place in last year's 1,600 race and competed in cross country, as well. Weidner and Brandon Malmstadt missed going to state by less than two seconds last year as part of the Fishermen 400-meter relay team and both return as top-notch runners.
Last season at district, Kenzi Wirkkala was 10th in the javelin. He joined Josh Schenk, Nick Hinojosa and Malmstadt competing for the seventh-place 100 relay. All return in their throwing and running events and hope to move up to state competition.
Girls who did well in the state cross country meet and also show promise in track are speedsters Cindy Pacheco, Leticia Cervantes, Raven Rogers and Brittany King. Rissa Gerke and Nicole Meyers return in the throwing events, running events and pole vault.
Other Ilwaco athletes out for track include Ben Ahlin in pole vault and running; Kassi Alderman running and hurdles; Amanda Bell hurdles and throws; Josh Berteaux pole vault and springs; Zach Berteaux running; Phoebe Bivens throws; Kyle Breckinridge throws; Jacob Bridges hurdles and throws; and Suvitra Chakkaphak throws.
Ilwaco tracksters include Joe Coffey distance runner; Rebecca Curry throws; Nakasha Custer jumps, hurdles, running and pole vault; Marcos Diaz running; Ryan Edwards running and hurdles; Elli Fox running and hurdles; Brenden Greenfield running; Lisa King hurdles and distance running; Krista Glasson running and throws; and Ashley Hughes throws.
Veteran runner Evin LaPlatney returns as a senior and is hopeful of a state trip. He will also compete in the pole vault. Out for Ilwaco track are Elliott Marcus running; Tawnie Nesbitt jumping, hurdles, running and pole vault; Brenden O'Brien throws; Taylor Odneal middle-distance; Kasey Plato throws and running; Bobby Richards distance and throws; and Eli, Josh and Justice Schenk in the jumps, sprints, hurdles and distance running.
Andy Schott will compete in the hurdles, jumps and sprints; Seth Sexton sprints; Matt Steffen throws; Corbin Sutherland pole vault and running; and Owen Sutherland in distance running. Zach Wilson will compete in the throws; Cody Wright in the jumps, pole vault and running; Samantha Wright in the throws; and Keiana Yasunaka in the pole vault and jumping events.
Coach Taylor said all of the above events may change as the athletes continue to work out this season. She said, "We have some new additions to our coaching staff this season. Becca Peter will be coaching pole vault for us. She is an expert in the pole vault and I am very excited for her to work with our athletes. Nick Marlett will be a full-time assistant this year. Nick brings a great deal of running knowledge to our team, particularly in the sprints."
Taylor said, "Ned Bittner will be the other high school assistant. Ned has a lot of throwing experience and knowledge. Gene Ford is again helping with hurdles and high jump. Jason Huntley set the school record last season and finished fifth at state, so we all have high expectations for coach Ford. Nick Lyster has been helping out already this season. He and Holly Paige will be the middle-school coaches again this year, and their season begins March 15. The amazing weather last week allowed us to get started on pole vault, hurdles and using blocks. The energy has been great and I am looking forward to a fun and successful season."
Look for Ulbricht, Weidner and LaPlatney to be among those who compete at state, and don't be surprised to see a large contingent at the league, district and state meets doing very well.