West Linn track aiming for better things in 2018
The 2018 West Linn track teams are young, but that's not all they are.
The Lions are also talented, motivated and determined to compete with the great teams that populate the Three Rivers League.
"This year, I have a very young team (but) I am excited about our turnout and we are excited about some (of our freshmen)," said West Linn coach Joe Cerny.
While acknowledging the challenges of the coming TRL season, Cerny also expressed excitement about the young talent on hand this season.
"The Lions are young and hungry," he said. "I think we will compete well, but everyone is chasing Tigard and Newberg."
The West Linn boys team features a handful of TRL-tested returners that will set the pace this year, the Lions led this spring by 2017 state qualifiers John Wetzsteon and Justin Gould. Wetzsteon (a junior) finished second in the Three Rivers League 3,000 meters a year ago and 15th at state, while Gould (a senior) won the TRL pole vault and later placed eighth at state.
Other top male athletes back with district success from a year ago are junior Avery Cook (he was ninth in the 3,000 last year) and sophomore Adrian Sandoval (10th in the TRL shot put).
Athletes expected to be among the team's top point-scorers from around the lineup this year will be: junior Matt Dyer in the 100 and 200 meters; senior Davis Schmitz in the 400: Cook in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000; Wetzsteon in the 1,500 and 3,000; junior Collin Smith in the 300 intermediate hurdles; senior Justin Babcock in the shot put and discus; junior Conor White in the javelin; freshman Cody Pierce in the high jump; and Gould in the pole vault and long jump.
In last year's district meet, Newberg took top honors (the Tigers were later sixth at state), followed by Tigard in second, Tualatin in third and the Lions eighth.
Like their male counterparts, the Lion girls bring back a fair share of seasoned returners and enough new talent to give them hope for a competitive season ahead. Included in that group are almost all the athletes who ran on West Linn's two relays at state — sophomore Gabriella McVicker, junior Isabella Rovani, junior Estella Darrow, senior Abigail Fillion and senior Raina Hines. McVicker, Rovani, Darrow and Fillion took third in the district 4 x 100 and ninth at state, while Rovani, Fillion and Hines all ran on their team's 4 x 400 relay that placed third at district and eighth at state.
Athletes expected to be among the team's top point-scorers from around the lineup this year will be: freshman Kelleen Bromley in the 100 and 200; McVicker in the 400; Hines in the 800 and 1,500; sophomore Moya Moses in the 1,500 and 3,000; senior Elizabeth Paschal in the 3,000; sophomore Alyssa Rowe in the 300 intermediate hurdles; freshman Makayla Long in the shot put and discus; junior Caitlin McCabe in the shot put and discus; junior Cameron Tucker in the javelin; senior Cailee Ito in the pole vault; and senior Ireland Johnson in the long jump.
In last year's district meet, it was Newberg in first, followed by Tualatin in second and Tigard in third, while the Lions tied for sixth.