Westside Christian looks to fill the voids
TIGARD — The Westside Christian High School track and field teams may have lost some of their top competitors from a year ago.
But the Eagles look to have the numbers to try and fill those voids this year.
"We lost quite a few state-level competitors to graduation, and return just three athletes with state-meet experience," Westside Christian coach Scott Ball said.
Still, the Eagles start the season with a total of 51 competitors, including 27 girls, on the roster.
For the Westside Christian boys, junior Kellen Peterson and sophomore Davis Raz, in the distance running events, will help lead the way.
"They hold the most promise to qualify for state in an individual event," Ball said.
Last year, Raz finished in sixth place in the 1,500-meter run and seventh in the 3,000 at the West Valley League district meet. Petersen was 10th in the 3,000 and 12th in the 1,500 at last year's WVL district meet.
Also for the Westside Christian boys, senior Reece Hupfer and juniors Jack de la Motte and Grant Gardner provide the strong base for a 4 x 400 relay team that could make a run at a state meet qualifying bid.
Also for the Eagles, Gardner and de la Motte, in the hurdles events, and junior Jake Mager in the javelin, could also score well at the district level.
The Westside Christian girls team will be looking to grow as the season goes on.
"The girls team is relatively young and inexperienced, with almost half of the team competing in their first season of track and field," Ball said.
Still, the Eagles return some key competitors, including junior Gabriela Sears, who won the WVL district meet high jump title last year. Westside also returns sophomore Claire Shearer, who was third at district in the shot put, and senior Hollyn Dugan, who was third in the long jump.
The Eagles should also be strong in the javelin, where junior Evan Lammers and sophomore Lizzy Lea could be near the top of the league.
Last year, the Westside Christian girls placed second in the team standings at the WVL district meet, while the boys were third.
"For 2018, it will be a significant challenge for our teams to replicate those places, but we have a number of athletes who we think will rise to meet that challenge," Ball said.