By Aaron Lommers and David Krueger Herald Writers
Justin Peterson, Sr.
Lakewood | Long, triple jumper
Peterson placed second in the high jump at the 2A state meet and is the returning state champion in the triple jump. The senior three-sport athlete will focus on those events again in 2013 and is once again one of the favorites. He will also run some of the relays for the Cougars this season.
Cougars co-head track coach Monica Rooney said Peterson is special because he is willing to put in the work on the track and in the weight room. She said he studies his events and is constantly looking for ways to improve his technique. Rooney added that the competition at state this year will be intense, but Peterson is working hard to be prepared and confident.
Carey Campbell, Sr.
Lake Stevens, Shot put/discus
Campbell placed third at state last year in the shot put and his throwing coach Josh Vail said said the senior has shown the ability over the course of his high-school career to break through with a big throw in the big meets. Page said he would not be disappointed if Campbell didn’t win state, but it is definitely the biggest goal for the season.
Campbell has other goals for his final high-school year. He would like to figure out the discus and make it to state in both events. In addition to winning the state title in the shot put, he would like to break the school record of 62 feet, 1 inch.
One of Campbell’s biggest challenges in the shot put will come from fellow Wesco thrower Dan Boyden from Arlington.
Dan Boyden, Sr.
Arlington, shot put/discus
Boyden will once again focus his efforts on the shot put and discus. Boyden placed fifth at the 4A state meet in both events last year. His coach Judd Hunter said Boyden places high expectations on himself and his hopes are to become a two-event state champion. Hunter said Boyden has all the tools to accomplish his lofty goal.
Hunter said Boyden is special because of his obvious talent, but also the work he is willing to put in studying his events. He watches film and studies technique consistently which should help the senior in his quest to improve on last year’s state performance.
Christian Linder, Sr.
Linder returns for his senior year after finishing sixth in the 200 at state a year ago. He set junior class records at Snohomish with a 10.91 in the 100 and 22.20 in the 200. Snohomish track coach Tuck Gionet said Linder is an “unassuming athlete, who does not yet realize how good he is.”
Linder will run the 100 and 200 again in 2013 and hopes to avoid injuries that plagued him in both his freshman and sophomore seasons in order to get back to and be successful at the state meet.
“It has been a long time since we had someone of Christian’s speed level at SHS,” Gionet said.
Ryan McArthur, Sr.
McArthur has been a leader on the Royals track team since his freshman season. He has set freshman, sophomore and junior school records in the 800 and only the all-time school record of 1:52 still eludes him in his best event.
McArthur placed sixth in the 800 at the state meet in 2011 and fifth in 2012. He hopes to improve on those finishes this season and in doing so, set the school record. He has also been the anchor on the Royals’ 4×400 relay team and helped them to a seventh place finish last year.
Brooke Kingma, So.
Jackson, long distance runner
Kingma, who also runs cross country and plays basketball for Jackson, was a big part of the Timberwolves’ Wesco 4A championship last season. As a freshman Kingma won the 3,200, 1,600 and 800-meter running events at the league championship meet.
“Last year our girls team won the Wesco title and 99 percent of our points came from distance runners,” said Jackson girls track and field coach Steve Till.
Till said that Kingma just enjoys running long distances.
“The thing with Brooke is she’s very focused. Running is her favorite thing,” Till said. “…It’s very common for the distance kids to enjoy running. It’s a sense of accomplishment. Brooke enjoys running.”
Kingma qualified for state in the mile last season, where she placed sixth. Till said he imagines the sophomore is eager to return to the state tournament and thinks she has the ability to get there, in more than one event.
“She set two school records last year as a freshman in the mile and two mile. She’s very talented,” Till said. “And she’s fun to have around. Very pleasant. Smiles frequently. It’s great to have her out.”
Jessica Ludwig, So.
Arlington, long and triple jump
Ludwig started doing the triple jump event about midway through her freshman season. By the end of the year Ludwig was competing in the event, as well as the long jump, at the state tournament, surprising many, including Arlington track and field coach Judd Hunter.
“I knew she was pretty talented, but I don’t know if I really expected her to go to state,” Hunter said. “She started triple jump halfway through her freshman year just to try it. She ended up being a natural at it.”
This season Hunter expects Ludwig, who he said worked and improved in the offseason, to get back to the state tournament and place in both events. He also said the sophomore may even pull another surprise and add another event to her arsenal.
“I really think she’s going to place in the triple jump at state,” Hunter said. “I also think she could be right up there in the long jump. She’s still got some speed development to do in hurdles, but she could easily be a state competitor in hurdles too.”
Samantha McGee, Jr.
Lake Stevens, 110 hurdles, high jump
As a sophomore, McGee got to state in the high jump and hurdle events. McGee, starting her third season of track and field, has continued to impress Lake Stevens head coach Jeff Page since joining the team as a freshman.
“I think she’s more focused and more driven,” Page said. “I think she saw what she could do and how much more she needs to improve to get there. She saw that it wasn’t that much more. She’s been working really hard. You can just tell she’s substantially stronger than she was a year ago.”
Page envisions another giant step forward for McGee this season and while he’s careful not to put too much pressure on the young Viking, he believes she could leave quite a legacy at Lake Stevens.
“I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on her but I think she’s going to do some pretty good things,” Page said. “I told her the other day that we’ve had some pretty good high jumpers in the past…. But I can look at Sam and I can see her going those (state championship) heights. She just has this fluidity that goes along with the explosion that she’s got. I think she can do some pretty remarkable things.”
Kacey Kemper, Jr.
Kemper, now a junior, is what King’s track and field coach Daunte Gouge considers battle tested. Last season Kemper finished sixth at the 2A state tournament in the 800 and 1,600 in what Gouge said was a stacked field.
“It’s a really strong field,” Gouge said. “… We knew that she could place in the top eight. We weren’t sure where so finished sixth was a really good weekend for her. She was a busy gal.”
This year the King’s coach expects her to get back, but acknowledges that once again Kemper will face stiff competition, possibly as early as the tri-district meet.
“She is one of those ones we’re definitely planning on her going back to state and hopefully moving up,” Gouge said. “There are a couple studs in the tri-districts. She’s going to have her work cut out for her just in the tri-district meet alone.”
Gouge says Kemper is “one heck of a worker” who sets a great example for her teammates.
“I just wish we had more of her,” Gouge said. “When you have those kids, not just from the talent side, but that leadership. You have a kid that does it the right way. She’s a stellar student, she’s just a great kid and a great leader for our team.”