Here are five storylines to watch from the local high school track and field scene this spring:
1. The Taylor Roe show. The Lake Stevens distance-running phenom made history last year as a sophomore, becoming the first girl to win Class 4A state titles in the 3,200 meters, 1,600 meters and 800 meters in the same season.
“This is my 40th year of coaching track and field,” Vikings coach Jeff Page said, “and I’ve never coached anyone like her.”
Roe, a junior, already has seven state titles — five in track and back-to-back cross country championships as a freshman and sophomore. Each of the previous two seasons, she accomplished the distance triple crown by winning state titles in cross country, the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters.
“She’s just got a tremendous reservoir for running fast while she’s tired,” Page said. “She kind of looks like a normal high school girl until she’s running against people. And (then) she doesn’t just outrun them — she takes the lead and just keeps extending it and extending it. I’ve watched her for two years now and I still marvel.”
2. The Edmonds-Woodway girls — and Snohomish County as a whole — have a wealth of top-tier distance runners. The Warriors feature a trio of talented distance runners in senior Yukino Parle and juniors Olivia Meader-Yetter and Stephanie Wroblewski. Each of them earned top-five finishes in the 3A state cross country meet this past November, and each of them qualified for last spring’s 3A state track meet in both the 3,200 meters and 1,600 meters.
Parle, a Boise State University signee, placed second in the 3,200 meters last year and eighth in the 1,600 meters, and Meader-Yetter also earned top-10 state finishes in both events. Kamiak junior Alicia Anderson also has blossomed into an elite runner, placing second in last year’s 4A state 1,600 meters and fifth in the 3,200 meters.
Glacier Peak junior Riley McDowell, who placed third in the 3,200 at last year’s 4A state meet, is the area’s top returning boys distance runner.
3. Arlington and Mountlake Terrace throwers are eyeing state titles. Mountlake Terrace junior Brandon Bach, a 5-foot-7 football standout, looks to defend the 2A state javelin title he won last year as a sophomore. Earlier in the postseason, he threw a personal-best mark of 188 feet, 11 inches that ranked 64th in the nation. “If you’re able to apply your speed and torque through the point of the javelin with good acceleration and velocity, great things happen,” Hawks coach Russ Vincent said. “And that’s exactly what he’s done.”
Arlington senior Gabriel Green is striving for another strong all-around showing after qualifying for three events in last year’s 3A state meet. Green placed second in the javelin, 11th in the discus and 15th in the shot put.
“He’s a talented dude (and) he works hard at his craft,” Eagles coach Judd Hunter said. “He’s pretty meticulous on his technique and his form. He videos almost every practice rep and looks at it. He’ll throw and then watch video and try to make corrections from there. (He’s also) super strong and explosive.”
4. Coming off runner-up finishes, a pair of local sprinters are seeking state championships. Marysville Pilchuck junior Trina Davis appears primed for another run at the state title after last year’s second-place finish in the 3A 100 meters, when she crossed the line just 0.02 seconds out of first place.
“She is hungry to improve again at the highest level like she did last year,” Tomahawks coach Michael Cull said. “We are excited to see what her hard work will produce.”
Also coming off a second-place finish is Jackson senior Daniel Arias, a University of Colorado-bound football star who was the runner-up in last year’s 4A state 400 meters.
5. The Shorecrest girls appear capable of a strong showing at state. The Scots return the bulk of their state scoring from last year’s squad, which placed 10th in the 3A team standings and featured three top-seven relay teams. Shorecrest is highlighted by senior Sydney Brandt, who placed fourth in the state triple jump and sixth in the long jump.
“We have all the pieces,” Scots coach Brandon Christensen said. “We’re hoping to get down (to state), make some noise and score as many points as we can.”