Some of the many storylines to watch during the local high school track and field season:
1. Once again, the area is loaded with distance-running talent.
The Snohomish County area is consistently home to some of the state’s best distance runners, and this year is no exception.
Lake Stevens senior Taylor Roe, who won a combined seven state titles in track and cross country as a freshman and sophomore, looks to cap her exceptional prep career on a high note. The Oklahoma State signee owns the fastest girls 3,200-meter time in the state this season regardless of classification, and the second-fastest 1,600 and 800 times.
Roe is one of three local girls ranked in the top six of Class 4A in the 3,200. Glacier Peak junior Aviry Stratton is ranked second, and Kamiak senior Alicia Anderson is sixth.
King’s junior Naomi Smith, who won the 1A girls cross country state title last fall, holds the fourth-fastest overall 1,600 time in the state and the fastest 1A time by more than 21 seconds. Glacier Peak senior Brooke Wallace owns the state’s fifth-best overall time in the event.
On the boys side, Glacier Peak senior Riley McDowell is coming off back-to-back third-place state medals in the 3,200 and a fifth-place state finish in the 1,600. This season, he’s ranked second in 4A in both events.
At the 3A level, Shorecrest seniors Erik Luu and Spencer Thurman both have top-three state times in the 3,200. Also, the Edmonds-Woodway senior trio of Lucas Lacambra, Dylan Hartono and Deyago Peraza each own 3A top-10 times in a pair of distance events.
2. A handful of local relay teams are off to strong starts.
Wesco currently has three of the state’s top six 4A boys 4×400 relay teams. Lake Stevens is ranked third, Glacier Peak is fifth and Jackson is sixth. Lake Stevens also owns the fifth-fastest 4×100 time in 4A.
On the girls side, Lake Stevens’ 4×400 relay team is ranked second in 4A and Glacier Peak is third. In addition, Glacier Peak’s 4×100 team holds the fifth-fastest time in 4A.
At the 3A level, the Edmonds-Woodway girls are ranked second in the 4×200 relay, fifth in the 4×400 and seventh in the 4×100.
3. Monroe’s sophomore phenom looks to build on last year’s spectacular campaign.
Ganashamoorthy placed second in the 4A state long jump, finishing just 2.5 inches behind the state champion. She also took second place in the 300-meter hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles.
Ganashamoorthy’s personal-best mark of 20-2 in the long jump last season ranked 16th in the nation and was the best overall mark in the state by a foot.
After her exceptional freshman campaign, even more greatness could be in store for the Monroe phenom this spring.
4. Nationally ranked CPC shot putter is one of many elite local throwers.
Cedar Park Christian senior Samuel Van Peursem posted a mark of 63 feet, 8.25 inches in the shot put earlier this season, which ranks sixth in the nation and already surpasses his personal best from last year.
As both the top-ranked shot putter and discus thrower in 1A this season, the University of Washington signee figures to contend for a pair of state titles. Last year, Van Peursem won the 1A discus state crown and placed second in the shot put, finishing just 9 inches behind the state champion.
Van Peursem is one of many highly ranked local throwers, including several listed below.
Lynnwood senior David Weitkamp holds the top 3A boys javelin mark in the state and the second-best mark regardless of classification, trailing only Mountlake Terrace standout Brandon Bach. Weitkamp’s mark of 182-3 is ranked 15th in the nation.
Glacier Peak senior Katherine Potts has the second-best overall girls discus mark in the state, and Jackson junior Lydia Robison owns the fifth-best mark.
Arlington junior Julia Parra is the top-ranked girls shot putter in 3A and the second-ranked discus thrower. Shorecrest sophomore Kiana Lino is second in the shot put among 3A girls and fourth in the javelin.
5. A few more of the many local athletes to watch…
Glacier Peak junior Ethan Willems has the fastest 400-meter time in the entire state by nearly 0.8 seconds.
Snohomish sophomore Bree Nichols owns top-five 3A girls marks in all three jumping events — the triple jump, high jump and long jump.
Shorewood junior Jonathan Birchman has top-five 3A boys times in both hurdles events and is tied for third in the high jump.
Cascade senior Tyrza Lamma is coming off a second-place state finish in last year’s 4A girls pole vault.
Archbishop Murphy senior Holly Sudol also is coming off a runner-up state finish after placing second in last year’s 2A girls 300 hurdles.
NOTE: All rankings are as of Monday afternoon, according to Athletic.net.