SCCS working to integrate veterans with newcomers

  • Paul J Creelman<br>For the Enterprise
  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:42am

Snohomish County Christian School’s track coach Roger Gray is faced with the high school equivalent of a Rubik’s Cube.

With the combination of state-qualified returning athletes and talented newcomers, the Lions are thinner than usual in some areas, but deeper in others.

As with the treacherous 1980s popular brain buster, a proper series of twists and turns will reveal a six-sided masterpiece, with each block in its place. However, any distractions or injuries may result in a hodgepodge eyesore of brightly-colored squares with so much more potential.

Gray has no intention of allowing the latter to happen.

The Lions girls team has more depth than usual.

Sophomore Sarah Coulson competed last year at the state level in the 200-meter dash, and has a chance to do so again. Fellow sophomore Lauren Gray, last year’s district high jump champion, will also return for another go.

Senior Catie Livingston will represent the Lions in the shot put.

“She’s shot in the low-to-mid 30s in practice, but she hasn’t been in a meet yet,” coach Gray said. “Thirty-three should do well in Class B.”

Junior Christina Hood will run the 100, 200, 400 and 800. Freshman Kacie Zuspan will compete in relays and in the 1600.

“We always have had strong girls, but very few of them,” coach Gray said. “This year we have enough to compete as a team.”

For the boys, the Lions have a few more returning state-experienced athletes. Last year, the boys were league champs in the fledgling Emerald City A League.

Senior David Rouse competes in the 400 and 800, the shot put and javelin. Last year he was part of the 1,600 relay that placed sixth at the state level.

Fellow senior Shawn Gray was also part of that relay team, and will compete in the 100 and 200 races and relays.

Senior Christian Moen will compete in the javelin, discus and shot put, and is described by his coach as “solid in all three.”

Senior Cody Livingston will compete in “all 16 events except the pole vault, and will probably score in all 16,” coach Gray said. “He is very versatile.”

Junior Ed Rourk will compete in the high jump, javelin and middle distance races.

The boys team will be rounded out with newcomers Joel Mejie, Chris Madden and Mark Anderson.

Mejie, a senior, will participate in the three throwing events. Madden will run the sprints and work on shot put. Anderson, a freshman, will compete in the 1,600 and 3,200.

The Lions return to Northwest B League to find the league’s ranks veritably swelling again.

“Shoreline Christian’s back, Arlington Christian is back and Skykomish is back, so we have seven instead of four teams,” coach Gray said. “It raises the opportunities for more allocations to the state and tri-district meets.”

Now, however, Gray has to rebuild, but luckily he has some strong blocks to build with.

“We graduated five senior boys, and that took a big chunk out of us,” coach Gray said. “We had boys who had been to state three or four years.

“We lose them and basically we have Shawn, and David back, and Sarah.”

When determining how the team will compare to the competition, coach Gray is cautiously optimistic.

“I don’t think we’ll challenge Mount Vernon Christian for the championship,” he said. “Finishing second in the league is realistic. Mount Vernon is tough.”

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