Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
Expectations are running high for the Mountlake Terrace Hawks track and field teams this season, as they return two who competed at the WIAA 3A state meet last year, return two Wesco champions, and welcome a newcomer that could set school records in three different events during her first year.
“This is the best girls team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Coach Russ Vincent. He added that the boys team may also be the best in his nine years of coaching at Terrace. “If the kids give up themselves, and we stay away from injuries, I think really good things may happen this season,” Vincent said.
Not only do the track teams have quality, but they also have quantity. On the girls team, 25 are set to wear the scarlett, silver and black; on the boys squad, about 70 have turned out.
Sophomore McKenna Hunt returns after competing at the state meet last year. She holds the school record for the 300-meter hurdles, and will be one to watch in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles this season. Other Terrace sprinters to watch include juniors Courtney Hammer and team captain Barbara Biney.
Vincent is looking forward to the addition of freshman Chinne Okoronkwo to the girls team. As an eighth grader last year, Okoronkwo’s best efforts in the long jump and the triple jump were just one inch short of the Terrace school record in each event. Her 12-2 pole vault mark last season beats the current Terrace school record by more than four feet.
On the boys side, Vincent sees a number of Hawks contending at the highest levels. Sprinters Devante Downs, Mason Stone, Anfernee Calloway, Josh Kim and track team captain Duane Dahl will be competing to make the relay team, one that Vincent thinks has big potential; “I think our 4X100 relay team can compete for a state championship,” he stated.
In the long distance events, Vincent sees junior Jack Pierce and senior Yohan Tewolde having big seasons.
Senior Beau Kennedy was the Wesco champion in the javelin and qualified for the state meet last year. Kennedy is back to defend his title and push for another state berth. Others in the field events to watch this season will be Tye Esperza in the javelin, Daniel An in the pole vault, Blake Fernandez in the triple jump and Brett Potter in the discus.
The track teams come out of the blocks on Thursday for their first meet of the year, a jamboree at Juanita High School in Kirkland beginning at 4 p.m. Terrace will host two events later in the season, the Terrace relays on March 23 and the Mountlake Terrace Invite on April 20. The regular season ends with the Edmonds District Meet on May 3; the state championships are scheduled for May 23-25 in Tacoma.