Issaquah pole vaulter, and school record holder, Eva Perry, competes in the Kent Meridian Invitational this past weekend. Don Borin/www.donborin.com

blends experience with youth | Track and field preview

By KEVIN ENDEJAN Issaquah Reporter Sports Editor Today, 9:51 AM

Issaquah hopes a mix of experience and youth will be the perfect combination in 2011.

“With quite a few returning and experienced athletes our hope is that they can help bring along our younger and new athletes,” said Gwen Robertson, who is in her 25th year as Issaquah’s head coach.

The girls bring back all three of their state competitors from last season, led by senior Haley Jacobsen and junior Eva Perry. Jacobsen finished fourth and sixth in the 200 and 100 meter races, respectively, while Perry placed fourth in the pole vault. State pole vaulter, senior Mallory Cooke, also returns.

In addition, the girls bring back depth across the board with sprinters Kim Varney, Lauren Bruner, AJ Bowers, Madison Callan and McKenna Hogan, and distance runners Rachel Osgood and Shelby Parthemer. Katie Zhong and Jasmine Watters will anchor the throwers.

The boys bring back one of three state competitors from last season in senior javelin thrower Mike Baba.

Other returners with varsity experience include sprinter/jumpers Jorrell Dorsey, Kyle Farmer and Allen Su.

Isaac Robinson and Turner Wiley return experience to the core of distance runners; Jason Hollaway and Jack Wheeler return to the pole vault; Jonathan Martyn and Andy Meigs return to an experienced group of throwers and Connor Pearl and Blake Wedekind both jumped last season.

Skyline ready for a run at state

Fresh off a second-place finish at last year’s state meet, the Skyline boys track and field team is primed for another successful season.

Leading the Spartans is senior Kasen Williams, the defending state champion in the triple jump and a state high jump champion from two years ago.

Middle distance sprinter, junior Drew Matthews also returns after helping the 1,600 relay to a third-place state finish last year. Veteran distance runner, senior Kyle Branch, is also back along with sophomore Keegan Symmes.

Speedy sophomores Blake Young, Christian John, Charles Premone, Trevon Clark and Nic Sblendorio will also make an immediate impacts in the short sprints.

Junior Jake Monroe, sophomore Garrett Corlis and freshman Bryan Lee will anchor the throwers.

The girls, who finished 10th at state last year, return 30 athletes.

Leading that group are senior throwers Haley Ziegler and Elena Frerker, along with sprinter Michelle Bretl.

Junior middle distance runners Synde Tingey and Maddi Hutson along with sophomores Haley Smith and Kaylie Greninger also return. Sophomore jumpers Lindsey Coutts and Marissa Fortier return experience with sophomore distance runner Kathryn Steele. Newcomers Maria Volodkevich, Jordan Branch, Samantha Krahling, Dorie Dalzell, Alyeea Neal and Alexis Daugherty are expected to contribute right away.

Eastlake rebuilds roster

Eastlake graduated all eight of its state competitors from last season, but the Wolves remain optimistic for the new season.

“We should be a middle of the pack team and several athletes should make it to state,” head coach Steve Jones said.

The girls return the most depth in senior distance runners Haley O’Connor Katelyn Steen, Megan Batty and junior Morgan O’Connor.

Senior hurdler Lauren Files and junior sprinter Avalon Dunbar also return to the Wolves’ roster.

Senior sprinter Lexi Guches is a new addition to the roster but has already made an impact.

The boys took the largest hit with graduation, losing seven members of last year’s team — a group that finished 12th in state.

Junior sprinter Ian Gelfer and junior thrower Gino Bresolin are just a couple of the returning athletes.

There are several new faces expected to make impacts in 2011, however.

Juniors Christian Harris and Daniel Braun and sophomore Liam Doyle all add depth at the short sprints. Connor Dorsey also returns experience at the long distance races.

Issaquah Reporter Sports Editor Kevin Endejan can be reached at kendejan@issaquah-reporter.com or 425-391-0363, ext. 1050.