A fundamental core belief in sports that some people can possibly agree upon, is looking ahead at what the team needs in order to restock or rebuild.
Some teams, the lucky ones, are always restocking. Year in and year out these teams remain competitive while others are consistently rebuilding.
Coming into the 2019 track and field season the former could be true, especially if you ask Hawks girls’ head coach Tyler Martin.
“You always want to build on what the teams before you were able to accomplish, but every year is a new team,” Martin said.
Last season the school was privy to have not one but two of its relay teams compete at state, with both the 4x800 and 4x400 teams earning finishes of 10 and 14.
“We are looking to better both of those performances this year, as well as try to qualify an additional relay or two and as many individual events as possible,” Martin said.
A big part of Martin’s expectations can be attributed to his 2019 squad, which will be without just one athlete.
“We are only losing one person off of last year’s team, Kaitlyn Peters,” he said. “We are returning 18 girls off of last year’s team, five of whom were part of relays that qualified for the state meet.”
That said Martin doesn’t want to discount Peters’ absence, as she was the school’s state qualifier in both the 4x800 and the mile run, he noted.
Additionally, this year’s team debuts some young but talented Hawks, that will help the program stay competitive for some years.
“The freshman class has some good numbers, and we’re excited to see some of the sprint relays and hurdle relays that they will be able to contribute to this year,” Martin said.
With the new crop of faces gearing up for the season, along with savvy veterans, Martin is confident that his Hawks will be able to check off numerous events.
“We have a strong group of long sprinters (200m - 800m) runners this year, so we’re looking forward to putting multiple relays together,” he said. “From the sprint medley all the way up to the 4x800, we are looking to be very competitive again. We also have a group of throwers that are working hard and improving every day, as well as some new jumpers that we’re pretty excited about.”
With so many underclassmen lacing up their shoes, practicing their jumps, and hurtling toward the finish line, Martin is aware that his upperclassmen have to step up their game.
“This senior class isn’t very big, but Kayley Dresback, Josie Noland, and Anna Tague (all seniors) along with Emma Drake (junior) are doing a great job leading already this year,” he said. “Those four, along with sophomore Ava Peterson, were our state qualifiers last year, and it’s been fun to see them compete at practice.”
Which one, two or three will be the team’s brightest star, only time will tell. For Martin, he is just happy that his team is finally out practicing.
“Now that we’re finally able to get outdoors and on the track every day, they are really showing how strong our relays can potentially be,” he said.
The squad opened up their season on April 2 at Panorama before they made their home debut two days later. They head to Ballard on April 5.