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Big turnout for Mercer Island track and field
With almost 150 kids turning out for the spring track season, it’s hard to know exactly who fits where in the early moments of the season. But before long, the Mercer Island track and field team will have a solid idea of who and what events will be the ones to watch.
“It’s a good problem to have,” said head coach Lezley Smith of the high turnout. It means the team will have plenty of ways to fill up meet events throughout the spring.
“We have more girls this year, and we have good potential,” said Smith. “It’s always good to see the team meets because it’s hard to see what’s going on before that.”
The team returns a solid group from last year’s team, including many who qualified for the state meet.
“We have a good group coming back,” said the coach. Early on, it’s still hard to say exactly where the Islanders will shine this spring, but that’s all part of the fun.
“We’re not really sure yet,” said Smith, of the team’s strengths. “But that’s the beauty of track — the surprises that come every year.” One surprise the team hopes it doesn’t find this season is the injuries which plagued the team late in the spring last year.
For senior captain Cassidy Kaufman, one of four captains for the boys team, he hopes that despite such a large team, they will come together as the season progresses.
“The team, it’s kind of weird in the beginning as everyone gets to know each other, but by the end I want us to be one big unit,” said Kaufman, who competes in the triple jump, long jump and the 400-meter run.
The other boys captains include: Reid Jackson, Jeff Lindquist and Nick Ford.
For senior captain Alisha Waggoner, she hopes the team can keep improving on scores as a whole and individuals’ personal times.
“It’s going well,” said Waggoner, who runs in the 200, 400 and relay races. “I’m excited and anxious about the meets.” She said she hopes to personally make the district cut-off, and to keep improving her personal records.
The other girls captains include: Cora Miller, Lindsey Benster and Carly Andersen.
The team had its first meet last week at the Inglemoor Jamboree and begins the regular season meets on Thursday, March 24, at home, hosting Interlake. The team will host Bellevue on Thursday, April 21, and will travel to the Bellevue Invitational on Saturday, April 23.
3/24 vs. Garfield
4/14 at Sammamish
4/21 vs. Bellevue
4/23 at Bellevue Invitational
4/28 at Sammamish
4/30 Boys at Shoreline Invitational; Girls at Lake Washington Invitational
5/5 vs. Mount Si
5/13 3A KingCo meet at Juanita
5/18 3A SeaKing District meet
5/27 3A State meet