JOHN DAY Grant Union High School is officially trackless this year but there are still plenty of athletes on the Prospector roster.
Forty-eight runners, jumpers and throwers begin the season with a meet Friday, March 23 at Harper.
Head coach Sonna Smith said the team has lots of potential.
We have a talented team, and were hoping to build on it, she said. Were hoping the new freshmen and sophomores will step up and fill the gap we lost due to graduation last year. We hope to take kids to state.
The roster includes seniors Zack Carpenter, Justin Joslin, Brandon Kerr, DJ Kodesh, Seth Lallatin, Michael Luttrell, Melissa McCloskey and Nick Wilson.
Carpenter throws discus and shot put. Joslin goes the distance, the 1500- and 3000-meter runs.
New to the team, Kerr plans to do discus, shot put and run the hurdles. Pole vaulter Lallatin, with a broken wrist, will start the season running, most likely in the 800 and 1500, Smith said.
Luttrell is another thrower, doing shot put, discus and javelin. State athlete Nick Wilson returns to the jumping events, plus the sprints.
Kodesh will throw discus, shot put and javelin, and McCloskey, discus and shot put.
Among 13 juniors, Mary Roy and Trent Sohr return as state competitors.
Bringing up the ranks are 14 sophomores and 13 freshmen.
Six assistant coaches aid the team: John Houk, jumps coach; Richard Thompson, long-distance runners; Ken Boethin, hurdles and starts; Buzz Gilmore, pole vault; Kelsey Wright, javelin and high jump; and Ethan Kowing, a throwing alum wholl work with shot put and discus athletes.
This years track schedule is different, said Smith. There will be no home meets because last springs flooding damaged the track.
We had to pick meets that fit into the schedule, she said. Some are weekday meets. Some replace meets we used to always go to, but arent offered this year.
A few events were chosen with a look at future competition in mind.
The Prospectors will compete at least a few times against athletes theyll face next year when they move to the 2A Blue Mountain Conference. Future league schools include Elgin, Enterprise, Heppner, Irrigon, Pilot Rock, Stanfield, Union and Weston-McEwen.
Find other spring sports previews online here and in the Blue Mountain Eagle.