Siuslaw junior Madison Reynolds (above) finished third in the shot put at last year's district meet — photo by Ned Hickson/Siuslaw News
With the departure of several state qualifiers due to graduation at the end of last season, outside appearances may be that Siuslaw’s track and field team is in a “rebuilding” year — which, in most cases, could set mediocre expectations. But despite not having standouts like Clark Hooper, Jack Pickell, Carissa Oliver, Celie Mans and Destine Tatum in this season’s line-up, an influx of talented freshmen combined with solid returners spread throughout the sophomore, junior and senior levels could set a tone that is anything but mediocre.
For the girls, second-place finishes last season in the 1,500 and 3,000 meter events at district for then-freshman Hannah Rannow bodes well for Siuslaw, particularly with senior Kayle Graham returning in both hurdles events. Also returning is junior Madison Reynolds, who finished third in the Far West League in the shot put last season, behind a pair of seniors who have since graduated.
In addition, the girls team will get an injection of freshman talent from Brea Blankenship, Gracie Freudenthal and Andrea Osbon, all of whom were middle school district champions last year as eighth graders.
And though the only returning state qualifier for the boys team is current school-record holder in the discus and javelin Trent Reavis, who is still on the mend from a basketball injury, Siuslaw still fields a group of strong performers from last season.
Among them are sophomore Ryan Rendon-Padilla in the javelin and fellow sophomore Kiger Johnson in the 800-meter event.
Also, the Viks will have seniors Kyle King and Isaac Griffes, who will compete in the jumps and distance races, respectively.
Griffes was the Far West League cross country champion last fall, with King receiving a nod from Far West League coaches this past basketball season with first-team all-league honors.
Early numbers suggest approximately 20 athletes, including seven sophomores and eight seniors, on the boys’ team roster as practices got underway March 1, and 18 athletes on the roster for the girls’ team.
Siuslaw kicks off the season at the Pleasant Hill Ice Breaker on Wednesday, March 14, with the Viks’ first home meet set for Thursday, March 22, during the annual Siuslaw Ice Breaker Invitational.