Gone are the proven big-meet competitors. Roseburg begins the 2013 track and field season with two returning district champions and another who is back out after winning a Southwest Conference title three years ago as freshman.
But the Indians carry plenty of youth on their roster and sixth-year head coach Brian Cuilty is curious to see how they progress this spring.
“Our girls team is as young as it has ever been,” said Cuilty, who had over 130 kids turn out. “What we have, especially with the younger kids, is promising. We’ve got enough talent spread out where we’ll be competitive in league.”
Leaving the program by graduation were Korey Smith (BYU), Selmar Hutchins III (Portland State), Kelly Audiss (Oregon State) and Rachel Picknell (Sacramento City College), who all took their talents to the college level. State hurdler Madison Cavens, who was also part of a talented girls senior class, used up her eligibility as well.
The RHS boys and girls won’t be expected to collectively contend for district titles after both finishing fifth in the SWC meet in 2012.
Senior Jason Bergold (pole vault) and sophomore Gabrielle Kearney (javelin) are looking to defend their district championships. Bergold owns a best of 13-3 in the vault. Kearney tossed the spear 133-10 and is shooting for a high finish at state. She also placed seventh at district in the shot put.
Kearney won all three throwing events at Saturday’s Aloha Preview meet for sophomores and freshmen. She had marks of 121-7 in the javelin, 34-5 in the shot and 101-1 in the discus.
“Gabby worked very hard in the off-season and will score a lot of points throughout the year,” Cuilty said.
Senior Shelby Snook, one of the school’s best athletes, returned this season after not participating in track last year. Snook was the SWC district champ in the high jump (5-5) her first prep season and will contribute in the long jump (16-9) and relays.
Junior Austin Hutchins finished second behind his older brother in the javelin (165-1) at district and earned a state berth. Sophomore Cole Van Anrooy, a state wrestler, finished third at district in the pole vault (12-9).
Other top returning district placers include juniors Kenny Freeman (1,500, fourth, 4:02.15; 800, eighth, 2:00.20) and Sean Bowden (300 hurdles, third, 42.11; 110 hurdles, seventh, 17.01), seniors Jason Thomas (400, sixth, 51.37; 200, eighth, 23.23) and Kathryn Pitts (triple jump, fourth, 33-7 1/4), and sophomore Meg Jackson (javelin, eighth, 104-8).
Freeman, coming off a good cross country season in which he qualified for state, leads a solid group of distance runners.
“The distances will be a strength for the boys with Kenny Freeman, (junior) Ben Rodriguez and (freshman) Nic Feldkamp,” Cuilty said.
The top newcomers include freshmen Mahala Norris (distances) and Mitchell Kilkenny (400). Norris won the 1,500 (5:09.0) and Kilkenny finished second in the one-lap race (54.58) at the Aloha Preview. The other winner was the 4x400 girls freshman relay quartet of Rachel Harland, Kara Krnacik, Devony Dettman and Norris (4:25.28).
Placing second were freshman Jenna Anderson in the 3,000 (11:26.80), sophomore Aiden McGowan in the shot (37-3), sophomore Ryan Foster in the javelin (135-2), sophomore Austin Weaver in the pole vault (10-6), freshman Owen Cuilty in the triple jump (37-7), sophomore Andrea Gosman in the girls triple jump (29-10), and the 4x400 relay of Weaver, Kilkenny, Van Anrooy and Feldkamp (3:52.30). Sophomore Corinne Walters was third in the girls 100 hurdles (18.50).
The Indians will host Grants Pass and Thurston in a triangular meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Roseburg’s Finlay Field.
beginning at 4 p.m.
Head coach: Brian Cuilty (sixth year).
Assistants: Mike Bober, Brian Groshong, Tonia Brewer, Stephanie Hutchins, Nick Garcia, Amanda Phillips, Eli Hanna, Josh Heacock, Dane Tornell, Jill Pettibone, Sam Pettibone,
Last year: Girls and boys fifth in SWC district meet; boys tied for 22nd and girls tied for 25th at 6A state meet.
Top returning boys: Jason Bergold, sr., PV; Jason Thomas, sr., sprints/LJ; Dom Holden, sr., sprints; Kenny Freeman, jr., distances; Ben Rodriguez, jr., distances; Levi Holden, jr., sprints; Austin Hutchins, jr., throws; Sean Bowden, jr., hurdles; Bryan Bergold, jr., middle distances; Trey Nickols, jr., hurdles; Cole Van Anrooy, soph., PV/relays.
Top returning girls: Shelby Snook, sr., jumps/relays; Kathryn Pitts, sr., jumps/sprints; Breanna Hennricks, sr., middle distances/hurdles; Brianna Brennan, sr., sprints; Kim Solberg, jr., middle distances; Saige Gombart, jr., PV; Gabrielle Kearney, soph., throws; Meg Jackson, soph., throws; Andrea Gosman, soph., jumps/relays; Olyvia Fox, soph., sprints/HJ; Corinne Walters, soph., hurdles/relays.
Top newcomers: Jenna Anderson, fr., distances; Mahala Norris, fr., distances/relays; Devony Dettman, fr., hurdles/relays; Rachel Harland, fr., jumps/sprints/relays; Kara Krnacik, fr., middle distances/relays; Zach Woods, fr., sprints/relays; Stephen Patoine, fr., jumps/relays; Mitchell Kilkenny, fr., sprints/relays; Nic Feldkamp, fr., middle distances/relays; Owen Cuilty, fr., jumps/relays; Jakob Bergmann, fr., jumps.