Hope springs eternal is the track and field mantra at Sumner High this season, if spring ever shows up that is.
This year the Sumner High team will be resting their hopes on a good many underclassmen vying and trying to make their mark in the always competitive South Puget Sound League 2A, with a few experienced joggers and jumpers sprinkled in as well.
Among these veterans is the talented senior Finnish foreign exchange student, Turre Heikkla, who at the SPSL 2A jamboree turned in a long jump of 19 feet, 1 inch.
Not only is Heikkla versed in such events as the long, high and triple jumps, but he also is a mercurial sprinter and will be a welcome addition to a purple and gold boys track and field program that is a bit light on speed merchants and considerably heavier on distance runners.
Among the carryovers from the cross-country crew are seniors Corey Brandt and Reid Selmer who know their way around the realm of distance running. Also juniors Josh Goodsell and Colton Tanner who will represent the Spartan standard in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter trials.
“Tanner especially has a fire in his belly to take another crack at getting to the state meet after doing so well at the regional level in 2011,” said Sumner boys track coach Maurice Dudley.
Sumner sent a pole vaulter to the state meet at Mount Tahoma Hig last year in senior Noah Lenz. After graduating, he passed the torch to senior Michael Smith and junior Jeremy Jackson.
On the girl’s side of things the crystal ball is a bit cloudier, but it will have a similar look to the boys team with some heavy hitters in the distance events in Emily DeGoede and Gabby Phelps and a myriad of voids to be filled with hungry young athletes, eager to burst onto the scene.
One young lady who made quite a splash during her freshman debut was Abi Hensler, who in 2011 performed admirably and will be heavily relied upon in her sophomore session, particularly in the distance events, which are her strong suit.
The Spartan track and field squad’s initial opportunity to strut its stuff in league activity will come Thursday, March 22, when it visits Clover Park’s Harry Lang Stadium at 3 p.m. in a three-way SPSL 2A meet with the Warriors and the Redbirds of Franklin Pierce.