TONASKET – A larger than average Tonasket track team is hoping to break their personal records this season.
Bob Thornton, the head coach for over 20 years, is again assisted by Angie Bolich this year and coaches with a low pressure but competitive style. He said the team tries to have fun but still works hard.
The team is comprised of 18 girls and 18 boys this year for a total of 36, which Thornton said is a little bigger than Tonasket has enjoyed having for several years.
“The boys’ team is fairly experienced but also has some great new talent,” he said. “While the girls team has no seniors, they do have some experienced juniors and sophomores and some very talented new sophomores and freshmen.”
Corey McCrarey, Spencer Podkranic, Terrell Cross and Barry Pentz are the four returning seniors this year and Thornton said the team did well last year.
“Although no one made it to state last year in a very tough regional meet, almost everyone on the team finished the season with a personal record in one of the last two meets,” he added. “That is our number one goal and they are starting off this year close to where they finished last year.”
Thornton said Kyndra Dellinger and Devan Utt are looking good in the distance races while Karlie Henneman, Jeff Stedtfeld and Kevin Aitcheson are running strong in the sprints.
“The team’s strong points are a great attitude and the willingness to work hard with a smile. They are very competitive and want to do what it takes to be the best they can be,” Thornton said. “Our weakness is that some are inexperienced at competing at the high school level but time will take care of that.”
He said the highlight of last season was having so many athletes finish the year with personal records, which showed how hard they were willing to work during the season and their willingness to listen and learn and do what it takes in a meet.
“This year everyone, from the leaders to the first time track and field athletes, has shown the same great attitude, excitement and willingness to work hard,” Thornton said. “They are all a bunch of nuts but are a lot of fun. I look forward to practice every day and as long as the ice cream doesn’t run out, we will make it through the season.”