Tonasket track and field team inexperienced but has strong leaders

TONASKET - The 2009 Tonasket High School track and field team is inexperienced this year but has strong leaders.

Photo by Terry MillsThe 2009 Tonasket High School Track & Field team is: Veronica Puente, Shaleena Cook, Teriquah Cholmondeley, Christina Ortiz, Lisa Ortega, Corey McCrarey, Spencer Podkranic, Terrell Cross, Adam Howerton, Barry Pentz, Michelle Carlso

Photo by Terry MillsThe 2009 Tonasket High School Track & Field team is: Veronica Puente, Shaleena Cook, Teriquah Cholmondeley, Christina Ortiz, Lisa Ortega, Corey McCrarey, Spencer Podkranic, Terrell Cross, Adam Howerton, Barry Pentz, Michelle Carlso

Head coach Bob Thornton, assisted by Angie Bolich, has been the coach for over 20 years.

“We have a laid back but competitive approach to coaching,” Thornton said. “We believe in working hard but still having fun. Track and Field is too hard to not have fun while doing it. With a little creative thinking, hard work and fun can be combined. And we like to eat lots of ice cream.”

Thornton said this year’s team has 30 athletes which is a little bigger than last year because the team is still rebuilding.

“It is a young team of mostly freshman and sophomores or those that are new to track, but we have some excellent senior leadership,” he said.

The two returning seniors are Veronica Puente and Teriquah Cholmondeley. Thornton said that, of the returning athletes from last season, sophomore Jessica Spear went to state in the 800 meter and the team also has most of the girls from the cross country team that went to state this past fall.

“Cholmondeley returns as one of the better 100 hurdlers in the league,” Thornton added. “Freshman Damon Halvorsen went to state last fall in cross country.”

Of the young athletes who show promise are Halvorsen in the 1600 and 3200 meter races, freshman CJ Matthews in the high jump, triple jump and pole vault, sophomore Kellen Sauer in the 100 and 200 meter races, freshman Vanessa Martinez in the shot put, freshman Amber Kilpatrick in the high jump, Spear in the 800 and 1600 meter races, sophomore Michelle Carlson in the 1600 and 3200 meter races and freshman Amy Johnson in the 1600 meter race.

“Since we are mostly a young team we will get better as we get more experience,” Thornton said. “We will have some very competitive athletes at the end of the season. They all have a great attitude and are willing to work hard and learn.”

He added that the highlight of last season was having so many athletes have their best races at the end of the season.

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