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Auburn, Auburn Mountainview and Auburn Riverside boys and girls track previews
AUBURN RIVERSIDE RAVENS
Junior Josh Turner didn't post a 110-meter hurdle time under 16 seconds until the last meet of the regular season last year. This season Turner turned a 15.30 in his first meet of the year on March 15. His personal-best time of 15.09 is the seventh fastest in the 4A this season.
Turner also excels at the 300 hurdles (41.86, 16th in state 4A) and the triple jump, where he is ranked third in the state with a mark of 45-4.
"(He is a) fantastic athlete and young man who inspires the team with his enthusiasm," said Raven boys coach William Sumner. "This is Josh's second year in track and field, and he is making a huge impact within the SPSL and state. Josh is learning each week how to get better, and he is doing it."
When it comes to track and field, Artem Deyneka is everywhere. The senior has competed in the 110 hurdles, discus, javelin, pole vault and long jump this year. His best event, according to Sumner, is the javelin, where he is ranked 32nd in 4A with a mark of 150-2.
Senior Isaia Tiangson also is showing promise for the Ravens in the distance races. So far this season he has set personal records in the 800 (2:02.95), 1,600 (4:39.72) and 3,200 (10:47.60).
"(He's) really working hard to fill some big shoes but is growing more confident each week," Sumner said.
For the girls, senior Rachel Covey – a three-time district competitor in the distance races – leads the way.
"Rachel works hard to improve herself and to bring out the best in her teammates," said Raven girls coach Christie Rogers. "She leads by example and emphasizes the team aspect of what some might consider an individual sport. She has both speed and endurance."
Although she has yet to post any personal bests this season, Covey's 800 time of 2:28.90 is ranked 40th in the state, and her 1,600 clocking of 5:28.15 is 33rd.
Standout junior Brittni Williams returns. She finished fourth in the triple jump with a 37-5 and eighth in the long jump with a leap of 17-7.25 at last year's state meet.
"Brittni always has a smile on her face and willingly helps out younger athletes as they learn what it takes to participate in track and field," Rogers said. "I expect Brittni will be competing for the title in both jumps at state again this year."
Senior Lauren Crimi could make her presence felt in the postseason in the javelin, the 400 and on the relay teams.
"Lauren is new to us this year as a senior, and I wish we had gotten her sooner," Rogers said. "After just a couple of practices, she is ranked sixth in the javelin in the SPSL. She should also go to the postseason in the 400 and as a part of our relay. Lauren's work ethic is incredible. She gives us everything she has."
The girls 800-meter relay team – with Crimi – is showing promise with a 1:51.61 best this season, sixth fastest in the 4A ranks.
The throwing events have always been a strength for the Auburn boys. This year is no different.
Junior Jacob Minten – who competes in the discus, shot put and javelin – finished just shy of a state berth last season in the javelin with a throw of 148 feet, 4 inches at district.
Although he has yet to reach that distance this year – Minten's best so far is a 127-6 set on April 3 against Beamer – expect to see improvement as the season goes on.
Junior Ryan Topdjian is poised to make some noise in the discus. In his first meet of the season, March 20 at Auburn Mountainview, Topdjian took first with a toss of 122-0, adding more than 10 feet to his personal best of 108-0 from last season.
Junior Avery Wade has finished first in the high jump in all three of Auburn's meets so far this season. His leap of 6-2 in the first meet is tied for seventh best in the state 4A rankings.
Senior Josh Callero, competing in high school track for the first time, has finished first in the 400 meters in Auburn's first two meets. His best so far is a 54.25 seconds set on April 3.
AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW LIONS
For the boys, Ray Hardaway is the heart and soul of the squad.
With three years of state appearances under his belt, the senior sprinter continues to blaze in the 100 and 200 this season, with personal bests of 11.64 and 23.83, respectively.
"Ray is our senior captain and just does everything we need," coach Joel MacDougall said. "He's a guy we feel comfortable with putting in just about any sprint event."
Also showing promise this season is junior Trevor Jensen, who has the 10th best 3A shot put distance in the state with a throw of 46-4.5.
"Trevor has so much potential. He's really just learning how to throw," MacDougall said.
Sophomore Gavin Robertson, in his first season with the team, also is showing potential with his performances in the triple jump, long jump and 100 and 200 sprints.
"Once he gets comfortable with the sport, he's going to be really good," MacDougall said.
For the girls, senior Nicole Carter is back to provide experience, leadership and skill. No stranger to the state 3A podium, Carter was a member of the 2012 second-place 400-meter relay team. She finished ninth in the 100 last year.
"Nicole is easily our most consistent sprinter," MacDougall said. "If we can keep her healthy, we expect big things from her."
Sprinter and jumper Viktoriya Vasina looks to deliver another big season, with personal bests in the 100 (12.98) and triple jump (35-1.50).
MacDougall also singled out senior Maddie Taylor, who placed in the state high jump last year, and senior Rachel Greve, a state placer in the javelin.