The Meadowdale track and field team has seen a large influx of newcomers this season.
The Mavericks have more than a 100 athletes out with 60-plus boys and about 45 girls, a total increase of 25 or so from last year.
“We’re young and we’re strong,” coach Tony Perkins said.
While the future is promising for Meadowdale, the present looks good, especially for the boys team, which returns some state participants.
Junior Chris Grant advanced to state in the 110-meter high hurdles but actually is probably better in the 300 hurdles, Perkins said. Grant ran a time in the 41s in the 300 hurdles last week.
Senior MarGaryonta Kilcup is a state returner in the 100 dash. He also high jumps and is a key member of the 400 relay team.
Junior Malik Braxton is a standout in the triple jump. He already broke his personal record by two feet. Senior Trevor White should be among the top 400 runners. He clocked in at 53 seconds last week. Junior Dominic Giordano is coming of a strong cross country season and Perkins looks for him to be strong in the distance races.
Meadowdale should be able to put together a competitive 1,600 relay team, Perkins added.
“It’s the most excited I’ve been about a team in a long time,” Perkins said.
The girls team doesn’t quite have the numbers of the boys but several individuals should be contenders in the postseason.
Senior Angela Nguyen advanced to state in the 100 hurdles last year and should do well in both hurdle events. She also is a strong long jumper, Perkins said.
“She’s done a lot of offseason work,” he said. “She did a lot of weight training.”
Senior Megan Hoppe is one of the team’s top sprinters and should figure into the Mavericks’ relays. Other top athletes include junior Megan Zollars (long jump), junior Kayla Pruitt (javelin), freshman Alexandria Chang (800) and freshman Dee Dee Free (shot put). Free took third place in the 190-pound division at the state wrestling tournament.
In the recent past, Meadowdale’s girls team generally has been stronger than the boys.
“It’s a big change,” Perkins said. “This year the boys are stacked. We’re strong all across the board.”