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Spring prep preview: Oak Harbor boys track
The Oak Harbor High School boys track team lost a bevy of talent to graduation but the cupboard is not bare.
Sixteen lettermen return, including four that placed in last spring's league meet.
Leading the pack is junior distance runner John Rodeheffer, the reigning league and district 3,200 champion. He placed sixth in the event at the state meet and ran a school record 9:20.19.
This fall Rodeheffer captured the league and district cross country championships.
Junior Tyler Adamson (discus) and relay members senior Carlton Johnson (sprints) and Josiah Welch (middle distance) also placed in the Wesco meet in 2013.
Other returning lettermen are seniors Brendan Bristow (distance), Ben Danielson (throws), Keenan Davilla (pole vault), Cameron Hartley (throws) and Anthony Alexander (sprints); juniors Sebastian Ceaser (distance), Zachery Norton (jumps), Jackson Constant (throws) and Blaine Coleman (throws); and sophomores Jared Gray (hurdles), Stephen Dixon (hurdles) and Tanner Walker (sprints/jumps/javelin).
Also back is junior sprinter Dejon Devroe, who returned to Oak Harbor after transferring away for his sophomore year. As a freshman, Devroe placed in four events at the Western Conference meet.
Key newcomers, according to coach Jay Turner, are junior Zach Jones (sprints/javelin) and freshman Miguel Guzman (distance).
Turner said the strength of this squad is its work ethic and desire to improve. He said the weaknesses are the loss of talent to graduation and the choice of several state competitors not to turn out.
"We have a very inexperienced group this year so it is very difficult to determine what events they are all going to compete in and where they are at as far as marks go," Turner said. "It's probably going to take the first few meets of the year to find out what the different events the athletes should be competing in."
Regardless, he expects his athletes to "get better every week."
"We want to see personal records out of all the athletes," he added.
The season kicks off with the Island Jamboree at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20, when Coupeville, South Whidbey and Lakewood visit Oak Harbor.