Colville will be a force in the NEA once again

Indians busy this weekThere is no reason to believe that the Colville High boy’s and girl’s track teams won’t score their share of points again this spring around the Northeast A League.The Colville girls, who won the NEA dual meet championship, finished a close second at the regional to Chelan and finished 10th at the State 1A meet at Eastern Washington University, certainly have enough firepower back to replicate last spring’s successes. Ditto for the boys, who finished 15th at State.The Indians shook off the rust and the dust (mud?) last Saturday during a first-ever jamboree with Kettle Falls High. The Indians split their squad and ran their usual Black & Red inter-squad, along with an informal dual with the Bulldogs.New event“The jamboree was a new event that we incorporated this season to get more bodies to run across the line to get our new timing system tested,” CHS head coach Ty Brown said. The Indians also got a chance to run on their new track surface that was redone late last summer. The reviews were positive.“We are excited to be able to run on our new surface this spring,” Brown said. “We think that it will help with shin splints and other issues that cropped up with the old surface.“And the new timing system (donated by the Colville Benchwarmers) will allow us to record fully automatic times (FAT) for the athletes…it should speed up the meets and reduce the number of timers we need.“It was good to get some of the problems with the new timing system ironed out before we use it in a real competition with more people. With the help of Steven Milatz and Jerry Greenman and our coaching staff, we are getting a good handle on the system.”The CHS athletes also got an opportunity to take part in Team Night activities where team members got a chance to kick band and do a little bonding—eat, play some games and silk screen shirts in the color of their team.“Tracy Deleya (high school art teacher) and her art students design a logo and the track athletes silkscreen the logo on a shirt that they wear during the meet,” Brown explained. “It’s a fun idea to build teamwork and competition…it incorporates other departments of the school too.”AT A GLANCEThe Indians return as much talent as anyone in the league this spring.Notable returners are seniors Tasha Luu, Ethan Cabbage, Logan Carpenter, Alex Pond, Lexi Lehman, Amber Powell, Kevin Edler, Ashley Knight and Garth Vaagen.“We also have a number of underclassmen that are back and a few new athletes that will fill in the gaps that we had last year,” Brown said. CHS relay teams should be strong againThe Indians will be particularly strong—again—in the relays. Colville returns most of a 4x100 relay team that placed second at State last spring (Tasha and Malia Luu and Chelsea Phillips return). Brown and his staff will have to find a replacement for graduated Jenny Andres there.For the boys, Pond, Carpenter and Vaagen return in the boy’s 4x100. Cabbage is the top returning league triple jumper. He finished second at State last season and is one of the league’s top all-around talents.The Indians should also have a strong stable of throwers with Pond, Jacy Vining and Knight (javelin).In the distances, Kevin Carpenter and Roman Korovnik will lead a strong group that helped the CHS cross country team finish second at State last fall. The Indians are a little light on numbers in girl’s distances. Jill Fenno leads that group. Edler will lead CHS hurdlers.All the CHS coaches return.“We have a fantastic staff that works to get the best out of the kids,” Brown said.Randy Stebbins returns in the distances and Bob Gumm is back in the throws. Daniel Goble will head up the sprint coaching and CHS cross country coach Dean Fischer will work with the longer sprints and the 4x400.Colville’s list of volunteer coaches includes Sandy Moore (jumps), Jodi Lehman (jumps), Chris Loggers (hurdles) and Rob Shaw (throws). “We couldn’t do this without our dedicated coaches and volunteers,” Brown said. “This does not even mention the people behind the scenes that help with the meets and (athletic director) Kelly Carr’s support.”SCHEDULEThe Indians have a solid home schedule this spring. CHS will host the Ezra Gordon Colville Invitational with 15 teams on March 22. There are NEA meets at the resurfaced CHS track with Chewelah on March 28 and with Freeman on April 18. Class 1A power Newport will be in town on May 2 for a league meet.Invitationals include West Valley (March 17), Deer Park (March 24), the Interstate at Freeman’s new facility (April 14), Riverside Invite (April 28) and the prestigious Pasco Invitational (April 14) for those athletes who make the minimum qualifying standard in their respective events. The Indians usually take 10 to 12 athletes to Pasco, which is billed as the largest high school meet in the nation. Teams from around the Northwest descent on Pasco that weekend.The District 7 1A meet will be held at Riverside on May 12. Cashmere High will host the District 6-7 regional meet on May 19. This year, the region will get three athletes per event to State at EWU May 25-26.“Overall, we are very excited about the season,” Brown said. “We have fewer kids out this year, but the talent level is the highest we have had since I have been around. We expect great things from these student-athletes. They are excited to put their skills to the test.”