Bickleton track coach expects to go to state

— If coach Chris Venema says you can expect some of his tracksters at the 1B state meet, you may want to believe it.

Venema usually takes athletes to the meet. Two years ago, though the smallest school in the state, Bickleton won the boys title. The boys were 8th last year.

There may not be a title this year, but Venema plans to take athletes to state again. The 30-student high school has eight boys and five girls turning out.

The boys will cover most of the events, but there is no high jumper or high hurdler among them.

The Bickleton boy who will likely make a splash this year is freshman Christian Arriaga. He comes to high school with a best clocking of 5:05 in the 1600. His goal by district tournament time is 4:45.

Junior Michael Gannon is another boy Venema hopes to see at state. He has a best clocking of less than 11:00 in the 3200.

Gannon should return to state in the pole vault. The only question is how high he may go. He cleared 10 feet last year.

Sophomore Scott McBride made it to state in the discus last year. He’s off to a notable start this year. He was 4th at the Eisenhower Jamboree in shot put with a heave of 40-4.5. He was 6th in the discus at 109-0.

Junior Cesario Arriaga, Christian’s older brother, has his eyes on state in the 400. He ran it in 53-54 seconds last year. Venema expects him to drop to 51-52 this year.

A girl who could go in four events, is the very athletic senior Kira Harvey. She does the pole vault, the 100, the 100 hurdles and the 200.

“She’ll be on that (medal) podium in the vault for sure,” Venema said.

Another girl who Venema believes has a shot at state is Emily Hanson. She does the shot, the discus and the javelin. Her best chance is with the discus, Venema said.

Bickleton’s next outing will take place tomorrow, March 17, at the Windbreaker Invitational at Wahluke.



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