Coach: Carey Bacon
Last year: Finished eighth at the NWC Championships. Finished ninth at the 2A Northwest District meet. Finished tied for 44th at the 2A State Championships.
Returning state participants: Brad Whitley (sr. 4x400)
Others to watch: James Fakkema (sr. throws), Eddie Fontes (sr. distance), Tom Bradley (sr. distance), Jon Fakkema (so. throws), Gordie Kordas (sr. pole vault), Tracy Booth (sr. sprints)
Outlook: Blaine begins a new era this year with Carey Bacon stepping up to replace longtime coach Mike Grambo, who retired from coaching after last spring. Fortunately, Bacon already had 13 years with the Borderites, both as head coach of the cross country team and coaching the distance runners and long jumpers during track season. "Because I had that experience, a lot of the added responsibility hasn't been as bad as you'd think," Bacon said in a phone interview. "It'd been a little different if this were my first year doing track, but it's been OK. I'm enjoying it. I'm trying to get a handle on all the different events and who is doing what. It's been an interesting role, but I enjoy the interaction with all the different types of athletes and trying to coordinate so that they feel the team concept." With only 30 boys out, that team is a little smaller than Bacon would like, so the Borderites won't be all that deep. But they do have a number of top-end athletes, including James Fakkema in the shot put and javelin and Jon Fakkema in the discus. Booth should also be strong in the 400, though this is only his first year. Unfortunately, Bradley, who finished second at the 1A state cross country meet, is battling through a stress fracture in his foot, so his availability is still unknown.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.