Coach: Patrick Ames
Last year: Finished fourth at the NWC Championships. Finished third at 1A tri-district meet. Finished tied for 29th at 1A tri-district meet. Finished 11th at the 1A State Championships.
Returning state participants: Max McGuinn (sr. 4x100), Relijah McMillen (sr. 4x100), Spencer Blackburn (jr. javelin)
Others to watch: Blake Briones (jr. hurdles), Jacob Dennis (jr. throws), Kaleb Heezen (jr. throws), Collin Magnusson (so. distance), Isaiah Thompson (so. hurdles), Neal Tilbury (sr. throws), Kelby Todd (sr. distance)
Outlook: Turnout is at an all-time high, with an "almost overwhelming" 55 boys in practice, but that's not all that Ames said excites him about early season workouts. "The kids' attitude and work ethic has been great," Ames said in a phone interview. "Things are looking exceptional early on. That really sets you up. If you can work hard through the worst part of the track season, which is right now with all the rain and everything, then whatever goals you set are attainable come May." With McGuinn and McMillen, who were both part of Meridian's school record-setting 4x100 relay last year, back this year, the goals can be pretty high in the sprint and relay events. Throwers like Blackburn, Heezen and Tilbury also should keep that group strong, despite some big losses to graduation. But the one area Ames is really excited about is the distance events. "I think we're going to be as strong in the distance as we've been in a long, long time," he said.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.