Coach: Collin Buckley
Last year: Finished 13th at the Northwest Conference Championships with 10 points. ... Finished 17th at the Class 1A Tri-District Finals with 13 points. ... Did not record Class 1A State Championships points.
Returning state participants: Amy Jo Murphy (jr., 3,200)
Others to watch: Haley VanderHeiden (sr., throws); Kaleiolani Jefferson (sr., throws); Michaela Youkman (so., hurdles); Grace Himango (fr., thrower); Britney Passe (sr., sprints); Camren Salmonson (jr., sprints/jumps); Nicole Whittern (fr., middle-distance); Anne Schoenell (jr., relays); Jazmine Gutierrez (so., middle-distance); Jessica Jose (jr., middle-distance)
Outlook: Although the Pioneers are a small group — between the boys and girls they have 40 athletes out — the team has solid athletes spread out through all events. “We have a lot of good leadership with the seniors,” Nooksack Valley coach Collin Buckley said in a phone interview. “Haley VanderHeiden and Kaleiolani Jefferson, they are solid senior girls and have been through the program for a while.” The duo highlights what should be a strong Pioneers’ throwing crew. Both will be looking to take the next step this year. Freshman Grace Himango could be another key thrower. Nooksack Valley’s big name and only state returner is junior distance runner Amy Jo Murphy. Buckley said she’s always been more focused on cross country, but he believes track and field is starting to grow on her. She finished 12th in last year’s state 3,200-meter race. Buckley also feel strong about his sprint crew. Some names to watch could be senior Britney Passe and junior Camren Salmonson.