The Lake Oswego boys track and field team is ready to start anew in 2017.
The Lakers enter the newly-launched spring season with a new coach, new leadership and a bunch of new additions to their varsity lineup.
In the end, however, the Lakers hope to be the same old competitive this season.
"We're not going to win the Three Rivers League this year," said first-year head coach Vince Kinney, a former decathlete at Portland State University who coached high jump and pole vault last year at Southridge. "We're very young but with a lot of upside. If we do everything we can this year, I think we have a chance to finish third."
This year's team must deal with the loss of last year's team leader, Cameron Seymour, a 2016 graduate who placed in three individual events at the Three Rivers League district meet, finishing third in the 100 and 200 meters, and long jump.
That said, the Laker boys bring back a handful of talented returners from the team that took fifth in the district meet a year ago, that group led by senior hurdler Carter Bracken. Bracken is the defending TRL champion in both the 110-meter high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles, and later took third at state in the high hurdles and eighth in the intermediates.
"He's not as vocal a leader, but he leads by example," Kinney said. "And he's really been helping me with the hurdlers."
Also back from a year ago are: sophomore Collin Bracken (seventh in the TRL long jump a year ago) in the hurdles, long jump and javelin; sophomore Chris Todd (seventh in the '16 TRL triple jump) in the triple jump and sprints; senior Mitch Glad (10th in the TRL discus last year) in the discus and shot; and senior Jackson Dyal in the sprints.
Collin Bracken is an "all-around athlete," Kinney said, adding that Glad is a "good leader among the throwers and works very hard," and that Dyal is another hard worker who chooses his words very carefully.
Looking around the rest of the Three Rivers League, Kinney — a self-described "track nerd" — said he expects 2016 TRL champion Newberg to be strong again in '17.
"It's Newberg hands-down to win the (league) title," Kinney added. "They have multiple kids in every event who can place in the top five. I don't think anyone can touch them."
To see the Lakeridge boys team preview, click here.
To see the West Linn boys team preview, click here.