by Jay Taft
And with two of their top athletes expected not to compete, and two more questionable with injuries, the Rockets are in jeopardy of losing their second conference title in a row after winning five straight.
“Without those guys, it’s ‘Bago’s to lose,” BC coach Mike Schmidt said of sprinter Kyle Kita and jumper Tre Llanes, who are likely out. “We’ve had a rough year. It started out promising, but we’re not peaking when we want to be. We’ll be solid, but we’ll need it all to beat ‘Bago this year.”
BC lost to Oregon last season, and the Hawks went on to win the Class 1A state team title. A power-packed Winnebago team hopes to follow the same pattern.
“Last year we were looking to be strong and compete,” two-time state discus champ Alex Thompson of Winnebago said. “This year we’re focused in on first place, both at conference and at state.”
Thompson and fellow thrower A.J. Thomas, sprinters Marcus Posley and Michael Mann, hurdler and jumper Jon Smith and vaulter Nathanael Rittmeyer will all be shooting for individual titles tonight when the finals begin at around 6 p.m. at Hampshire. BC high jumper Cam Ostrewski, sprinter Mitch Plum, middle distance runner Mike Gulik and distance runner Clint Kliem are also favorites in their events, as is Richmond-Burton jumper Kyle Wismer and distance runner Ian Sanchez, and Harvard sprinter Cody Kramer.
Oregon hurdler Nick Gallardo is questionable with an ankle injury.