State meet appearances could be in the cards for the track and field teams at Bolingbrook.
Coach: Art Pahl
Jerome Davis, jr., (distance)
Ben Junkroski, jr., (pole vault)
Kokeith Perry, sr., (middle )distance
Parrker Westphal, jr., (triple jump, sprints)
Jalen Young, sr., (hurdles, high jump)
What to watch: Jumpers and 2012 state qualifiers Xavier Perkins and Jordan Banks have graduated, but Kokeith Perry, who won the 800-meter title at Bolingbrook’s Fast Times indoor invite, provides a standout in that event as well as the 4 x 800 relay.
Parrker Westphal ran sprints during the indoor season and will add triple jump when the outdoor season gets underway. Westphal and Perry both nearly qualified for state last year. Pole vaulter Ben Junkroski has already hit 13 feet, 6 inches during the indoor season; state qualifying is 13-9.
“We’re very encouraged. A lot of guys have been performing well,” head coach Art Pahl said. “Our distance runners have run well, our hurdlers and high jumpers are coming along and our pole vaulter is looking real good.”
Pahl said there are some holes in the lineup, namely the throwers and a majority of the sprinters. The Raiders will rely on juniors and seniors for consistency, but Pahl said a talented group of freshmen and sophomores will probably get the call at the invite meets. Bolingbrook will compete against Sandburg, Joliet West, Lockport and Homewood-Flossmoor for the SouthWest Suburban Blue title, but the Raiders’ goals go beyond conference.
“We’re taking the meets one at a time,” Pahl said. “Our long-term goal is qualifying for state, and we have a good shot at getting a few people there.”
Coach: Howard Birmingham
Alexis Brooks, so., (sprints)
Annika Karim, so., (sprints)
Jhonnae Staggers, jr., (high jump)
Asha Wallace, so., (sprints)
Jessica Watkins, so., (sprints)
What to watch: Graduated seniors Kimberly Azie, Kalya Bell, Rosemay Onyegbule and Kymbriona Taylor did much of the damage for the Raiders at the state meet finals last spring, but Alexis Brooks, Annika Karim, Asha Wallace and Jessica Watkins comprised an all-freshman 4 x 200 relay that made it downstate. Jhonnae Staggers was also a non-senior state qualifier last year.
It may take a little bit of time for a roster with just nine seniors (and nine freshmen and sophomores) to adjust to the rigors of varsity competition, but the Raiders have a good shot to repeat as sectional champs after a tough invite schedule that sees them compete at Wheaton North (April 12), Oswego (April 18) and Wheaton Warrenville South (April 26).