The local track and field scene should be quite interesting this year as Burroughs High returns a number of veterans with vast experience whereas Burbank High has a group of young athletes who appear to be extremely talented.
The Indians have lost their top returner in Master’s Meet pole vault qualifier Christian Valles, who transferred to Canyon High in Santa Clarita.
But the Indians have a pair of seniors with the ability to make long postseason runs in senior distance runners Jagdeep Chahal and Alexander Hirsch.
Seniors David Lennstrom and Aashwin Roy are the top returning sprinters. Sophomore Caleb Black is a threat to be a new top talent in the 400.
Sophomore Ryan Thomas should lead the way in the jumping events.
Seniors Grant Housley and Sarkis Tatarian will lead the way in the throwing events.
“We have a smaller coaching staff this year so we also decided a smaller team as well,” Burroughs coach John Peebles said. “We definitely have some talent, so it will be exciting who takes the most advantage of their opportunities through hard work.”
For the girls’ side, senior distance runner Emily Virtue returns and should challenge to be one of the top runners in the CIF.
Senior Catrina Villalpando, who came off a fine soccer season, is one to look out for in the 800.
Senior pole vaulters Alex Akobian and Elizabeth Switzer have already both cleared 10 feet, 10 inches in the early season.
Senior Kate Jones as well as juniors Jada Reese and Valerie Reveles should lead the group of sprinters.
Junior Priscilla Murillo is the top returning thrower.
The Bulldogs have been blessed on the girls’ team by the addition of freshman sensation Jayla Flowers, who competed at the Junior Olympics last summer and is nationally ranked in both the long and triple jumps. She will also compete in the sprints and on relays.
Junior Paula Jaramillo and Isabel Partida should lead the group of sprinters. Junior Alissa Petrosyan and sophomore Amira Ottoson give the Bulldogs some talented in the hurdle events.
Freshman Tamryn Betts is a multi-talented athlete who can run the sprints and hurdle events, as well as relays and field events.
The distance running group is led by sophomore Sol Fernandez, junior Jamie Levin and senior Noemi Apreza.
In the jumping events, the Bulldogs will rely on junior Andrea Castresana. Sophomores Kim Ramirez and Bella Lamanna Stevens will lead the way in the throwing events.
“We have a pretty good combination of experience and ability this year,” coach Darin Wolf said. “It should be an exciting year to see what they can do.”
For the Burbank boys’ team, senior Sergio Aguilar leads the way as the defending league champion in the 110 hurdles.
Senior Nathanael Ehmann and junior Chris Stanis should provide support in the hurdle events.
Junior Oladele Hospidales and sophomores Cole Le’au and Bryan David should lead the way in the sprint events.
The boys’ distance runners are young and talented, led by junior Jahir Olvera and sophomores Victor Goli and Dayne Ellis.
In the field events, Burbank will rely on the help of juniors Zion Chavez, Erik Harutyunyan, and Sam Vaseghyzand in the jumping events. Senior Chris Aslo and sophomore James Smyth are expected to lead the group of throwers.