While the distance group will clearly be the backbone of the Falcons’ squad this season, Evans is expecting big contributions from several other areas as well.
Claire Harrison is back to compete in the 400, among other events, while sophomore Carli Opland should provide a spark in the 100.
Senior Candice Chessum, also a standout basketball player, and junior Holly Wilson will give the Falcons a nice 1-2 punch in the hurdles.
“We’ve got a lot of people back,” Evans said. “I think we are gonna still be a little young in some of the events, but we should be pretty solid.”
While the Falcons have grand plans for 2008, Hoover and Glendale are hoping they can establish themselves amongst the Pacific League’s elite.
At Hoover, Coach Jack Sallakian has fielded a small team of about 25 athletes, but one he feels is going to be competitive.
“Our numbers are pretty small, but we have a lot of returners that are focused and strong,” said Sallakian, who has a strong hurdler in Shannon Azigi coming back. “We are focused on individual performances this year because [our] numbers are small.”
Sophomore Katherine Brouwer and Amy Ingram will lead the Tornadoes’ distance crew, while Annie Sahl eyes a big season in the 100 and 200.
A host of returning athletes, led by sprinters Alin Jabourian and Jennifer Dowty and jumpers Rita Assioan and Daniela Pollard, has Glendale aiming high this season.
“Our girls will probably be our strongest group,” said Nitros Coach Bob Bailey. “We lost very little to graduation. We should be strong in the sprints.”