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Thomson Falls starts track season with firepower

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | March 27, 2024 12:00 AM

The overall numbers are down for those who came out for Thompson Falls track and field this spring.

But the optimism is as strong as ever as a solid core of returning seniors, featuring four who competed in the State Class B championship last season, is back for another year.

And those seniors are buffeted by a strong group of underclassmen who have head coach Trenna Ferris looking forward to a great 2024 season.

Among those not returning this year are several seniors who graduated this past Spring, including Brock Ferris, John Taylor, Veronica Bewick, Ellie Baxter and Chesney Lowe. All six of those senior made it to the state finals last year. Two others, Brock Ryan and Katelyn Subatch moved back to Plains after attending T Falls last year.

But there is still some firepower in the mix, including seniors Braxton Dorscher (relays, springs and long jump); James Schmidt (throwing events); Cael Thilmony, a state competitor in the 3200 meter run last year (long distance runs, possible long relay); Trinity Riffle (relays and high jump); and Faith Palmer, who competed in the 1600 meter, 3200 meter runs, as well as the 4X400 and 4X100 relays (same for this year).

Among the junior class hopefuls are Braedon Ferris, a state competitor in the disc last year as a sophomore; Ethan Gesbusch (400 and 800 meter runs, relays); Gabe Hutton (throwing events); and Ian Myers (distance races and possibly long relay).

“We have several athletes, freshmen through seniors, out this year who are brand new to the sport, moved to T Falls or are coming up from the junior high program,” Ferris said. “We are excited to have our veterans work with them and see their strengths''.

Ferris said he anticipates a strong season from Thilmony this year.

“Cael is determined this year,” coach Ferris said. She also had praise for Braedon Ferris who “did very well last year in the discus as a sophomore and is returning stronger and is excited to throw”.

The team will also be without the services of several athletes who decided not to come out for track this season, including Kaiden Robins, Bryson LeCoure, Justin Haagenson, Nick Tessier and Sean Nowlan.

However, coach Ferris' optimism remains high despite the changes in the roster.

“We are down in numbers this year, but we are excited to work with all our athletes and love the team dynamic,” Ferris said. “We are impressed with the quality of athletic ability and also the sportsmanship and leadership we have this year. We are looking forward to a great season and for the athletes to work on personal improvement. We are training for May, improving every week is our goal”.

Ferris also noted the coaching staff as an asset to the success of the team.

“We have a great , veteran coaching staff,” she said. “Jake Susic with throwers, Sarah Naegeli with distance events, Amy Gilbert for jumpers and sprints and volunteer coach Scott Gilbert with jumps and sprints. They have been with the program a long time”.

Ferris, who has been with the T Falls program for seven years, and has 13 years of track coaching experience, said she will coach the pole vaulters, jumpers, sprinters and hurdlers.

“We push our athletes to become better athletes by having a growth mentality,” Ferris said. “Every week we get better and hopefully in May (state meet time) it will pay off.”