1. Four more golds?: Kamiakins Ellie Heiden has already had one of the most dominating careers of any high school girl athlete in state history.
She has a chance to make an argument to be the best ever.
Heiden has won 10 gold medals in her career and with four more this year would tie for the most in state history. Blaines Cherish Morrison won 14 from 2009-12, though that was at the Class 2A level. Clevelands Cheryl Taplin has the most for Class 3A and higher, winning 13 from 1987-90, while Rainier Beachs Ginnie Powell won 11 from 1999-2002.
Heiden certainly will be the favorite to win her medals again, but will be under immense pressure throughout the season. The BYU-signee has handled all the pressure thrown at her in the past, though.
2. Three in a row?: Heiden isnt the only girl track and field athlete from Kamiakin who has a chance at some hardware.
The Braves girls have won back-to-back state team titles and are the definitive favorites to make it three in a row.
Along with Heiden back, Kamiakin has distance star Megan Beauchene (Washington signee), Danielle Brandon in the relays and pole vault, Emily Moon in the relays and 800, Lindsey Schauble and Heather Donais in the hurdles, Elisa Grandemange in the discus (defending state champion) and javelin, Andrea Stapleton in the high jump (state placer), Brandon in the pole vault and Amanda Miller in the throws.
3. Hardware in the offing, part I: Mid-Columbia girls track isnt all about Kamiakin.
Southridge and Richland also have plenty of talent, and Walla Walla has a returning state champion in Maddie Sirmon (javelin).
The Bombers won the 4A regional title last year and took third in the team race at state, but Elizabeth Quick is in college and they will have to find someone to replace her in the jumps.
Lindsey Bradley and Lauren Perry are still a strong 1-2 punch in the distance events, while Bridgette Underwood is a returning placer int he javelin.
Southridge also figures to bring home some state medals, as its 4x100 relay team (Mertece Hatchet, Kylie Fraga, Bree Lane and Nicole Edwards) took second at state last year and returns everyone from that group.
Walla Walla also has Katarina Tonhdavong returning after she took second at state in the discus. Kennewicks Samantha Lester is a dual threat in the discus and shot put.
4. Hardware in the offing, part II: While the Mid-Columbia Conference hasnt been very deep on the boys side in recent years, the league does have some power up top.
Richlands Payton Radliff was second at state in the long jump last year and is a favorite this season. Walla Wallas 4x100 relay team returns three of its members Stuart Gillin, Darnell Handcox and Ethan Gardner who placed third a year ago.
Hanfords Ben Kelly was fifth in the 200 and Dallon Grinder eighth in the shot put, while Pascos Christian Young was seventh in the 400.
Newcomer Deion Singleton already has set the Chiawana school record in the triple jump and could be in contention for a state medal as well.
5. Hardware in the offing, part III: Three-fourths of the River View boys 4x100 relay team that took second at state last year is back, and they are certainly hungry for a state title.
Daniel Madrigal, Alonso Mendoza and Terran Brown all have enough speed that they can bring the Panthers an elusive state title trophy.
District rival Connell has three of its four runners back from the 4x400 relay which placed eighth last season. Diego Reyes, Roberto Orozco and Josiah Kroontje all could certainly be in the medal hunt again this season.