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Familiar coaches return to track programs

Both western Nevada County high school track and field teams are being led by new coaches. Both coaches, however, have coached previously with their respective teams.

For Bear River, Chris Davis has taken over. Davis, who has recently been coaching Nevada Union, last coached the Bruins in 1999.

Jim Worthy, who last coached NU in 2004, is coach of the Miners.



Bear River

Back for the Bruins are seniors Nicole Jackson and Rachel Welz, both of whom made it to the Sac-Joaquin Section championships last season.




Jackson is the team’s best hurdler, according to Davis, while Welz excels as a jumper. At Placer High School on March 17, Welz broke Bear River’s high-jump record by clearing 5 feet, 8 inches.

“A lot of their success can be tied to (personal coach) Jeff Gallero,” Davis said. “I really walked into a situation with these two women athletes.”

For the boys, athletes from whom Davis expects big things include senior Adam Stillman (discus), junior Jared Murnan (sprinter, jumper), junior Chase Duncan (shotput), junior Tommy Jones (triple jumper), sophomore Chris Parfitt (sprinter, pole vaulter), sophomore Tanner Mathias (sprinter, jumper), and sophomore Jason Varni (sprinter, jumper).

Bear River competes Friday at the Woody Wilson invitational at UC Davis. Only athletes that qualified are invited to compete.

Nevada Union

Having taken over a program he believes to be losing popularity, Worthy is working to re-establish NU’s track team, reaching as far down as the nearby middle schools.

Worthy said he did, however, step into a school with several bright spots, both on the varsity and JV squads.

“We have some good individuals,” Worthy said. “Things could turn around.”

Between both the varsity and JV, 75 athletes are on the team.

On the list of standouts for the boys are senior Kemp Stanford (sprinter, jumper), senior Dominic Ruggiero (triple jumper), and senior Matt Bleichwehl (shotput).

The girls are led by junior Addi Bright (pole vaulter), and senior Allison Chappel (jumper).

According to Worthy, Chappel is now looking to make a name for herself in pole vault, an event she hadn’t attempted until earlier this season.

Nevada Union also competes Friday at the Woody Wilson invitational at UC Davis. Only athletes that qualified are invited to compete.

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To contact Sports Writer Jeff Miller, e-mail jeffm@theunion.com or call 477-4247.

Team: Bear River

Sport: Track and field

Coach: Chris Davis, first year

Key returnees: Nicole Jackson, Rachel Welz

Conference: Pioneer Valley League

Team: Nevada Union

Sport: Track and field

Coach: Jim Worthy, first year

Key losses: Nancy Gutierreez

Key returnees: Allison Chappel, Kemp Stanford, Dominic Ruggiero

Conference: Sierra Foothill League


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