Boys: Moses Lake senior Aaron Wafer is the league's front-runner against this season. He has the top returning times in all three events (100, 11.04; 200, 22.06; 400, 49.88) and is the defending state champion in the 200. He'll be pushed by freshman teammate David Gilman and Walla Walla's Andrew Battenburg.
Girls: Richland senior Kayla McKeirnan signed in the fall with Georgia Tech after a junior season in which she won the state 400 title and also placed in the 100 (third) and 200 (fourth). Ike has a freshman, Shanai Campbell, who ran a 13.07 at its jamboree Saturday. Pasco's Yesenia Ortiz and Bianca Arellano are also ones to watch.
Boys: Richland senior Tyler Noland was fifth at state in the 800 last year and 12th at the state cross country meet in the fall. Also watch for Pasco's Peter Gilbert in the middle distances.
Girls: The league's best reside outside the Tri-Cities -- Davis' duo of Sandra Martinez and Shawna Schooley, and Wenatchee's Kristen Ballinger. Watch for Wa-Hi's Helen Reich and Richland's Danielle Amparan in the dual season.
Boys: Richland's Isaac Butts and Walla Walla's Michael Najera will vie for top honors.
Girls: Richland has a great 1-2 combo in junior Galia Deitz and senior Caroline Hedel, and another up-and-comer in sophomore Gabby Brower. Walla Walla has senior Andi Bughi. And watch for Pasco junior Leslie Xaipanya.
Boys: Wafer and a pair of Richland high jumpers -- junior Cody McCargar, who tied for second at state last year, and senior Dorian Smith -- are the area's best bets to get to state.
Girls: Richland has depth with Jessica Clement, a junior transfer from Mississippi who went 5-2 in the high jump at the jamboree, along with McKeirnan and Shallyn Jackson in the long jump, seniors Bri Kristofski and Lauren Salerno (pole vault) and junior Lindsay Roberts (triple jump). Moses Lake's Ann Noyes and Walla Walla's Shanie Bushman will contend in the triple.
Boys: Moses Lake's Tad Harman (shot, discus) and Wa-Hi's Aaron Mettler (javelin) may be the league's only hope to steal a state berth from the GSL's top guns.
Girls: A definite down year for the league in this discipline. Richland's Michelle Machinal (shot) is the best returner.
Boys: A definite weak spot for the league this year, with little depth returning. Hanford sophomore Kody Winsor is a newcomer to watch.
Girls: Reclassification reunites former MVL rivals Eastmont and West Valley, each of which has tons of sprint depth. Kamiakin's Kendyl Pele is the area's best coming back.
Boys: Southridge sophomore Andrew Gonzales qualified for state in cross country and should be the area's top threat to qualify in the 1,600 and 3,200. Kamiakin seniors Seb Miller and Brad Young also will contend for state berths.
Girls: No sure things but plenty of contenders for state berths from the area -- Southridge senior Christina Lee and sophomore Anne Steagall; Hanford sophomore Megan Dart; Kamiakin freshman Rachael Gerboth; and Sunnyside junior Brittany Messmore.
Boys: Kamiakin was the Big Nine's dominant program last year and with Brandon Lattin and Scottie Duclos back, that shouldn't change this year.
Girls: Kamiakin's Olivia Johnston was runner-up at state in the 300s. Southridge sophomore Kasey McNeil was a regional finalist in both races, and Suns freshman Chelsea Bourque will be one to watch.
Boys: Hanford has the depth in this discipline with senior Keefe Brockman, junior Vien Hua and pole vaulter Calvin Nash. Southridge's Ross Quesnell could be a sleeper.
Girls: Bourque could be the top name in the region by season's end. For now, returners to watch include Hanford's Taymussa Miller (5-3 high jump at jamboree) and Kelly Hostetler, and Kamiakin's Alyssa Thompson.
Boys: Kamiakin's Aaron Salsbury (discus) and Southridge's Jeremy Salinas and Josh Antonson (shot) will vie for state berths.
Girls: Prospects for the Mid-Columbia look bleak in this discipline. Kennewick's Maria Bessey in the discus could surprise.
Boys: Prosser senior Nectaly Barbosa just missed a state record at Saturday's Oregon Preview meet in Eugene, running the 800 in an all-time area best of 1:49.94. He'll head up a much-improved Mustangs team. Grandview also should be tough as usual in the duals.
Girls: Othello may not have the depth for the dual season, but with junior Courtney Kirkwood threatening the all-time area best in the javelin and several other top individuals, the Huskies will be tough at invitationals and in the postseason.
Boys: Ki-Be graduated several studs, including Holden Leavitt and Quintin Adams, but should still be tough. Still, the strength of the league lies in the West with Zillah and Goldendale.
Girls: Ki-Be's Whitney Leavitt won the 100 and 200 state titles as a freshman. She'll lead a deep team that should contend for district honors, as should Connell, especially when javelin ace Becca Lee returns from a broken foot next month.
March 31: Southridge Relays; Holder Relays, Yakima
April 7: Davis Invite, Yakima; Arcadia (Calif.) Invitational
April 14: Pasco Invitational; Columbia Basin Invitational, Royal City
April 21: Prosser Rotary Invite; Kiwanis Invite, Hermiston.
May 4: Connell Invitational
May 11: CBL 4A districts, Zaepfel Stadium, Yakima; CBL 3A districts, West Valley; SCAC subdistricts, Connell
May 18: CWAC districts, Prosser; SCAC districts, Goldendale
May 18-19: 4A Eastern Regionals, U-Hi; 3A Eastern Regionals, Spokane Falls CC
May 25-26: Star Track XXV, Pasco; 2A/1A state, Tacoma; 2B/1B state, EWU