Along with the football team and the boys’ basketball team, the track team has a new coaching staff.
Athletic director Andrew Nation has taken over head coaching responsibilities, and teachers Bob Lee and Morgan Ballard have been assisting by helping the throwers and jumpers. Nation has been head coach of the middle school track team for three years as well.
“The biggest difference between coaching high school track and middle school track is that high school athletes already have a general idea of what events they have the best chance of success at,” Nation said. “With middle school we have to test things out to see what each athlete is skilled at.”
A few changes have came along with the new coaching staff. Practices have been coordinated differently including a more effective warm up, team conditioning, more available weight room time and more time for athletes to focus on their specific events. Another change that has been implemented is the opportunity for athletes to participate in junior varsity meets.
“I like that the coaches added JV meets this year because I get to try out different events that I’ve wanted to compete in,” sophomore Heidi Roberts said.
At the most recent varsity track meet at South Barber High School, the boys’ team placed third out of 15 teams with 70 points and the girls’ team placed ninth with 26 points. The boys finished with seven top three placings, and the girls had seven top six placings.
The hurdles, distance and throwing events were all strengths for the boys. Sophomore Sam Fisher won the only gold medal of the day, winning the 300 high hurdles, and sophomore Brock Montgomery got the silver for the 110m hurdles. The 4×800 relay, consisting of sophomores Ryan Adams and Mark Schmidt, and juniors Erik Ghumm and Colby Shriver, worked together to place second. Adams and Ghumm also finished second in the 800 and the 3200 while freshman Jackson Wallace also snagged silver in the 1600. Rounding up top three placings for the boys was senior Carson Lee with a bronze in javelin.
Upperclassmen led the way for the girls with senior Madison Tyler securing gold in triple jump and senior Sydney Koirth placing fourth in shot put and sixth in the 100. Relays also placed well for the girls with a third place finish in the 4×100 consisting of Koirth, Tyler, junior Kayley Cook and sophomore Kailey Hamm, and the 4×800 nabbing sixth consisting of Tyler, junior Kayla Flora, sophomore Katelynn McGraw, and freshman Mackenzie Wright. Hamm and junior Adison Hampton also captured fifth place medals in the long jump and the 3200.
The team is looking to keep improving throughout the season with eight meets left including one today at Norwich. The meet starts at 3 p.m.