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Division I talent leads optimistic boys track team

Members of the boys track team prepare for the upcoming season. Photo submitted

Members of the boys track team prepare for the upcoming season. Photo submitted

Amaya Hernandez, Reporter

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Boys track and field is starting back up and many people are excited to begin competing again.

Boys track and field head coach Troy Harding said he is looking forward to the start of track and field because there are so many new faces and talents to be shown. There are four new coaches: Brandan Dean, Jamie Fournier, Bruce DeFresne, and Ben Licklider. Harding said that the team got lucky because all of the new coaches are experienced and he believes they are a great addition to the team.

Another change made this year is the javelin is an official state event since it has been exhibitioned the past two years.

Harding said the expectation for the boys is to be really competitive, and although they have had a few great runners who in the past have gotten first and second place, there still are a few runners who are able to possibly get a third or fourth place, which would be the equivalent to one person getting first.

Harding is most satisfied as coach by seeing progress from the athletes.

“Seeing someone get rewarded for all the work they’ve put in, that’s probably the best part,” Harding said.

Senior sprinter Tyrell Jeffries expressed his excitement for the start of the season, and he is looking forward to leading the team being one of the few returning letterman sprinters. Jeffries said that he thinks the team has a lot of depth, and he has confidence that the team can score a lot of points in many different events. His favorite parts of track include interacting with other track athletes from different schools and competing and setting new personal records. Jeffries will be running in the 100 dash, 200 dash, 4×100 relay and the 4×200 relay, but his favorite is the 200 dash.

“I like the 100 a lot, but with the 200 it requires a lot more focus, so it is fun to race,” Jeffries said.

A meet that Jeffries is especially excited to race at is the KU relays.

“I am excited about KU relays because it is cool running at the college I am going to,” Jeffries said.

Senior distance runner Mason Smith is also looking forward to the KU relays and to the season as well. He will be running in the 1600-meter run, 3200-meter run and possibly the 4×800 meter relay, but the 1600 meter run is his favorite because he believes the 4×800 is fast and hard and the 3200-meter run is too long, so the 1600 fits perfectly in the middle. He said that the coaches are pushing the distance runners more than usual and thinks that is exactly what they need to be a better team and score more points. Smith believes that their new ways of coaching will not only help him and the team during this track season but in the future when he attends Arkansas State next year.

The first boys varsity meet is at 4 p.m. at Liberty High School, March 24. The first home meet, the Rusty Hodge invitational is at 4 p.m., March 31.

Members of the boys track team prepare for the upcoming season. Photo submitted

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Division I talent leads optimistic boys track team