Written by Patty Decker Tuesday, 27 March 2012 15:13
Even with more students out for track and field this season, Centre coach Alan Stahlecker says it’s still going to be a rebuilding year.
“We had 16 competing last year and 24 or 25 out this year,” he said. “It’s a pretty young team—mostly freshmen.
“I am not even sure if Ellie (Miller), one of last year’s letter-winners, will be able to compete.”
Miller, one of his four juniors, is recovering from an injury, leaving senior Theo Kassebaum and sophomore Cacey Simons as Stahlecker’s two experienced athletes.
“Of our three seniors this year,” he said, “Theo is the only placer, taking seventh in the 100-meter hurdles last year at state.”
“Cacey is our other experienced player,” Stahlecker said. “She came close to qualifying for state last year in the high jump, but missed by one spot.”
Simons placed fifth at regionals, but needed to finish fourth to qualify.
“High jump is Cacey’s best event,” Stahlecker said, adding that Simons also is a contender in sprints.
Stahlecker is optimistic about his young squad and sees a lot of good things in his 14 freshmen.
“We already have a couple of strong competitors,” he said.
As for this year’s plan, Stahlecker said he and assistant coach Kelly Steiner will continue looking for their team’s strengths in practice.
He said they plan to evaluate the team individually and decide where each athlete can be the most competitive, then help them develop in those areas.
Stahlecker said it’s unfortunate pole vaulting is not one of Centre’s events, but he and Steiner will assess the team in long, triple and high jump.
He said they also will look at placing students in the throwing events: shot put, discus and javelin.
Stahlecker said he hopes to have competitors in most of the running events as well.
“We don’t have enough kids to fill all the events, but I think we have enough variety, at least, to keep the kids’ interests,” he said.
The Cougars are scheduled to begin competition with a five-team meet at Marion April 3.