In his first year as Centre High School?s head track coach? ninth year with the program? Alan Stahlecker has small numbers to work with.
But it?s a team that returns three past state qualifiers and a girls? team that finished second last year in the Eisenhower League despite having only four members.
One 2009 state qualifier returns to the Cougars. Senior Josie Peterson made the trip to Wichita to throw the shot put.
Two state qualifiers from 2008 return. Trevor Troutt, the leading scorer for the boys in 2009, qualified for state in the discus two years ago. He will participate in all throwing events.
A 2008 state qualifier in the triple jump, senior Carlye Simons will compete again in that event, plus the long jump and the 100-meter hurdles.
Coming off a 2008 injury, senior Samantha Seifert will run sprints and participate in the horizontal jumps.
Although his team is small, it is bigger than last year.
?With nearly twice as many athletes as we had last year, we expect to be more competitive in team competition this year,? Stahlecker said.
?We still have a number of events where we will not have an entry, but our depth at several events should benefit us,? he added.
?We have a number of athletes with state experience and expectations, and several more with possibilities of competing at the 2010 state track meet.?
Centre begins 4:30 p.m. April 6 at Moundridge.