With Canton-Galva track and field participants more than tripling in number from last year (from 12 to 40), first-year coach Jeff Savage will rely on numbers to fuel the Eagles? success this season, especially for the boys? team
?We should be able to field competitive relays and develop throwers with our numbers,? Savage said. ?Jumping events will be another area with good numbers.?
While the Eagles may lack in sprinters this year, Savage praised the Eagles for their work ethic.
?Not much sprint speed but good, hard-working kids that will continue to improve because of their work ethic,? he said.
Topping Savage?s list of returning contributors for a young girls? team is junior Ally Smiley, who holds the school record in triple jump. Returning sophomore Krystal May is expected to be a force in the high jump.
Savage will look to two newcomers: junior Cody Nightingale in shot put and discus, and sophomore Keana Haydon in hurdles and relays.
?The girls? team is very young and inexperienced,? Savage said. ?Team-wise, we do not have the numbers to score large points in a track meet.?
Savage is confident the girls will make progress throughout the season because of their work ethic.
?The girls we do have are hard workers and will improve each week,? he said.
Four returning athletes will anchor the Eagle boys this season: junior Trevor Unruh in javelin, shot put and discus; senior Eli Janzen in distance races; junior Austin Bullinger in the 200, 400 and relays; and sophomore Trey Moddelmog in the jumps.
Adding to the lineup will be several newcomers: senior Ren Dieker (distance), juniors Cody Savage (javelin, discus and possibly hurdles), AJ Medley (shot put, discus) and Kendrick Bandy (shot put, discus), sophomore Bastian Brass (distance) and freshman Zach Snow (jumps, hurdles).
Savage said a strength of the Eagles boys? team is its depth.
?We may have a chance to score some big points in the smaller meets with our boys? team because of numbers,? he said.
The Eagles are scheduled to open their season at Herington April 2.