The Peabody-Burns track team has fast shoes to fill following the graduation of hometown sprinting star Lauren Pickens last spring.
But the Warriors have a roster full of juniors and sophomores eager to make their own mark.
?We have more kids participating this year than last, so it will be easier to fill events and compete among ourselves every day,? coach Brian Lightner said.
?We graduated kids who did a lot of scoring for us at the league meet, so skill development of the younger kids and the leadership of the upperclassmen will be the key to our success at the end of the season.?
The boys finished third in the Wheat State League last season. The girls placed eighth in the league and sixth at state.
Returning letter??-winners for the girls? team include junior Paige Lewis in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and sophomore Beckah McCullough in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
The boys? team returns a broader base. Junior Lucas Larsen anchors the throwing events in the discus, shot put and javelin, with junior Seth Topham coming back in the high jump and 110- and 300-meter hurdles.
Also returning is junior Zach Preheim in the hurdles and fellow junior Allen McLaughlin in the long jump and the 100- and 400-meter dashes.
?I am excited to be working with these kids and am looking forward to this year and seeing what each of them can do as the season progresses,? Lightner said.
He predicted that Little River, Centre and Goessel would be among the top teams in the league on the girls? side, with Solomon, Hope and White City leading the way for the boys.
The Warriors will get their first chance to test their skills April 3 when they travel to Inman for a five-team Central Kansas Track League meet.