Tabor track team blending veterans, new faces

The Tabor College men?s and women?s track team have set their sights on success at both the conference and national level, banking on experienced returners and young talent.

?I?m excited about both teams,? coach David Kroeker said. ?We?ve got a good group of kids who are working really hard.?

Men?s team

?My men?s team is going to be a lot more competitive than we were last year,??Kroeker said. ?I think I have a 4×400 team that can do some fun things at nationals. I have a good group of throwers on the guy?s side, in the hammer primarily.?

Hillsboro native Ishmael Morris has foregone playing football at Tabor and will focus on track.

?Ishmael has been good in the sprints,? Kroeker said. ?He?s had a good early season.?

Brandon Gooden, a junior transfer from Bakersfield, Calif., will also be one to watch.

?I?m expecting really good things from him,? Kroeker said. ?He should be the fastest guy we have.?

Senior Justin Ball has been solid for the past three years and has had a strong start this season.

?He?s run some pretty incredible splits in relays over the years,? Kroeker said. ?I think he?s ready to have a really great senior year.?

Freshman Nathan Vogel rounds out the men?s 4×400 relay team, with Matt Spurgeon substituting for an injured Gooden the past two meets.

?Those five guys I?m really looking forward to some good things on the 4×400,? Kroeker said.

Ryan Chippeaux returns for the Bluejays as well.

?He was a national qualifier in the high jump last year, so he is definitely someone I expect good things from,? Kroeker said

Women?s team

?On the women?s side, I had two national qualifiers last year,? Kroeker said. ?Emily Post, in the triple jump?she should qualify again outdoors. Tynan Honn should qualify again outdoors for nationals.?

Post set a personal record in the high jump in Tabor?s recent meet at Southwestern College.

?Our women?s team is going to be quite a bit smaller,? Kroeker said. ?From a conference standpoint, we?re not going to be as competitive team-wise.?

Despite smaller team numbers, Jasmine Peggese is a woman to watch.

?She is the only qualifier we had, men or women, for nationals in the weight throw, and she?d actually never thrown the weight before,? Kroeker said. ?She?s won the hammer both of the events that we?ve had so far.

?I think she?s going to help us. She?ll be a competitor for us.? Pegeese throws the discus as well.

Yvonne Brubacher is expected to put up strong performances in the pole vault.

?She?s another event-winner possibility at the conference tournament,? Kroeker said. ?There isn?t anybody in the conference right now that?s any better than she is.?

The Bluejays will look to win their regional meet April 9, hosted by conference opponent Bethany College.

The meets will serve to prepare Tabor for the all-important KCAC conference meet in May.

?It?s that two-day meet at the end of the season that determines where you are in the conference,? Kroeker said. ?Every?thing?s on the conference tournament.?