April 2, 2009

Improved Numbers Has SCR-I Track Teams Setting Sights High for 2009

They still have a long road ahead of them, but the Scotland County track team is headed in the right direction according to coaches T.J. Young and Jaryt Hunziker.

“We have 34 kids out for track this year, and with 46 at the junior high level, we are starting to see the numbers improve,” Young said. “That’s good for the school’s sports program overall, as most coaches will agree that a school with a good track team, has good athletes across the board that benefit all the other programs.”

Of that total, only six are seniors, meaning Scotland County has plenty of room for growth as the young team matures. The squads will have to replace some invaluable parts from the 2008 versions that lost consistent point winners Kirsten Johnston, Joe Spurgeon and Nathan Purvis to graduation.

On the boys side, senior Ryan Auld will anchor the 4x800 relay team that earned all-conference honors last season.

Rod Sears is part of that mix, and the sophomore will be counted upon as a top performer in the 800 after he broke the school record in the class as a freshman en route to all-conference honors.

The duo will likely be joined by sophomore Sabe Sears and freshman Logan Payne.

The Sears cousins will also be jumping for the Tigers in 2009 with Rod handling long jump duties while Sabe will tackle the triple jump after impressing the coaches with his pre-season efforts in his first go at the complicated maneuver.

Auld is among four seniors on the SCR-I boys team. Bradley Hamner will be one of the team’s sprinters, while Tyler Troutman will run mid-distance events and Aaron Neagle will compete in the shot put and discus.

With no juniors on the team, the Tigers will lean on a talented group of underclassmen. Logan Brassfield will run sprints and throw the shot put. Eric Johnston will be a sprinter while Will See will throw shot and discus.

The team will feature nine freshmen. Harley Stone will do the high jump. Cody Avery and Matt Tague will run the 200 and 400. Christian Bradley and Maverick Murphy will run distance and possibly throw for the Tigers while Eric Masden will also be a thrower. Brock Bonduranmt will run mid-distance while Logan Payne will be a long distance runner. Drew Miller will run some sprints as well as mid-distance events.

The girls squad will feature plenty of youngsters as well, with just two seniors for the Lady Tigers. Kelsey Frazier and Melissa Cotton will be the veterans for the team. Cotton was a state-qualifier in the high jump while Frazier is a mid-distance runner.

Like its counterpart, the girls squad has no juniors. Sophomore Skyler Alderton will shoot for points in the 400-meter dash, while Augusta Purvis will run sprints and be a jumper. Katie Miller was a top performer in the shot put and discus as a freshman and will return to both events. Stephanie Yarbrough and Kristie Parrish will be distance runners while Monica Weidenbenner will run the 400 and 800. Anna Duley will run distance events as will Clara Nettelbladt and Shelby Westhoff.

The team will showcase a number of freshmen as well. Cali Holt will be a sprinter as will Elizabeth Duzan who will also do hurdles. Courtney Jackson and Kiley Frazier will run mid-distance events and Loren Smith will be a thrower.

The teams first action was scheduled for March 31st at Knox County.

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