Brazil Times staff writer
Both the girls' and boys' Clay City track teams look to follow up a successful season by reloading their talent with young freshmen.
The boys' squad has 15 total athletes, with six freshmen competing. There is a huge hole to fill with Parker and Conner Modesitt graduating. Helping to shoulder the load will be returning senior Jessie Vansickle.
Vansickle will help carry a relay team that placed fourth in the Terre Haute North Sectional. Also participating in the distance events this year will be freshmen Blake Cochran and Michael Brooks.
"Right now that's the three we will be counting on for distance," Coach Keith Jones said.
"(Junior) Mark Grubbs was my best high jumper, long jumper and 400 man last year," Jones said. "We're looking for big points from him again this year." The Eels got big points from Grubbs in the sectional last season when he placed fifth in the long jump.
Senior Ethan Shaw and junior Wayne Thorpe will return for hurdles. Shaw placed third in the 300-meter hurdles in the sectional last year with a time of 43.03. "Tharpe did a pretty good job for us last year," Jones said. "He runs both hurdle events."
Senior Josh Decker will move from middle distance to sprints for this season.
As far as the Eels' throwing goes, they will be inexperienced. One of the throwers will be Quinton Hefner, a senior who has never thrown before.
Four more throwers are freshmen.
"If everybody stays healthy, I think we'll be competitive," Jones said. "With only 15 (competitors), some people are going to have to work pretty hard. Hopefully by conference time, we can be doing pretty well."
"I have a lot of freshmen," Clay City girls' coach Elissa Downey said. "A lot of my sprinters graduated last year. I think they're pretty talented."
After not having any hurdlers last year, the Clay City girls' squad has four potential hurdlers this year.
Lynsey Higgins won't be returning for the high jump due to her volleyball qualifications.
Participating in the long jump will be freshman Phoebe Farmer and sophomores McKayla Hogan, Kayla Sinders, and Krista Sinders. Kayla Sinders will look to improve her 200-meter dash time of 30.59.
Junior Asie Jeffers and senior Breezy Wiley return to lead the throwing events. Wiley placed eleventh in the shot put event last season at sectionals, while Jeffers placed eleventh in the discus throw.
With Ashley Sumner not returning, Nikki Franklin will have to help carry the Eels in the middle distance events.
"I think we'll be a lot better than last year," Downey said of her team's upcoming season.
Clay City Jr/Sr. Track and Field Coed Varsity
|Mon. 4/11||vs Linton||5 p.m.|
|Thur. 4/14||vs West Vigo High School||5 p.m.|
|Tue. 4/19||vs Shakamak/South Putnam||4:30 p.m.|
|Thur. 4/21||at Sullivan/Bloomfield||4:30 p.m.|
|Thur. 4/28||vs North Central/Riverton Parke||5 p.m.|
|Tue. 5/3||at Cloverdale High School||4 p.m.|
|Fri. 5/6||at SWIAC Meet||4:45 p.m.|
|Thur. 5/12||vs Eminence High School||5 p.m.|
|Tue. 5/17||at Girls' Sectional||5:30 p.m.|
|Thur. 5/17||at Boys' Sectional||6 p.m.|