Talented newcomers could give boost to LHS track at Baldwin
Last year was supposed to be the rebuilding year for Lansing High's track team as talented seniors and a slew of newcomers dominated the roster.
Those seniors graduated, though, and two of the top newcomers - hurdler/sprinter Takeisha Jenkins and pole vaulter Zach Bell - moved away. Another of last year's newbies, sprinter Michael Griffin, was ruled ineligible for this season. As a result, the 2006 track season should have a similar feel to the 2005 campaign, coach Errol Logue said.
The big difference is that numbers are up significantly this season. About 75 athletes are out for track this year compared to an opening-day tally of 54 last year.
"There are a lot of freshmen and new kids, and that's really made it a hassle trying to get a team ready to go," Logue said. "But it's really great to have that many out. It's much better this year."
The Lions open their season at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Baldwin Invitational. This year's meet will be moved from Baker University to Wellsville High School because Baker is resurfacing its track. Although Logue said he'd prefer to have his squad run at Baker so it could have the experience of running on a college track, he said he would worry less about the change of venue and more about who will run what events.
"We've probably got as new a team as I've ever worked with as far as kids I don't know, move-ins and new kids that are out for track," Logue said.
The only sure-things on the lineup are senior sprinters E.J. Corinealdi and Jeff Slater, senior throwers Amanda Radovich and Keele McLaurin, senior distance runners Erin Eustice and Ashley Mayes, junior sprinter Riann Deere, junior pole vaulter Kyle Buehler and sophomore distance runner Griffin Davis.
Logue said Corinealdi and Slater had emerged as good leaders.
"E.J. and Slater have both been working real hard and they're the type of leaders you hope to have when they're seniors," Logue said.
Logue said a few others are beginning to define their roles. Junior Matt Sittenauer has emerged as a versatile sprinter and jumper. Freshman Brinton Smith will be a candidate to fill a vacancy on the boys' 400-meter relay team. Senior Samantha Parr is competing for a varsity spot in the long sprints. Sophomore hurdler Nick Kelloff also could be a major contributor after a strong freshman season.
Among the teams participating at Baldwin will be Baldwin High, Anderson County, Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, Eudora, De Soto, Jefferson West, Perry-Lecompton, Pittsburg, Wellsville and St. James Academy.
"This will be one of our tougher meets," Logue said. "When we go into that type of competition, it gives us a pretty good idea of what we need to work on."
After Baldwin, Lansing will compete at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Lansing Invitational at Frank Graham Field.