Large turnout leads to big expectations
It's a numbers game for the Basehor-Linwood track team. If early figures are a sign of future prosperity, the team will be improved in 2007.
"As of this week we have over 60 male and female athletes out for track after finishing with 34 total in 2006, so we are very excited about that," coach Steve Hopkins said.
The team has a nice mix of experience and youth.
"Our senior leaders of Stephen Dyer, Megan Tush, and Amanda Vitt, as well as Vanessa Malinowski in the throwing events provide experience at several levels," Hopkins said. "In addition, senior Tiffany Waxmonski returns after recovering from a second ACL surgery last year, and after qualifying for state in three events as a sophomore, we are hoping she can continue to get stronger and give us a legitimate shot at the 100, 200 and on the relays to get back to state.
Having so many upperclassmen will be a breath of fresh air for a team that had just two seniors last year.
"Our season in 2006 was marked by a very small and young team," Hopkins said. "Our most decorated athlete was Dustin Weimer who placed third in the state track meet and ran consistently at or under 2:00 in the open 800 meter run."
The team's other state qualifier was sophomore Adam Palfreyman, who qualified in the high jump. He did not place.
Last year's squad made good progress throughout the season.
"At the league meet we medaled in the boys 4x800 relay (placing third) and placed in several other events with Dustin being our only conference champ in the 800," Hopkins said. "Also placing high was junior 300 intermediate hurdler Stephen Dyer, and sprinter Katelyn Witt in both the 200 and the 100 hurdles."
The team had great success at several events, and hopes to build off that during the coming season.
"Our distance athletes on the girls side consistently scored points in every meet last season with Amanda Vitt, and Megan Tush as well as Emily Lackner all placing in the 800, the 1,600, and the 3,200 running events, and on the 4x800 team," Hopkins said. "All three of these runners are back and should be solid in the same events. On the boys team, besides Weimer and Dyer, we were able to place in our 4x100 relay as well as in the throwing events with Ethan Douglas (shot and discus) and Swede Johnson (javelin)."
Hopkins says fans can expect to see familiar faces contending for state berths.
"Stephen Dyer and Tiffany Waxmonski, and Brooke Sanders all look to go to state as individuals, but also to enter multiple events and score points for the team," Hopkins said.
This year's Bobcat track team has the numbers and the experience. They hope prosperity will follow.
"We look to place in the top three in major meets including the Kaw Valley League and build for the future," Hopkins said.