Tuesday, September 02, 2014
   
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Eagles expect to be competitive in every area

Lower number doesn’t mean less quality

After fielding huge teams for the past four years, numbers are down for the Brady girls and boys track and field teams.

That doesn’t mean opponents should count the Eagles out, though. There’s plenty of experience from quality athletes who return.

Coach Rich Britten is disappointed to see only six girls on his roster because it limits points the team can earn.

At the same time, he is excited about the prospects for all six because each one of them has competed at state at least once.

Lone senior Molly Hannon and junior Lexi Franzen were members of a state-qualifying relay team in 2011.

Fellow junior Valerie Most is a two-year qualifier in four different events and sophomores Shaylin McClellen, Autumn Hild and Josie Palmer competed in Omaha last year.

“These girls all want to get back to state,” Britten said, “and they have the talent to do it.”

Depth will be an issue for the girls in team scoring.

“I think we will win our share of events,” the coach said, “but we won’t get any of those extra points from lower places because we won’t have multiple entries.”

On the boys side, five Eagles return with state meet experience with 21 others as supporting cast.

Britten expects the boys to be competitive across all areas.

“We have seven senior boys who each have medal potential in their particular events,” Britten said, “and there are younger kids who will contribute as they develop.”

A particular focus for the boys, the coach said, will be the 4x400 relay.

Three of the four runners on last year’s state-qualifying mile relay return after having missed the long-standing school record time by a tenth of a second in 2012.

“We’re sure hoping to break that this year and maybe even a couple more,” Britten said.

The Eagle boys are likely to be in the running for team titles throughout the season, the coach said, including a battle between the Eagles, Mullen and Stapleton-McPherson County in the Sandhills Conference.

“It will be interesting to see how things stack up,” he said.

Brady opens the track and field season at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Class D Indoor Invite on Friday with events scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The first outdoor meet of the season is March 23 at Hershey, weather permitting.

With a schedule virtually unchanged from last year, the Eagles will work toward elite status for the D-10 district meet at Sutherland on May 8.

“We had a beautiful spring last year weather-wise,” Britten said. “I hope that doesn’t come back to bite us this year.”

Members of the 2013 Brady Eagle track and field team are (*denotes letter winner):

SENIORS—Kaleb Arterburn*, Josh Boon*, Molly Hannon*, Marc Kramer-Davis*, Matt Litzenberger*, Zach Mann*, Bryley Roper*, Cole Viter*.

JUNIORS—Geoffrey Bauder, Lexi Franzen*, Valerie Most*, Chris Porter, Eric Roe*, Sean Thomas, Donnie Trisdale, Austin Widick*.

SOPHOMORES—Levi DeStefano, Autumn Hild*, Troy Lusk*, Trevor Mann*, Shaylin McClellen*, Cody Most*, Josie Palmer*, Jon Taullie*, Chase Viter*, Cody Warren*.

FRESHMEN—Tustin Golter, Bowen Land, Cole Lewis, Dayne Porter, Nate Sitorius, Alec Trobaugh.

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