Eagles bring experience, depth to track
Brady girls, boys will show strengths in different areas
Brady track and field coach Rich Britten faces two dramatically different scenarios with his girls and boys track teams this spring.
The Eagles will field only 15 girls but they come with loads of talent.
Six of the 15 have state meet experience. Three have competed in Omaha more than once.
Five girls are freshmen, at least three of which are expected to contribute early.
“The girls are pretty strong all the way around,” Britten said. “There’s just not very many of them.”
Seniors Megan Polt and Courtney Widick, along with junior Dakota Terry, will work throughout the season toward their third trip to state.
Junior Molly Hannon and sophomores Lexi Franzen and Valerie Most want to get back to Omaha too.
Add to the mix freshmen Josie Palmer, Autumn Hild and Shaylin McClellen—all stand-outs in junior high—and Britten anticipates plenty of success.
“Without a lot of depth, it’s hard to predict how we’ll do in team standings but we’ll get our share of medals,” he said. “I think the freshmen will experience some growing pains just like they do with every other sport but they’ll certainly contribute.”
On the other hand, the Eagle boys should have plenty of depth with weekly competition to make the participant list.
Six seniors will lead the 26 boys on Brady’s team with talent across the running and field events.
There’s no state experience, though.
“We don’t have the power kids that we did last year,” Britten said, “so we might not come home with a bunch of gold medals but we’re going to rack up some points by placing two or maybe even three in a lot of events.”
Middle and long distances could be strong for the boys, the coach said, and he expects big things from the weight events.
“We’ve got kids who barely missed making it to state last year,” Britten said of senior discus thrower Levi Widick and senior shot putters Ryan Porter and Tyler Egenberger. “I think if we’re going to do anything in the team points, those throwers are going to have to get things done.”
With the addition of senior Jake Warren and junior Matt Litzenberger in the throws lineup, Britten thinks the Eagles can clean up in those events.
“It’s still so early,” the coach said. “We’re still trying to figure out where everybody fits.”
The Eagles open their season indoors on Thursday at the Class D UNK Invite in Kearney and weather permitting will go outside on March 24 at the Hershey Invite.
Mullen and Brady should battle for Sandhills Conference titles, Britten said, with tough competition from Sandhills/Thedford for both the boys and girls teams.
Britten said he hoped to stay in the same district as last year but Brady was moved west and south, competing this year in the D-10 at Sutherland.
Opponents will include Hayes Center, Hitchcock County, Maxwell, Maywood, Medicine Valley, Paxton, Sutherland, Wallace and Wauneta-Palisade.
“We don’t get to see all those teams throughout the season,” Britten said. “I guess it doesn’t really matter though. It’s all about what we accomplish on that day.”
Members of the 2012 Brady Eagle track and field team are (*denotes letter winner):
SENIORS—Tyler Egenberger*, Tyrel Grasz*, Micah Most*, Shelby McClellen*, Megan Polt*, Ryan Porter*, Jake Warren*, Courtney Widick*, Levi Widick*
JUNIORS—Kaleb Arterburn*, Josh Boon*, Mikaela Eckholt*, Molly Hannon*, Krystan Hood*, Marc Kramer-Davis*, Matt Litzenberger*, Zach Mann*, Michael Neiman*, Bryley Roper*, Dakota Terry*, Cole Viter*.
SOPHOMORES—Jacob Brown, Lexi Franzen*, Alexis Mann*, Valerie Most*, Chris Porter*, Eric Roe*, Donnie Trisdale, Austin Widick*.
FRESHMEN—Mariah Adams, Autumn Hild, Troy Lusk, Trevor Mann, Dalton Mays, Shaylin McClellen, Cody Most, Josie Palmer, Kristen Spone, Jon Taullie, Cole Viter, Cody Warren.