NL boys’ track to train hard, get through ‘rough patches’
“There will be some rough patches in the road as we will have to fit some new pieces into the puzzle,” said the New London boys’ track and field head coach, Shane Barron. “The first few meets will be a trial and error experience as we have people wanting to try new events.”
It will be a busy year for the Tiger athletes, as they will have to make up for their low numbers by competing in a few extra events each.
“I am like most coaches in that I wish I had more people come out for the sport, but the kids who have signed up have done a great job this year,” Barron said. “We have to train hard but smart as a lot of kids will have to run three and four events this year, rather than specialize in two.”
The team will look to Nick Oliver, Class 2A state qualifier in cross-country, for senior leadership.
“He has done a good job of showing the younger kids, what it takes to be successful in track,” Barron said.
Other seniors returning to the team this season are Braydon Wolfe, a hurdler, and Sam Craig, a sprinter.
In the junior class, the team returns thrower John Knapp, mid-distance runner Kyle Oliver and sprinter Kienan Stanbury.
“Kyle Oliver gives us a lot of flexibility in putting events together,” Barron said, and he notes that sophomores Cameron Watson and Gage Cumpton, along with freshman Tony Menke, can also compete in many different races for the Tigers.
The Tigers also return sophomore sprinter Devon Smythe and sophomore throwers Austin Menke and Dallas Menke.
They add freshmen Tony Menke, distance, and Austin McBeth, sprints.
“I’m also excited about the additions of (juniors) Matayo Christianer and Tyler Shinkle,” Barron said. “I think we will be more competitive in the team standings this year.”
Barron has been a New London boys’ track coach for six years. The season starts for the Tigers tomorrow (Thursday) at Van Buren.