W-MU boys’ track returns talented core, have numbers to fill all events
The Winfield-Mt. Union boys’ track and field team is bringing back some talent, and they’re adding enough athletes to cover all their events. It’s all there — now they just need some time to put it all together.
“We are still a fairly young team but have a nice core group of runners back,” Coach Cody Wolfe said. “Max Fricke as a returning qualifier is a great leader for us. Our numbers are still strong so we should be able to fill all events.
“Our practices have been good so far and hopefully our young kids can step into spots where they can develop and help us score points,” he added.
Fricke was the team’s only state qualifier last season, competing in the 400-meter run in Des Moines.
Since last year, the team lost only a couple varsity athletes to graduation: Clayton Robison and Skyler Davis. They bring back most of the team.
“I think our strength will be our middle distance running and our distance,” Wolfe said. “A lot of these guys had some success at cross-country, and hopefully it can turn over here. We do have a lot of experience down though the 400.”
That experience comes from juniors Kollin Lintz, Tristin Klopfenstein and Travis Jones and sophomore Levi Giese. It also includes two freshmen who have run cross-country for W-MU: Kohlton Heinzel and Johnathan Quinn.
“Our field events and sprints/hurdles may be down a bit this year,” Wolfe said. “We have young guys that I think will be successful in these areas, but it will take some time to get there.”
The Wolves don’t return any varsity throwers, but they added three to their roster: senior Ryan Nelson and sophomores Kyle Davis and Kolton Hinkle. Freshman Bo VanAmerongen is giving shot put and discus a try as well; he is also a sprinter.
VanAmerongen is one of 11 freshmen on the team this year, most of which are sprinters.
They do have a few returning letterwinners in sprint events — seniors Jacob Arnold and Conner Shellabarger and sophomores Lane Dedic and Luke Beard, and Kyler Smith — but many of the sprinters will be newcomers.
“Development will be the key for us,” Wolfe said. “We are a little behind, due to weather, but we are starting to come around nicely. Our field events really took a hit because of the weather, so they will have to come along as meets start.
“If our young kids can step up and fill the gaps where we can mix them with the older kids, we could be just fine.”
Wolfe is in his seventh season with the boys’ track team. He is assisted by Scott McCarty.
The Wolves open their season with a co-ed meet in Mediapolis on Tuesday.