Chieftains carry over several strengths to boys track team
Preparations begin for April 3 meet
As the Tonganoxie High School boys track team prepares to embark on another season, Coach Phil Williams said that the key to success would be balance.
"We'll probably be fairly strong in the middle distances," he said. "Hopefully the throwers will improve from last year, and we should be pretty strong in the pole vault."
The pole vault was one of the team's strongest events last year, with senior Tyler Wise qualifying for the Class 4A State Track meet.
Wise's top vault was 13 feet just six inches off the school record at last year's regional meet.
Williams said Dustin Schultz and Karl Cleavinger had finished strong at the end of last season and should be able to pick up where they left off.
Schultz cleared 11 feet, six inches to claim fifth at last year's Kaw Valley League meet.
The middle-distance events also look promising for the Chieftains.
They lost Jordan Smith, one of the team's top half-milers, to graduation, but there are plenty of runners to fill his shoes.
Tonganoxie is returning three of the four members of its 4x800-meter relay team that finished second in the state last season.
Returning from that team are Andy Snapp, Kyle Norris and Jacob Hoffhines.
The Chieftains also look to be strong in the throwing department, but much of that will depend on the Miller brothers.
At last season's league meet, Tony Miller, a senior, took fourth place in the shot put with a 42-feet throw and fifth place in the javelin with a throw of 139 feet, 10 inches.
Andrew Miller, a sophomore, peaked at last season's regional track meet, setting a personal best in the Javelin at 150 feet, 11 inches.
"We're looking forward to a real balanced squad," Williams said. "If we can manage that well, we should be competitive in most meets."
The team began practice Monday.
Its first meet is scheduled for 4 p.m. April 3 at the Lansing Invitational.