Numbers don’t phase MHS
McLouth won't be large in numbers during this year's track season.
Actual talent of a few Bulldogs, however, likely will outweigh turnout.
The Bulldogs have 23 athletes out between the boys and girls squads, but McLouth is led by senior Courtney Edmonds, the two-time defending state champion in the Class 2A 800 meters. The senior also took third in the 1,600. Edmonds holds the school record in the 400 with a 60.1 time. That beat the previous school record set by Terri Kincheloe, a 61 second time set in 1981.
The girls team finished last year's state meet with 20 points and tied for ninth place. Edmonds scored most of those points. She also was part of the 4x400 relay team that took second last May in Wichita.
Relays will be a strong point for the girls, as Edmonds, Christy Gunther and Alayna Stewart all return from the 4x400 team. Kourtney Smith is the only member lost to graduation. Smith placed fourth in the long jump in Wichita.
The Bulldogs' 4x800 team made state after a fourth-place finish at regionals last season. That en-tire team -- Katie Booth, Tina Edgell, Neva Gardner and Erin Watson -- return for another season.
With fewer athletes available to score points, the Bulldogs could fall behind with team scoring in some meets. But then again, a small squad last year did tie for ninth place at state, where some Bulldogs should be again this year.
"Progressively as the season goes we prepare ourselves for Wichita," girls coach Gerard Aligo said.
McLouth won't have quite the state experience returning on its boys track team as it does on the girls side.
Junior Matt Scarlett leads the Bulldog boys, but he is the only state returner. Scott Smelser also went to state as an alternate.
Gone from last year's team are Brant Watson, Clayton Garrow and Mark Smelser. Watson and Smelser graduated, while Garrow switched sports and is playing baseball this spring as a senior.
McLouth's 4x800 team of Scarlett, Smelser, Watson and Garrow broke the school record with an 8:34.35 time at state and placed fifth. Smelser also took sixth in the 3,200.
With the McLouth Relays approaching Friday, boys coach George Karn said the team would have some work to do in a few events.
"We don't have what you would call a lot of speed for the sprints," Karn said.
Karn expects perennial power Jefferson County North to be one of the Delaware Valley League's top teams, along with Jackson Heights. Kansas City Christian should have strong distance runners, while Karn expects the Horton to shine on the girls side.
The Bulldogs will have eight varsity meets before the DVL Meet May 15 at Jefferson County North. Regionals will be May 23 and state will take place May 30-31 in Wichita.