Community R-VI track and field coaches Stacie Carroz and Caitlyn Cunningham know their program is taking another big step this season with a total of 32 athletes representing the high school and middle school.
There will be 13 athletes in the high school and an astounding 19 in the middle school.
In focusing on the older program, the boys have seven athletes set to make the 2018 season a memorable one.
They are led by Blaze Escamilla, who hasn’t been a part of the track and field team but he was an all-state qualifier for the cross country team. He will focus on the 1,600 and 3,200.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what he does on the long distance side of things,” Carroz said.
Garrett Schmidt is bringing middle school experience and will compete in sprints.
Hunter Hoeflicker will be throwing shot put, discus, and possibly the javelin.
Eric Hombs is recovering from an injury and no timetable has been given for his possible return.
Collien Turner is also expected to help the team this season as a freshman.
Evan Hartsock, Hombs, and Rodrigo Bonato are also expected to help the team as they are two-sport athletes.
“We just want to be competitive in the meets,” Carroz added. “It’s exciting to see we actually have a boys team and they work really hard.”
There are six Lady Trojans returning with experience this season.
Freshman Brianna Beamer is bringing middle school experience and a lot of upside after her first time competing in distance running.
In an open meet, she won the 1,600 meters and set a new school record. Her race was :30 better than her previous best. Her time was 6:12.
Thrower Alissa Craig, who just missed qualifying for state as a thrower last year, is also returning.
Paige Risenhoover will make an impact in the 800 and 4×200.
Elissa Swaim will help in the springs and the 4×200.
Natalie Thomas is expected to make an impact as a hurdler and Sirrina Dunn is returning to track as a thrower. The senior last helped the program in middle school.
Carroz noted that Risenhoover, Craig, and Swaim had some success in their sophomore season and she’s looking for each to build on that success this year.