PEABODY-BURNS: Large track team hopes to be competitive
If numbers equate to success, Peabody-Burns track and field should accomplish a great deal in 2014. With 30 athletes — 20 boys and 10 girls — PBHS will be able to compete in team and also individual events in the Wheat State League.
Michael George is the only returning senior and will compete in the sprints and relays. He finished last season well, barely missing out on qualifying for state in the 400 meters by less than a half of a second.
First-time senior participants Xavier Jabary and Alyssa Brooks will also help boost the competitiveness of both teams.
The jumps look to be a strength for the boys this season. State qualifier Braxton Kyle in the high jump and sophomore Cody Partridge, who just missed qualifying in long jump and high jump, placing fifth in both events last season at regionals, return. Development of the skill events will be key for the boys’ team this year in order to have a chance to place in the top two at the league championships.
Two girls return for the Lady Warriors. Junior Carlee Wentworth will compete in javelin and relays. Junior Kenzie Young will compete in relays and middle distance.
“A good portion of the freshman class has committed themselves to improving and working this spring as well, having more participants will hopefully help our girls team compete better at our league meet,” head coach Brian Lightner said. “I’m really proud of the student-athletes who have chosen to represent their school and community this year. They are the best athletes our school has and it is a pleasure to coach them every day.”
Returning letter winners include Kenzie Young, Carlee Wentworth, Michael George, Nick Preheim, Braxton Kyle, Kevin Baatrup, Cody Partridge, Clayton Philpott and Patrick Egan.
The team began practice on Tuesday and will open the season April 8 in the Central Christian Central Kansas Track League meet at Buhler.
Assisting Lightner with the coaching duties this season will be Kim Topham and Isaac Burnett.