Tiger track teams preparing for season
The Elkins High School track team will open the season Tuesday at a meet Buckhannon-Upshur.
The EHS boys will field a young squad with some experience this spring.
The Tigers return a pair of distance runners – junior Austin?Hamrick and sophomore Matt Wallace.
Both will see time in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs, along with the 4×400 and 4×800 relays.
“They’ve been quite diligent in their off- season training,” Elkins coach Matt Lewis said of the duo. “I believe it will show early in the season and transfer over once regionals and the state meet approach.
“Austin and Matt are quite talented and that type of athletes who will fight for every position.”
Also returning will be junior Remington Knight, who will be doing the middle distance races.
“Remington spent last year sidelined by an injury, but is back to top form,” Lewis said. “I’m expecting big things from him this season.”
Junior Tanner Heckel will also look to contribute in the middle distances races for the Tigers.
Junior Tyler Vestal and sophomore Daniel Crawford will led the way in the sprints for the Tigers.
Both will also be competing in the long jump, while Vestal will be entered in the high jump.
Senior captain Nate Simons will lead the way in the pole vault for his fourth season.
He could also see time in the 4×400 and 4×800 relays.
“Nate has a strong desire to qualify for the state meet in his final season,” Lewis said. “So we’ll definitely be counting on his leadership throughout the season.”
Junior Michael Beckwith returns to lead in the field events.
Sophomores Nick?Dillon, Jerrick Reams and freshmen Brant Hyre also look to compete in the field events as well.
“The weather has hampered us a little bit in the early going, but it’s the same for track teams across West Virginia,” Lewis said. “We’re a little tight in numbers, but the quality is incredible on the guys squad.”
The Lady Tigers return one state qualifier from last season in sophomore Kathlyne Simmons, as she competed in the long jump and 200 last year at the state meet.
“We’re expecting big things from her again this year,” Elkins girls coach Scott Biola said. “Hopefully she can make it back (to states) again this year.”
Also returning will be senior Ashley Simmons in the field events.
Sophomore Hannah Gongola is a holdover in the distance races.
Senior Elise Reed will lead the way in the sprint races for Elkins, while sophomore Paige Harrison returns in the hurdles and sprints.
Seniors Amiah Price, Karissa Stell and Jordan Holt will compete in the distance events.
Juniors Bethany Richards and Ann Urban will see action in the sprint events, while sophomore Sommer Dilly will see time as a distance runner.
Freshmen Hailea Harper will see action in Hurdles and the sprints, while Lindsay Roy is expecting to see time in sprints.
Jontasia Sitton will look to contribute in the field events.
“We’ve got a small group but with some great experience,” Biola said. “We do have some younger kids, and some first-time runners that are not freshmen that have potential to do well.”
Elkins will host its first home meet at 10 a.m. on April 6 as the Tigers will host the annual Irwin Invitational.