Tyler Consolidated High School Track Season Ready To Start
After several delays due to the weather and the teachers walkout, the Silver Knights 2018 track season will get underway tomorrow night at Tyler Consolidated when the teams host their annual invitational tournament. The boys track team, coached by Jake Myer, will have plenty of depth. The athletes are looking to be very competitive in most events. One of this year’s strong points seems to be the distance runners and the hurdles. With several of last year’s distance runners back, the team is hoping to add needed points to the Knights side.
Spencer Corley, who led the distance team as a freshman last season, is back and much improved. Corley has worked hard in the off season and should be a threat at every event. Older brother Gavin, a senior three-year letterman, will be running middle distance as he competes mainly in the 800 and the 800 relay, although he might join up to give more depth in the longer relays.
Also back will be Josh Frum. Last season, Frum showed he can contribute in the relays and individual events. He has all the tools and seems to be ready to prove his ability to hang near the top with the best of them.
The top returning hurdler will be Nathan Barker who performed well last year and has vastly improved to where he will be hard to beat in the highs, lows and will probably anchor the relays. “Running and competing in special events in the off season has prepared me for this spring. I have put in a lot of time since last year working on my style, form and speed. My conditioning has never been better ,so I feel confident I will do well,” said Barker.
Senior Evan Maxwell and sophomore Zack Placer will provide depth to the team and should give the Knights a strong presence in the relays. When it comes to speed and field events, the Silver Knights are looking for Mark Rucker to be a leader. Rucker is multi-talented and can perform in several events. He is unsure at this time what he will be doing, but his pre-season long jump has been has been close to the school record; he has set a goal to break that mark this season. He is also looking to make the high jump another of his main events while participating in some of the relays, particularly the 100 and 200. Rucker will be a threat in whatever he does and will provide the Knights with that one special athlete who’s always needed.
Coach Myer has a good solid group to work with, and as always, the Silver Knights will be contenders at each and every meet.
Lady Knights Prepare For Track Season
Meanwhile, the Tyler Consolidated Lady Knights track team has 28 girls out competing this year. The team lost two seniors who competed last year at the state meet, Isis Moore and Tessa Boyd, but there are plenty of returning runners with experience at the Regional and State level, ready to step up. Chad Gruber will be back for his second year as head coach, while Brenna Hagerty will be in her sixth year as assistant/distance coach.
“It’s nice to have a full year of coaching under my belt, and I’m looking forward to working with the group of girls that have come out for us this year,” said Gruber. “We’ve got a nice mix of upperclassmen and newcomers, and I’m very happy with the leadership that our seniors and juniors have displayed so far in practice. Our goal is to get at least 10 girls to states and to score some points at the state meet this year.”
The team will be led by a group of five seniors. The group is led by 2018 co-captains Jahnvi Duncan, Demery Nelson, and Rosana Smith. Smith and Nelson will be returning in the 200 and 400 opens and relays, while Duncan qualified for last year’s state meet in the 1600. She will also be looked at in the 3200, 800 and 4×800. Joralda Rice is coming out for the first time as senior, and will be looked at in sprints and the long jump. Asia Keller will not be able to compete due to injury but still will help out with meets and practices, using her experience from the state meet as a sophomore to help the younger girls.
Juniors who competed at last year’s state meet include Katie Pratt, Emily Lancaster, and Lindsay Streets. Lancaster qualified for states in the pole vault, shuttle hurdle relay, and the 4×100 last year, and will be returning in those events. Streets was also a member of the shuttles team and will also be running 300 hurdles. Pratt was a state qualifier in two events, the 4×100 and the 800. She’ll he competing in mid-distance and sprints, as well as the high jump. Other juniors returning include Sierra Wright and Abby Kemp, competing in shotput and discus.
Rachel Thomas and Rachal Hashman are among the main returning sophomores. Both were part of the shuttle hurdle relay team at last year’s state meet, and will be involved in hurdles and sprints again this year. Sarah Hashman and Emma Paden will be back in middle and long distance events, while Katie Miller returns in sprints and the long jump. Kirshana Smith and Hali Westcott are sophomores out for the first time and could be used anywhere from hurdles to mid-distance.
There are several freshmen coming out to join this year’s team as well. Events are still be sorted, but Abi Thompson will be competing in the 800 and 1600, while Eden Turner will likely be slotted in for the 400 and pole vault among other events. Claire Miller and Victoria Hood have emerged as possible hurdlers and sprinters, and Katelyn Stillwagoner has been working with shotput and discus. Other freshmen competing for event spots include Hailey Lane, Haley Cremona, Gracie Shepherd (younger sister of Tyler alum Trent Shepherd), Imagen Anderson, and Zoie Mudd.
The Lady Knights season will begin at home with the TCHS invitational on March 29.