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by Mark Cheffey
The PHS boys track and field team has one state medalist and two qualifiers returning this year to join a larger squad under the leadership of new head coach Nick Powell.
“We have a lot of depth,” said Powell who has 28 athletes out for the team, including nine freshmen.
“I know they struggled with getting guys out last year,” Powell said.
Hays Miller, a junior who placed fourth at state in the 100 meters and was also a part of the fifth place 4 x 400 meter relay team, leads the group this year.
Sophomores Gideon Bogue and Carsons Hicks, who were also members of the relay team, also return this year.
In addition, Caleb Juette, a senior, and Conner Bross, a junior, will be leading the team’s long-distance runners, while Noah Getz, a senior, Brayden Madden, a senior, Jose Juarex, a junior, Gage Barnett, a sophomore, and Jackson Hicks, a freshmen, fill the throwing event group.
“And, we have a lot of super fast freshmen,” said Powell, who is glad for his first head-coaching gig.
“When I got the news, I got super excited,” said Powell, who was a shot put and discus throw as well as a football player during his time at PHS.
“I’ve been really looking forward to it and have accepted the challenge.
Filling out the roster are seniors Christian Johnson, Dakota Snyder, and Logan Foster, juniors, Jackson Janes, Jayden Sharrow, Teagan Pope and Ryan McKeown, sophomores, Daniel Reid, Landen Gottman Lathyn Sutter, and freshmen, Braydon Roeder, Daniel Dames, Evan Pennewell, Jacob Cothurn, Parker Bier, Josh McKeown, Tanner Strubinger and Marty Smyser.
With the collection of athletic talent, Powell said he is hopeful of getting more athletes through districts and sectionals and on to state.
“We think we have a super good chance of getting a lot of people through,” Powell said.
Powell didn’t get to compete on the school’s all weather track and field facilities, but is glad to have them now as a coach.
“I definitely think it’s helping to build interest,” he said. “I remember when I was in high school, we ran on a cinder track and there weren’t a lot of things we could do there.”
The new season begins at Winfield this Monday and at home next Friday.