There are some big spikes to fill for Pratt High School head track coach Forrest Mazey this year. The girls team trophied 3rd at last year's 4A state track meet, and the boys had several qualifiers. But with the departure via cap and gown express of hurdler Aubrey Hoover, middle distancer Dominique Staats, long distancer Cheyenne Becker and versatile Payson Maydew, the PHS thinclad squad will be having to find some new point-getters.
There do appear to be scoring possibilities emerging across the track and field for PHS this season, however, as every area of competition can boast some talent.
In the throws, Jenson Maydew is a two-time state performer. Emily Hook began to blossom as a javelin thrower toward the end of last season, and looks to continue that success. Anthony Cannata and Austin Gates will handle the weights for the boys.
Girls distance running looks to have some depth with cross-country regional champion Kaylah Romine returning for her senior campaign on the cinders. She will be joined by state-qualifying xc teammates Nichole Moreland, Ruth Anthony and Cassidy Cronister. Also in the distance mix is Adele Loomis.
Joseph Loomis, Caleb Hitz, Chance Reh and Hayden May are the leading Frogs of Distance so far on the boys side.
The jumps could be a strong area for PHS as the recently revived Greenback pole vault contingent enters its second season. Josh Powell and Cody Hoy are looking good so far; and Morgan Strong, Chloe Cannata and Christina Fernandez are gaining confidence as they continue to improve.
The return from injury of Connor Reh will benefit the Frogs LJ and TJ group. Carly Reid, Jaci Kolm and Paige Bailey will also toe the boards. Shawn Ramos and Chance Reh will be jumping for the boys.
Connor Reh will also sprint, as will Paige Bailey and Christina Fernandez. State qualifier Robby Eggleston will be a speedster for the Greenbacks if he is healthy. 400/800 type guys that Coach Mazey thinks have a chance to do well include Ryan Landry and Josh Ash. Hurdler Weston Riner may be on the verge of a breakout season.
So it won't be the usual suspects for the Pratt High track team this year, but there should be quite a bit of success out of this year's group. JVs will compete Tuesday at Larned, 3 p.m. while the varsity thinclads won't see their first action until Thursday April 4 at Nickerson .
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