Whittell tracksters look good
It’s going to be a sprint to the state finals for this year’s Whittell High girls track team.
Ali Tanner, Skye McEntyre, Sarah Sufka and Megan Glasson all return, having posted a third-place state finish last year in the 4-by-100 relay.
First-year coach Dan Makley, who coached at Whittell three years ago and returns after a stint as the head man at Douglas High, said the sprinters are working hard in preparation for another good year.
“They’ve been at it since day one. They’re the best girls we have. They look real good,” he said.
Sufka, a three-sport standout who has been in constant training since last summer, said she’s excited about having the same group together under Makley.
“We’re working extra hard this year. Everything about this new coach has been great. He’s got a great work ethic and we’re learning a lot of new stuff,” Sufka said.
Added Tanner, “This is our second time. We all know how each other works. We’re way ahead of where we were last year at this time.”
In addition, Makley expects McEntyre, Sufka and Tanner to compete for school records in the 200, 400 and 100 sprints, respectively.
Of the team’s 28 members, 17 boys have committed to the spring sport. Many of them will be fighting for respectability in their various disciplines.
Leading the way will be discus tosser Bobby Linkul. The sophomore had a season best of 122 feet, 11 inches last year and has already reached that distance in preseason practices.
“I’m right where I want to be. I lifted all last summer and (my practice throws) have started to pick up,” Linkul said.
Joining Linkul as potential early season threats for the Warriors will be Zack Denson in the 300 intermediate hurdles and 110 highs, Bobby Trimm in the sprint events and senior newcomer Mark Witte, who Makley thinks can break the school’s triple jump mark of 42.3 based on athletic ability alone. Also, the boys field a strong group of underclassmen.
“Two-thirds of the guys have no experience. But I’m feeling, especially if they stick with it for a couple of years, that they can be really good,” Makley said. “We’ll find out more after this weekend (at the first meet).”
Joining Makley on the coaching staff is girls coach Katie Gengler, along with Dan McLaughlin and Janine Molina. He said the coaching mix is a key added ingredient to further his team’s development.
“It gives us a huge advantage because kids can get the individual attention they need. The trick is they have to believe that what we’re doing is the best thing going and that they have their own internal motivation to keep going.
“So far it’s been excellent. I don’t know exactly what our overall talent level will be, but there are a lot of possibilities. If we do anything right as coaches, they should be successful.”
Whittell opens the season Saturday at the Fernley Relays.
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