Boys track sends 9 to State Meet


Colin Rogers, Staff Writer

After winning a fourth straight Sectional Title, the boys track and field team is aiming to repeat as Regional Champs tomorrow night. However, the path has not been an easy one.

“Our resilience has been key to our success this year,” Coach Patrick Coffey said. “We haven’t been at full strength all season, but our guys are filling in roles and rising to different challenges.” 

Boy’s Track and Field fell short placing 2nd at the IHSSA Regionals but sent nine athletes to the states finals: Kenneth Grant, Caden Haywood, Silas Mathis, Allen Akins, Caleb Carter, Kayne Wright, EJ Shirrells, Justin Marshall, and Jakar Ward. Grant and Akins both placed 1st in their events.

Girl’s Track and Field placed 5th in their regional sending two athletes to state: Taylor Jackson and Devyn Walters. Taylor Jackson placed 1st in two events.

Although Grant is confident in his abilities, he still works to improve himself mentally and physically. 

“…The development throughout the years [came from] Coach Haynes critiquing every little thing and me taking those critiques really personally and him wanting me to do the best and to my full capacity,” Grant said. 

“It’s just the little stuff, not every throw is going to be perfect, and every throw is not going to be what you want so you have to keep a strong mindset and just keep throwing.”

The track team has had to bounce back from injuries from last year to stay ready and compete within the highly competitive DAC. They finished with their third straight DAC championship.

“Injury and mental blocks have been the biggest [obstacles],” said Senior Silas Mathis, who won the long jump at the DAC competition. “I’ve dealt with it by belief, relaxation and rehab.”

Mathis, who advanced to Regionals with a second-place Sectional finish, said he always competes to his fullest.

“Competition is honestly the same, great guys jumping and great heights, so I never underestimate the guys I jump against,” he said. “Anyone can have a breakout meet.”

Mathis finishes off his senior season hoping to leave a lasting impression on the underclassmen as he moves on to greater things.

“Never quit, never be discouraged, and come to practice every day to get better,” he said. “Track is an individual sport. At any point in time , you can have the best meet ever and at any point you can dig yourself in a huge hole. Be great in everything you do.”