Returning veterans look to step up for the Bluejays track and field team – Sports – Boone News-Republican
If you got a percentage between 50 and 70, you might think that you haven’t tried enough. You would probably have failed.
What if that percentage were applied to the number of total points scored by returning veterans on a current track and field roster?
Here is the Bluejays team 2019 at the beginning of this season.
Despite losing some complicated front-runners from last season, this year’s squad’s experience could make for a long and successful season. Just ask head coach Ben Coy.
“We lost six great seniors from last year,” he said. “They’ll be hard to replace, but we’re giving back 60 percent of our team points from last year and we’re giving back our leader in terms of individual points from last year’s games.”
Brandon Kenyon and Reece Dunlap left after high school to go about their lives. Both were important pieces in the state as they led the Bluejays in 5 out of 10 events last season, not to mention team relay events.
“These two have been a huge part of the team over the past few years, but we have a group of kids who are fun to work with and who have worked hard so far,” said Coy. “I have an idea of some people who I think will be able to reinforce and fill in gaps, but of course I’ll have a better idea once it gets started.”
Some of these standout tracks are veteran senior Kaleb Olejniczak and junior Kato Dougan.
“We will have a solid 400 runners returning with Kaleb Olejniczak, who scored several points for us last year,” said Coy. “Kato Dougan was in the 100 state qualifier last year and we will be counting on him at other events as well.”
Both Olejniczak and Dougan attended three events in the state last year. They have shown that the coaching staff are great leaders in practice and they are two guys who have to attend multiple events according to the head coach.
It’s too early for Coy to say who’s carrying the torch but will keep his eyes open as the season progresses.
“As the coaching staff, we’re excited to see who will take the lead early on, but we’ll have a solid foundation to build on,” said Coy.
Other strong bluejays hoping to make a name for themselves and help the Bluejays to a state title include Jared Narber, Luke Holtrof and Eduardo Sanchez.
“All three of these guys are seniors. I expect all three guys to be leaders that we can rely on to score points in our encounters this spring, ”said Coy. “Then there are a handful of juniors I’m also looking forward to, like Byron Melendrez and Tyler Fessler, who both represented the state relay last year.”
No matter who or how many will be the front runners this season, the head coach has high expectations of his team – expectations that he can meet.
“One of the things I love about athletics is that there always seems to be someone who wasn’t expected the preseason,” Coy said. “I’m excited to see who this year could be.”
The Bluejays will be back in action on Monday April 8th when they travel to Carroll for a Coed Invitational.