BHS track teams ready to open new season
The Baldwin High School track teams are eagerly awaiting their first track meet at the end of this week. The Baldwin Invitational will be held at Liston Stadium Friday with 10 teams competing.
Last year the BHS boys team placed fifth and the girls placed fourth. Winning the track meet last year by a margin of 31 points for the boys was Perry-Lecompton, and for the girls winning by a margin of 19 points was Paola.
"We have a variety pack; there are a number of people who can score on the track and in the field," girls coach Ted Zuzzio said. "All three of our relays should medal, Megan Noonan is the queen of distance and Emily Brown should win high jump. It will still be a few weeks before we figure out what our strengths are."
Boys coach Mike Spielman agreed with the potential success of the Bulldog teams.
"Both the boys and the girls should be a lot stronger this year. We're just going to use this meet as a starting point. This meet will just help us get ready and prepare for the rest of the year," Spielman said.
Of course the strength of the Baldwin High boys will again be the distance events. With returning state champion Matt Noonan in the mile and two-mile, plus plenty of others from the three-time state champion cross country team, the long distance events will likely again be owned by the Bulldogs.
Where the team has traditionally been weak has been in the sprints. That may change this year with a senior, a junior and two freshmen. Senior Evan Durnal and junior Tyler Inzer return where they left off. But, they'll be aided with the lightning speed of freshmen Micah Mason and Andrew Hannon.
The throwers will also be a strength again this year with state-qualifiers Eric Brown and Hugh Murphy, a pair of juniors, returning. Brown specializes in the javelin, where he's among the state's best going into the season, and also throws the discus. Murphy also throws both the javelin and discus, but adds the shot put as well.
For the first meet, the Bulldogs will be at a disadvantage with one of their key performers, junior Eric Black, missing. Black, a standout all-purpose athlete who will represent the United States in the Youth Olympics this summer in Hungary, is currently in France as part of the BHS French class trip. He high jumps, long jumps and runs the hurdles as well as other events for the Bulldogs.
The athletes are also looking forward to the start of the season.
"I'm really excited about the freshmen this year. They really look like they're going to help out the team a lot," sophomore jumper Becky Weaver said.
"I think that we will have a strong all-around team this year. Hopefully we will have the capability to win the meet this year," senior runner and jumper Bo Donora said.
The meet is scheduled to start with the field events at 3:30 p.m., followed by preliminaries at 4 p.m. and finals starting at 6 p.m. This is one of only two home meets for the Bulldogs this year.
Teams that will be competing are BHS, Wellsville, Bonner Springs, J.C. Harmon, Lansing, Paola, Perry-Lecompton, Jefferson County West, Santa Fe Trail and Eudora.