Coach Lori Showers is enjoying one of the biggest track and field team she's ever had with 35 new and returning kids this year. Last year's team had only six boys, but this year, it's a whole different story. The dramatic increase in participants on the Camp Verde track and field team is largely attributed to the freshmen who signed up.
The girls team, with 14 girls, has some impressive athletes back this year. Returners from last year leading the pack are Ashley Petefish, who runs the 400, 4x400 relay, 4x100 relay and 300 hurdles. Cassie Spleiss comes back as a sophomore and will compete in the long jump, triple jump, 100 hurdles where she placed six at State last year and the 4x100 relay. Sherry Dutton comes back and will race in the 400, 800 and 4x800. She was the region champ in the 400 meter last year. Jessica Regan will race in the 4x400 and the mile. Last year she did the 800 (3rd at State), 4x400 and 4x800. This year she is also going to represent Camp Verde in the mile race. Liz Hicks comes back to compete in the 800 and 4x800. Last year's 4x800 relay team placed 4th at State. Round out the returners is Sissy Logston who placed 5th in State last year in the shot put and discus.
The core of the girls team is impressive and coach Showers is very excited to see what this year's team will do.
Along with the returners on the girls team, some up and coming athletes are also making a big impression on coach Showers.
Jordan Tramell and Kim Logston, Sissy's cousin, will both give Sissy a run for her money in the throwing department. During the 3A Skydome meet last week, all three competed against each other for Camp Verde. Kim Logston proved to have the longest throws in the shot put.
"It's going to be real competitive with the girl throwers this year," said coach Showers.
Coach Showers is really excited about this year's boys team. Last year the Cowboys had six boys on its roster. This year coach Showers is already having to find out quickly the logistics of 23 boys and close to 40 kids on her roster.
"Managing 30 something kids is a lot harder than managing 15," said coach Showers. "I've been real excited about it. There's a lot of raw talent, a lot of rookies that just haven't done track before."
Returning to the boys' team this year is Seth Mosely. During last week's race in Flagstaff, he already shows signs of improvement over the past year. He jumped his furthest in the triple jump than ever before with a distance of 39-feet, 1-inch, beating his last year's longest jump by about an inch. Mosley also bested his long jump distance from last year with a 19-foot, 5-inch finish in the long jump (last year's best was 18'7"). Mosely also competed in the 4x400 relay where he timed in at 56 seconds on his leg of the race. Other returners this year are Tim George and Wally Salors, both throwers for the team.
The added boys on this year's roster, promises to offer some excitement and depth to the boys team that coach Showers hasn't seen in a while. Wrestler Jacob Wolfe is a natural in the 110 and 300 hurdles.
"He 3-stepped every hurdle the first time through," said coach Showers.
Coleton Williams, another wrestler, will compete in the mile and 2 mile race.
"He ran in jurnior high and was a good distance runner he can run forever," said coach Showers. "He is actually going to do very well."
Matt Weber will be a new and exciting addition to the Cowboys team as a thrower. Freshman Donovan Kilby will be a strong sprinter for the team.
"He works harder than any kid I've ever seen," said coach Showers. Kilby will race mostly the 400 meters. "The longer the distance, the better he'll be. He just works real hard. He's the one I am looking at to be a real good runner."
"The rest of them are just real young," said coach Showers. "Austin Hudson, who played basketball Š I am looking forward to seeing what he can do."
"I am just excited to have so many boys," said Showers. "In region we are going to do very well. "It's a young team and it's exciting. That's the best way to build a program. And we finally have some football and wrestling players on the team."
The track and field team will compete in its second meet today at Wickenburg at 3:30. The complete results from the 3A North Skydome Classic last Tuesday are available online at www.directathletics.com.