Mingus track and field loaded
MINGUS UNION TRACK and FIELD 2019
Mingus Union track and field’s numbers are up, their times are down and they’re competing in an event they hadn’t in a handful of years.
The Marauders open the season on Saturday at the NPA Skydome Classic at NAU
“We have about 80 kids out right now,” Mingus head coach Molly Westcott said. “We have a lot of returning kids and a lot of young kids that are looking to do some good things this year.”
This season is the second leading the program for the Mingus Union alumna.
“It’s quite a bit different, (laughs),” Westcott said about this season compared to last. “I already know how to do a bunch of stuff that I had to learn last year, so everything’s going a lot smoother and doing some new things with the kids and trying to get them ready.”
The Marauders return a pair of state champions in seniors Meg Babcock and Kendrew Streck.
At State last year, Babcock won the 400 meters, finished third in the 800 meters and anchored the 4x400 meter relay team, which took third.
Streck won the shot put with a PR of 53-11.75. Going into last season, MUHS shot put record was 49-8.
Westcott said the throwers are looking good and they have extra help this year.
“Actually quite a few new kids this year,” Westcott said. “Maybe four, five returners, so a lot of good throwers that we can get some good stuff in and we have an extra throwers coach this year.”
The Marauders also return senior Dallin Gordon, who took 17th in the 800 meters (2:04.24a) at State and sophomore Natalee Rogers, who finished 10th in the 100-meter prelims and took ninth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 27.60a at the state meet.
Westcott said the have more depth in the sprints this year.
“We have been struggling to get some true sprinters in the past few years,” Westcott said. “We have quite a few boys and girls that are gonna be able to compete this year.”
They also have more athletes in the jumps this year and for the first time in about six years will compete in the pole vault.
“We’ve actually been able to fill a lot of spots that we haven’t been able to in the past few years, got a lot of jumpers, a lot of girl and boy jumpers that we haven’t been able to,” Westcott said. “We have pole vault now, that we haven’t had for the past, gosh, I want to say six years, we haven’t had a pole vault crew at all, so we got a solid four or five girls and four boys right now.”
In the middle distance, the Marauders have sliced through their times.
“They are stronger than they were last year, much stronger,” Westcott said. “We did a work out a year apart at the beginning of the season and each of the kids was like 60 to 300 seconds faster that the year before, so they’re doing great.”
Mingus Union’s long distance runners figure to do well again this season.
“They PRed like every meet last year and they’re still moving up, so they’ll do good things,” Westcott said.
The Marauders’ regular season is 13 meets packed into March and April. They host the Mingus Invitational on April 12 and have three meets at Sedona Red Rock.
“We start this Saturday in Flagstaff and our schedule’s actually pretty similar to what we had last year,” Westcott said. “We do the big ones like Chandler Rotary, Sun Angel, all of those and then more local meets this year, a couple in Bradshaw and then our normal Peoria, Phoenix meets, stuff like that.”
Although the Marauders had to deal with rain and snow outs, Westcott said they’ll get through it.
“It’s been rough, there’s only so much we can do, like we can practice inside but there’s only so much we can do,” Westcott said. “So we had two days last week we couldn’t practice. It has a little bit but the kids have been working hard every day that we’ve been out here, so they’ll make up for it.”