Wellington's boys and girls track team will get their first taste of competition tomorrow, Thursday, March 28. The Crusaders, under new Head Coach, Tyler Ryan, will compete at the Clearwater Invitational which starts at 3 p.m.
On the girls team, 18 athletes are on the roster and a few of them have some hardware to their name. Eight girls qualified for the State track meet, last year. Five of them will be burning up the track again this season.
Megan Campbell, senior, had an impressive season last year when she set two school records in one day – 25.36 in the 200m dash, and an 8' 4'' pole vault. At the State meet, Campbell had a pair of fourth place finishes – a 12.3 100m dash, and a 26. 7 run in the 200m event. The senior's entire track career at WHS has been notable. Campbell also helped set a WHS record in 2011 as a part of the 4x100m relay, along with the Crusader 100m dash record.
The girls 4x400m relay team returns two of the four runners that qualified for State a year ago. Sophomores, Leah Nelson and Cabriel Roe are back; the other half of the relay was lost due to a transfer, and a graduation. The 4x4 team didn't make it out of the prelims at the State meet in 2012.
The same is true for the girls 4x100m State relay team – they did not qualify for the event finals and return two athletes, Campbell and Cajen Shore, sophomore.
In the field events, Avery Lewellen, junior competed at State as a sophomore in the high jump. Her jump of 4'10'' placed 13th in 4A last season.
As a team last year, the girls finished third in the AVCTL Div. IV. Head Coach, Tyler Ryan feels like the girls 4x100, 4x400, 100m and 200m dashes, along with the high jump will be the strength of the team this year. On the boys side, he expects good things from the pole vault and hurdle events.
The boys team placed fifth in league competition last year, and bring a lot of experience back to this year's squad. Ian Stallbaumer, senior, is coming off a fifth place finish at regionals in the pole vault. Junstin Bruns tied his teammate at regionals in the same event.
A couple of athletes from last year's 4x100m relay are back. Seniors Andrew Linnebur, and Tyler Clift. Colin Reichenberger, senior will be an an athlete to watch in the 110m hurdles, along with Austin Pfalzgraf, sophomore, in the one mile event.
In total, there are 58 kids out for track and field – 18 girls, 40 boys. The journey begins tomorrow, with two home meets. The Caldwell Invitational at WHS, and the Wellington Invitational on April 26 with Circle, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, South Haven and Caldwell all coming to town.