Track & Field (Co-Ed Varsity)

Springs Valley track and field set to open 2024 season

By Grant Brown | Mar 14, 2024 12:00 AM


Last spring the Springs Valley track and field team had a fantastic season highlighted by a Patoka Lake Athletic Conference championship and an individual State Finalist. In addition, many school records were broken. The Blackhawks lost two key performers - sectional champions Sarah Drabing and Max Pendley. However, the Blackhawks will return nine of 11 PLAC champion runners, and still have plenty of depth thanks to promising newcomers. “The newest people that are going to make the most impact right away are Konner Chase, Keaton Pritchett, and freshmen Dane Harris and Anakin Keyamo,” Springs Valley coach Derek Freeman said. “I think the biggest surprise is going to be the gains that Teagun Rominger has made in the throwing.” Seniors Chase and Pritchett haven’t had much experience with track and field, but they have plenty of athleticism and have competed for Springs Valley in multiple other sports. They will add some depth to the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash; Chase could also compete in the 400-meter relay. Harris will add to Valley’s distance squad and Keyamo will help with the 400-meter run and 1,600-meter relay. Rominger will add some more depth to the throwing squad with Larron Childers. Childers, the PLAC and Sectional champion in discus has shown major improvements. The senior will get to raise his school record in the discus and will have a shot at breaking the shot put school record that stands at 53’3.5”. Childers is currently second all time at 49’2”. “Larron is much more technically sound with his discus now. He's more aware of what he's doing right and what he's doing wrong,” said Freeman. “He's getting to a point where he can do the same things he could do last year but a lot a lot quicker, a lot faster, and a lot more explosive which is going to lead to further throws.” Drabing's graduation and an injury suffered by Ella Meehan have really hurt the girls’ throwers. Jordyn Land has shown some potential and newcomer Addi Russel has as well. Someone will have to step up and take Meehan’s place for the time being. “Losing a two-time sectional champion Sarah Drabing and Ella Meehan hurts, but we've got some experience coming back,” Freeman said. “We've got Jordyn Land who is in her second year and she's shown a lot of potential. We're really working on form and trying to be technically sound. That's one of the big things we do.” The improvements cross country All-State honorable mention Andre Ayres has made will relieve some of the pressure on All-State seniors Grant Brown and Alan Marshall, as well as All-State honorable mention Carson Brown. Because of the depth that Ayres now brings, that trio will be able to focus more on their specific events. Marshall will be able to focus on lowering his school records in the 800-meter and 1600-meter runs. G rtant Brown will concentrate on lowering his 3200-meter record while fending off Carson Brown. “Last year we put a lot of weight on Grant Brown, Alan Marshall, and Carson Brown’s shoulders. Now Andre Ayres is starting to step up and run some really fast times,” Freeman said. “We're just going to add in some more guys that are going to be able to contribute and score points and take some races off other people's legs.” On the girls' side senior Miya Campbell, currently the eighth-fastest 100-meter sprinter and seventh-fastest 200-meter sprinter in school history, has put in the work and it shows. She'll be an excellent role model for the younger runners. Kinsey Saliba, who recently added hurdles to her resume, has also shown major improvements. "Miya Campbell and Kinsey Saliba are going to be leaders on the track and they've got the ability to do some really great things for us,” Freeman said. “We've done some switching with Kinsey to some different events, which is going to provide us a little more depth across different events.” Sophie Harris, the current 3200-meter school record holder will have help from freshman Addi Moffatt. Harris, Moffatt, and the Lynch twins — Jadyn and Keira — will put together a strong 3,200-meter relay team. The Blackhawks will have their first meet of the season at Jasper against some large schools. In the past the ‘Hawks have been disappointed of their performances against the large schools. This time the team will really focus on themselves and what they need to work on. A lot of new and incredible talents will be revealed on Thursday. “Number one is perspective. We don't have to be championship ready Thursday,” Freeman said. “Perspective on who we are and who we're going up against is the biggest thing. We need to remember that we got to compare ourselves to ourselves and really take whatever comes out on Thursday and improve from there and use it as a stepping stone into our season.” Springs Valley Blackhawks Last season: Boys 1st, Girls T-2nd at PLAC / Boys 3rd, Girls 5th at Sectional / Boys 15th, Girls 29th at Regional Coaches: Derek Freeman and Colten Cassidy Athletes to know: Carson Brown (Jr.), Grant Brown (Sr.), Miya Campbell (Sr.), Larron Childers (Sr.), Christian Hamilton (Jr.), Sophie Harris (Jr.), Alan Marshall (Sr.), Kinsey Saliba (So.) Meets to Circle: May 3 at PLAC, May 7 at Orange County, May 14 at Girls’ Sectional, May 16 at Boys’ Sectional Photo by Mia Cruz