The MHS Track and Field Team competed at the Lennox Oriole Invitational Track meet on April 12. Kevin Koik qualified for State in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.09.
Coach Townsend said, “The weather wasn’t great with colder, windier conditions, but we were all excited to get a chance to compete. With the weather we have had this spring, it has been difficult to get our field event athletes quality practices.
He said, “Even with the limited practices, I thought marks, distance, and heights were very good. I was also pleased with the distance runners’ times considering the windier conditions and limited mileage we have had on the roads during practice.”
Coach Townsend is in his 17th year as a track coach and his eighth year guiding the Bulldogs. He says “Going forward, the goal is to continue to improve each day in practice and every time we get an opportunity to compete in a meet. With the crazy spring weather, the next scheduled meet is the Groton Invitational on Tuesday, April 24.”
Still, Townsend remains confident the season will turn out positively for the Bulldogs. He says fans can expect solid performances and some new events.
“Both teams are deep and bring back a strong core of letter winners and experience from a year ago,” Townsend says. “The boys’ team won their second consecutive NEC and region team titles. The girls’ team was third in the NEC and second in the Region meets. At State, both teams qualified 12 athletes each.”
This year, the Bulldogs added the Corn Palace Relays in Mitchell to their schedule. And, according to Townsend, “Our own Valley Queen Cheese track meet will feature some different teams and special events.”
Townsend’s goal for the season centers on performance. “I want each athlete to be faster, quicker, and stronger by the end of the season… I believe both teams will be in the hunt for an NEC and Region team title.”
Taking a look at the area’s competition, he commented, “I believe Roncalli and Groton will be the teams to push us for the title. The boys’ team will be looking for their third NEC title in a row. For the girls, I believe it will be very similar with Roncalli, Groton, and Redfield battling for the team title. Roncalli was the champion last year and brings back much of their team from last season.”
What is Coach Townsend’s plan for success this year? “One area I feel both teams need to work on is enjoying and focusing on the process of getting better each day. Sometimes we forget about how to get better and assume we will get better just by showing up. Improving does not happen overnight and both teams need to concentrate on working hard and improving each day.”
Townsend’s assistant coaches for the 2018 season include: Ryan Conrad – Sprints, Kelli Hoff – Jumps, Lane Lindquist – Throws, John Trevett – Pole vault, Amy Thue – Hurdles, Josh Schmeichel – Middle school boys, and Christine Townsend – Middle school girls.