Track team off and running
Snowball Relays to start season
Eudora High School track and field coach Dave Durkin is excited about the Cardinals' chances in his final season as coach.
"I'm going to miss all the kids in the program, but I'm not going to be away from them," Durkin said. "We have a really good core of kids."
Durkin, who is also the Eudora Middle School Athletic Director, has been with the high school track and field program for 30 years and head coach since 1984. He will succeed retiring Eudora High School Activities Director Larry McPherson next year.
Senior Zac Tyler and junior James Barr return from a 1,600-meter relay team that placed fifth at the state meet last season. Tyler, who was the anchor on the 1,600-meter relay, also qualified for the 400-meter dash at last spring's state finals.
Sophomore Mark Lister and seniors Josh Bowser and Cody Lauber will run on the 400-meter relay team. Bowser, who jumped 21 feet in long jump last season, will try to keep up his strong effort.
Junior Andy Besser and sophomore Tighe Van Anne are new to the team, but will bring long-distance experience gained from the cross country season last fall.
Durkin said field events will determine how much success the boys enjoy this year.
Senior Nate Cleveland set a school record in the pole vault with a 13-foot-6-inch effort last season. Seniors Wes Hinman and Jason Marmon will throw the discus and the shot put, respectively.
"Coach Hanna said they've been throwing well," Durkin said. "We have good leadership and those are valuable points. I hope it's a bust-out year for us."
The girls team only has five seniors on the roster, but junior Jenny Durkin should continue to make noise in the high jump. Durkin was a state qualifier in the event the last two seasons.
Junior Sarah Abel hopes to return to state in the 400-meter run.
Coach Durkin said the girls had a good group of sophomores on the relay teams this season. Sophomores Rachel Abel, Tracine Bowling, Jodi Wingebach and pole vaulter Anna Fernandez should all make solid contributions to the team, he said.
The Cards begin the season March 26 at the Wellsville Snowball Relays. They will compete against Central Heights, Olpe, Paola, Santa Fe Trail and Wellsville. Two days later, the junior and senior members of the team will compete in Baldwin.
"We want to get our feet wet," Durkin said. "We'd like to do well and win it. But as far as head-to-head with Wellsville, I think we will."
Eudora track and field athletes will compete in the Eudora Invitational April 12 and the Cardinal Relays April 19. Durkin said he expects the boys team to place in the top five of the Frontier League and the girls squad seventh or eighth.