Flu, sore muscles slow track practice
With winter drawing to a close and the spring sports starting to take their place in the minds of many students, Eudora track coach Phil Katzenmeier isn't exactly done dealing with the side effects of colder weather.
"We're trying to keep everyone healthy," Katzenmeier said. "The flu is going around so we're battling that. We always have a lot of sore muscles too to start out the year so we're trying to get everyone back."
When the 2006 edition of the Cardinals' track and field does regain its health, the team could be in position to repeat some of the successes that were achieved a year ago.
On the running front, the Cardinals will return a host of runners, who made their mark in 2005. Most notably the Eudora 3,200-meter relay team of Megan Ballock, Emily Ballock, Brittney Graff and Lauren Colman return to add to their successful fourth-place trip to state a year ago. Graff and the Ballock sisters were also state qualifiers in several individual events a year ago at Wichita.
In the field events, the team returns senior Nolan Smith, who set school records in the pole vault, and senior Carrie Lister, a state qualifier in the girls' shot put.
Along with the returning members, the Cardinals have a bevy of new faces to fill roles as the season progresses.
Eudora will have no fewer than 17 freshmen making appearances this year along with at least 10 newcomers in the sophomore and junior ranks. The addition of so many new faces to the ranks of the Cardinal team was a definite sign of encouragement for the head coach.
"That's good to see," Katzenmeier said. "There are a lot of new faces and there will be a lot of roles to fill, so yes, it's encouraging."
Those newcomers and the returning members began practices nearly two weeks ago with a stringent regiment of workouts designed to get everyone on the same page physically as the month of March wanes and the first meet at Wellsville approaches.
For the more veteran participants, the workouts were nothing new, but for the new members it was a time of adjustments.
"It's tough. It's an individual sport," Katzenmeier said. "They're starting to realize that it's a lot of work. We'll spend 45 minutes doing one warm up out there. But they respond to that, they're starting to understand that it's a part of it. They've responded well. I've been impressed."
That response to the workout will be tested as the Cardinals get out of the gates early in 2006 with a pair of meets in the first week of the season.
The Wellsville Relays and Baldwin Invitational will put the preseason regiment to the test, before the normal schedule of one meet per week gets under way.