The Centre High School track team was reduced to eight members by the end of the 2009 season. This year, with 18 students out for track, Head Coach Alan Stahlecker is expecting bigger results.
That is not to say that the 2009 season didn’t have its successes. As a junior, Josie Peterson represented Centre at the state track meet. She competed in shot put.
According to Stahlecker, shot put generally is the weakest of three events — discus, javelin, and shot put — in which Peterson competes. He expects her to do well this year.
Theo Kassebaum, a sophomore this year, edged out Peterson as earning the most points for the 2009 season. She competes in hurdles, long jump, and high jump.
After competing at state in discus as a sophomore in 2008, Trevor Troutt wasn’t able to compete in the 2009 regional because of a knee injury. The senior is expected to go far this year. He also competes in shot put and javelin.
“I’m hoping for good things out of him,” Stahlecker said.
Rustyn Kerbs is returning to the team after sitting out his sophomore year. He was the team’s high scorer as a freshman.
Stahlecker said Kerbs has grown stronger and faster and expects to compete in the 1600-meter run and some of the shorter runs.
Casey Kristek is another junior who is returning after a year’s absence. He runs hurdles and does the horizontal jumps.
Cole Svoboda lettered as a sophomore. His best performance is in the 400-meter run. He also competes in jumping events and javelin.
The four female members of the 2009 track team took second place at the league meet. The three girls who compiled the most points have returned this year. They are senior Carlye Simons — a returning letter-winner who qualified for state in 2008 in the triple jump — Kassebaum, and Peterson.
Other members of the team are senior Khusrov Mirov, juniors Justin Tang and DJ Turner, and freshmen Kylie Beeler, Trevor Hageberg, Nariah Hamilton, Oaklan Jenkins, Ellie Miller, Genesis Rudolph, and Houston Svoboda.
This is Stahlecker’s first year as head coach. He served as an assistant the previous eight years. Kelly Steiner is his assistant.
“I’m hoping for good individual performance this year,” Stahlecker said. “Team-wise, we’re hoping to be more competitive.”
The Cougars’ first track meet is 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. It will be hosted by Canton-Galva at Moundridge.