IOWA CITY– The West High Trojans track and field team hopes to capitalize on the success seen on the football field and basketball court.
“They’ve had a good school year in other sports, so I don’t see why it can’t carry over to the track and field season,” Coach Brian Martz said. Martz has nine years with the program and is assisted by Neil Davis (sprints, hurdles, long jump), Travis Craig (distance) and Maureen Head (throws). The team compiled a 52-7 record in 2011, taking second in the MVC Valley Division.
Last spring, Tre Goode, Lucas Brenneman, Andrew Gilbaugh and Charlie Rogers took the shuttle hurdle relay to state but suffered a disqualification. Richard Bryant, Jonathan Williams, Armondo Williams and Rogers ran the 4x100, but suffered an injury in their preliminary heat. Armondo Williams, Gilbaugh, Jonathan Williams and Rogers took fifth in the 4x200. Bailey Wetherell, Kaleb Greiner, Cole Hatzky and Ryson Stuart finished eighth in the 4x800. Individually, Lucas Brenneman qualified in the 110 high hurdles and 400 low hurdles while Daniel Gardarsson and Isaac Jensen qualified for the 3200. Derek Norland qualified for state in both the shot put and discus while Dondre Alexander qualified in the high jump.
Goode, Brenneman, Gilbaugh, Rogers, Armondo Williams, Wetherell, Greiner, Hatzky and Alexander return to the Trojan lineup this year.
“Our cross country team had a great season last fall,” Martz said of their district championship and third place finish at state. He sees the cross country team as more of an influence on the track team this year than in years past. “There are several new guys out that I am anxious to see how they will fit into our lineup as they bring some depth to particular event areas.” Martz said his squad is well-balanced, with a lot of varsity-level experience and “a lot to prove.”
Looking at the conference, Martz sees Cedar Falls as the team to beat. “We will give them a run for their money if we can keep everyone focused on common goals this season,” he said. Talent, good health and well-being are necessary to excel, he said, along with some good luck. “We have the talent but have had some bad luck the last couple years.” Martz hopes the senior class comes together to make a run at a state title in May.
“Obviously, we will have to get organized and get the guys prepared and in position to have a chance. They just have to be willing and united if it’s going to happen,” he said.
He sees the friendly rivalry between City High and West as a positive. “They bring out the best in each other and it’s always good to see them demonstrate good sportsmanship too.”
For the season overall, Martz’s plan is simple.
“We’ll be taking things one day at a time until we figure out who we can be and what we are capable of. It really is up to the guys on the team.”
March 16: Central Indoor @ Pella, 2 p.m.
March 31: CR Jefferson Relays, Away, 10 a.m.
April 3: Hollingsworth Relays , HOME, 4:30 p.m.
April 7: W. Des Moines Relays, Away, 11:30 a.m.
April 9: Muscatine Relays, Away, 4:30 p.m.
,April 10: N. Scott Relays, Away, 4 p.m.
April 14: Draxton Relays (CRK, Away, 10:30 a.m.
April 17: Prairie Relays, Away, 4:30 p.m.
April 19: Forwald Relays @ City High, 4:30 p.m.
April 26-28 Drake Relays, Des Moines, TBA
May 4: MVC Divisional, CR Jefferson, 5 p.m.
May 10: Districts, TBA, 4 p.m.
May 17-19: State Tournament, Des Moines, TBA