Collinsville Boys Track hopes new track leads to more state qualifiers
March 22, 2012Collinsville High School
A new artificial turf field for football and soccer has caused plenty of excitement at Collinsville High School, but Darryl Frerker has reason to be pleased as well.
Frerker is the head track coach at CHS, and the Kahoks are enjoying the brand new track that surrounds the field at the athletic complex.
“One of the biggest positives of the new facility is the infield,” Frerker said. “The track that we had, outside of needing some new paint on the lines, was sufficient for practice and competition. But being able to use the football field for sprints and different types of plyometrics is going to huge for us.
“It’s also going to be different because the girls soccer team will be here at the same time. Before, they were at a different facility and we had the track to ourselves. I’m sure there will be some hiccups that we’ll have to work through, but it will be wonderful just to be out there. Having a new track just adds another level of excitement.”
Last season, Collinsville had one state qualifier in senior discus thrower Andrew Bartsch, who narrowly missed qualifying in the shot put. Kennedy Mayweather, who is now a junior, missed qualifying in the 200-meter run by one-hundredth of a second. Senior Tyrone Echols returns in the 100 and 200. Senior transfer Ja’Von Dillon should also make an impact.
“Our 4 x 200 relay was also close to qualifying, so from a sprinter’s standpoint, we’re looking pretty good,” Frerker said.
Sophomore Ryan Bunton will compete in the pole vault and the 400 while freshman distance runner Alex Reed is coming off a strong season in cross country.
Senior Gus Wellmaker, also a standout in football and basketball, qualified for state (along with Mayweather) as a sophomore in the 1,600 relay.
“Gus missed a couple weeks (due to injuries) last year and just didn’t come back strong enough to qualify for state, but I anticipate the 4 x 400 being a lot tougher this year,” Frerker said. “We have some freshmen coming out from the basketball team and I heard some good things about their middle-school experience. They should develop into varsity athletes if they’re not already there.”
Senior Cole Newingham takes over as the Kahoks’ top performer in the shot put and discus, where he will be joined by sophomore Martinus Mitchell.
“Our numbers are a little down from last year, but overall I think the team is a little bit stronger,” Frerker said. “I feel pretty comfortable with where we are. Terrell Key, who is a counselor in the (high school) office, is our sprints coach and with him helping that group, I look for us to score some points in that area.
“The distance group is a little young, but Alex Reed and (sophomore) Trey Hawk were two of our top five in cross country. (Junior) Zach Curtis was also a varsity cross country athlete and he’s one of the older guys in the group.”
Collinsville opened the indoor season March 3 at Carbondale and will compete Saturday at Charleston in the Eastern Illinois University Invitational. The Kahoks play host to Granite City in the first outdoor meet on Tuesday and the first major meet is the Southwestern Illinois Relays, March 24 at Edwardsville.
“My biggest push in the program is individual success and personal records, which could carry some individuals to the state level,” Frerker said. “If you add up enough of those points, that equates to a good team. We try to help each other as a team to accomplish those things.”