Collinsville counts on depth to make a difference
March 6, 2013Collinsville High School
Even with the loss of some key athletes, the Collinsville boys track team hopes to build on a memorable finish to the 2012 season.
At the Class 3A state meet, Collinsville's 800-meter relay ( Tyrone Echols, Ja'Von Dillon and Gus Wellmaker and Kennedy Mayweather) finished third while Mayweather also finished third in the 200 and ninth in the 100.
Echols qualifed in the 100 and 200 but didn't make the final. The Kahoks tied for 17th place in the team standings with 15 points.
"In the sprints, it was the most successful year in school history," coach Darryl Frerker said. "Mayweather is on our record board in the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200."
Mayweather, now a senior, is the only member of that quartet who is back this season.
"With those guys graduating, we are a younger team, but we're going to be solid," Frerker said. "As far as going up in our (Southwestern) conference, we have our work cut out for us, but at the same time, we have guys to build around."
Varsity newcomers in the springs include seniors Garrett Kanaske, Nick Reichert and Brandon Staves, junior Ryan Hayes and sophomores Jamal Wellmaker (Gus' brother) and Lavander Harvey (an eighth-grade state champion).
"We have some seniors that have not come out before and they're going to add some depth," Frerker said. "That's going to make a difference along with some of the kids returning from the cross country program, like (sophomore) Alex Reed and (junior) Trey Hawk. Those guys should do well in the mile and two-mile."
The top athlete for the Kahoks, though, is Mayweather, who could be even better this season if he's healthy.
"He's having a little trouble with a nagging (hip) injury, so we're taking it kind of slow and cautious with him," assistant coach TaRael Kee said.
Juniors Martinus Mitchell and Harry Uyehara return in the shot put and discus.
"Martinus just missed qualifying for state last year and with the way he's started out, we anticipate him qualifying this year," Frerker said of Mitchell, who is the Cardinals Featured Athlete. "In the pole vault, (juniors) Ryan Brunton and Alex Smith have made great strides during the summer and fall. They went to some pole vault camps, so we're looking for some school records to fall, and hopefully we'll have some state qualifiers along the way."
Collinsville opened the indoor season Saturday at Carbondale and will compete in another indoor meet March 16 at Charleston. The first major outdoor meet is the Southwestern Illinois Relays, March 23 at Edwardsville.
"We're more of a well-rounded team than we've been in past years," Frerker said. "In terms of overall talent, this is probably the best we've been."
"On the sprint side, we're trying to return as many people back to state as possible," Kee said.