By Ryan Butler

Though the team has struggled with depth in several areas heading into its biggest meet of the season, the Durant varsity boys track team is hoping a few individual athletes can carry the team.

“I told the kids that we can really compete at districts overall as a team, and so can a lot of individuals, because we can score in a lot of events,” said head coach, William Riley. “We haven’t scored depth-wise but we can score a lot of points in a lot of different events.”

The Cougars have several of the top athletes in Hillsborough County. Sophomore Tracy Watson has been an elite runner in the 200 and the anchor of the squad’s relay teams. Nearing 22 seconds on his 200-meter run times, Riley believes he could score points at the state meet. Along with Donte Claypool, Watson has made the sprinters among the team’s biggest strengths for the first time in several years.

Danny Butler has stepped up for the Cougars in distance events. Though the team has struggled filling in spots behind him, Butler’s strong performances on the track have routinely given Durant a point-scoring threat in distance events.

In throwing events, Jevonte Reaves has lead the way. He posted the second-best throw in the county during the regular season. Darrien Kelly, a hurdler, set the school record in the 300-meter hurdles this season and finished third at the county meet. He also competed in the finals for the 110-meter event.

Riley said another key to the team’s success has been an influx of young talent. With many football players doubling-up as track athletes, the program has a new crop of young talent, including a wide array of sophomore and juniors that will return next season.

Though the Cougars will most likely not compete for a team state title, they will boast several elite talents in the post-season meets and give the program a chance to build depth for the future.

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