By Ryan Butler
Coming off a long regular season and months of off-season conditioning, training and practice, the Newsome High School boys and girls track teams are gearing up for the most important part of the track-season: the conference meet and districts.
Much of the hopes for the boys’ team rest on the legs of Lars Benner. One of the top runners in the state last season, Benner has improved in his senior year and is among the favorites in the state finals events for the longer distance events. Coming off a broken hand, Benner is still capable of top-five finishes in the one-mile and two-mile. NHS coaches are waiting to see which event he’ll run in the post season or if he’ll try both.
Several other Wolves runners may also join Benner in the post season. Anchored by Justin Martinez in the 800, Todd Jackson in the 400 as well as Aaron Wade and Kyle Wilson in both the 100 and 200, Newsome coaches are excited about the team’s potential on the track.
Benner will also be a key part of another strong 4×800-meter relay team that could score points deep into the post season.
The 4×800 meter relay looks to be the anchor for the girls’ team. Made up of Stephanie Cajas, Amanda Miller, Delsie Borgen, and Brianna Jackson, they’ve run 10:15 in competition this year but the girls’ head coach, Orlando Greene, expects his team to break the 10-minute mark in bigger meets down the stretch.
Greene is also excited for Jackson in the two-mile race, where she was a state participant last season. Tyra Johnson, a specialist in shorter sprints like the 100 and 200, should also make some noise in the post-season.
For both teams, next week’s Western Conference meet, featuring the nine schools in the eastern half of the county, will serve as a good test for what the Wolves can expect to see at districts.
“That’s what we’re pointing at to tell us where we are. If we come out of that without any injuries and come out of that doing well, we should head to districts with some confidence,” Greene said.
For more information about the team, visit c2csports.com. For more information about the upcoming track and field district meet, visit fhsaa.org.