The Madison Blue Streak track and field coaching staff is dealing with fewer competitors after graduations and the pandemic decimated their teams this season.
Blue Streaks boys head
coach Jeremy Verdi said participation is down about 25 percent from 2019, and he has had to adjust his mental outlook with results changing from being in the top of the standings to middle of the pack at area invitationals.
Verdi said he had a very strong team going into last year with a chance to win the league championship when the announcement came down that the season was done before it started.
The coach said he was devastated.
“I think I took it worse then the kids,” he said.
Verdi said he has a good 200 and 400-meter runner, a strong 110-meter hurdler and several good distance runners.
“We are building back up our field events,” Verdi said.
At the Perry Gene Kobus Relays Saturday, Dillon Miller placed second in the pole vault at 8-6.25.
On the track, Brian Chaffee, Reese Powell, Miller and Jerry Wightman notched third in the 4X1600 relay in a time of 20:38.06.
Madison also recorded
several fourth-place finishes.
The boys distance medley team consisting of Miller, Chaffee, Ben Warren and Kenyan Boncela ran a 11:55.25; Ryan Crim, Vincent Fisher, Chaffee and Boncela teamed up to run a 3:47.19; Fisher, Crim, Boncela and Carter Horvath checked in with a time of 46.71 in the 4x100 relay and Crim, Horvath, Boncela and Fisher posted a 1:38.83 in the 4x200 relay.
Verdi said there was
no chance for the young
participants to ease their way into competitions this year because of the loss of the 2020 season and the fact that so many seniors graduated.
Madison girls coach Emily Daniels said she is happy with the development of her squad and has 41 participants this year.
“I’d say our strength are on the speed side of things,” she said.
Daniels also cited Maddie Moretti and Becca Martin in the field events.
“I have two really good throwers in the shot and discus,” she said.
At Perry, Moretti and Martin went 1-2 in the shot put with efforts of 36-0 and 32-9.25, respectively.
In the discus, Martin finished first at 104-8, followed by Moretti’s 103-3.
On the track, the Blue Streaks received fourths from the 4x800 meter relay of Taylor Hennessey, Lilly Alcantar, Aubrey Sumrow and Madeline Otterman in a time of 11:17.90; Lexi Fleischer, Riley Meister, Laney Behm and Hennessey in the 800 sprint relay in a time of 2:02.70 4 and Sydney Chaffee in the pole vault at 7-6.