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Outdoor Track Teams Have Talent If Not Numbers

The Comets girls’ and boys’ outdoor track teams have talent without a lot of depth, and the challenge will be finding the best possible event for each athlete in order to best help both the individual and the team.

The Comets girls’ outdoor track team is in a rebuilding mode this season, according to coach Mary Douglas.

“We’re doing okay, but we’re really, really building this year,” commented Douglas.

“We have some of the older ones back, but we’re trying to get some of the younger athletes to help in the different events, because the older ones are kind of wearing thin.

“Basically, it’s the same situation for the boys’ side, although there’s a little more to choose from in terms of talent.”

“We’re trying to work some new kids in and it’s hard, because a lot of them haven’t run track before and a lot of them are a little hesitant,” added Douglas.

“We’re trying to develop depth on both sides and we’ve been successful in some cases, but in others we just don’t have someone to fill in.

“That’s hurting us and it’s an ongoing challenge.”

Douglas emphasized she’s still experimenting with athletes in different events on both teams, noting events may be added or subtracted as the season goes along.

“We have some experience, but we have a lot of holes to fill, and we’re not just trying to fill a hole but find an event in which the athletes will excel to best help themselves and contribute to the team,” she noted.

“That’s hard because they don’t know what (event) they want to do, and they’re not working as hard as they should because they’re still a little uncomfortable with that event.

“We’ve been pairing them off with some of the older ones who have experience.  They’ve been working with them to get them in the flow of things and that’s helped a lot.

“But, unfortunately we don’t have a lot of dual and tri- meets, and we don’t get to enter but two or sometimes three people per event in our invitational meets, so that’s hurt our development.”

Mikayla Boyd will compete in the long and triple jump, in addition to the high jump, 300 hurdles, 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay, and possibly the 100-meter hurdles.

Tashayla Chandler is currently pegged for the high jump and 400-meter run, and DaShawna Cole will compete in the high jump, 4x100 relay and sprint events.

Tanisha Evans will compete in the high jump, long jump and triple jump, hurdles and sprints, Lashawn Johnson the 800 and 4x800 relay events, Ashley Logan the 100, 200, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay.

Tyiesha Pannell is pegged for the long jump, triple jump, 300 hurdles, 4x400 relay and 4x100 relay,

Kimberly Pointer the triple jump, shot put and discus events, Tiara Wolford the 100, 200, 4x100 relay and possibly some field events, and Andrea Wright the high jump, triple jump, 400 and 4x400 relay events.

Among the newcomers, Douglas is trying Kassie Blanks at the 800 and 400, Khadyah Brandon the 200 and 100, Melodi Davis the 800, Alera Edmondson the 400 and 4x400 relay, and Quan-taha Gilliam in the shot put and discus events.

Lillie Hamlett is pegged for the 100, 200, possibly the 4x100 relay, Rene’Qua McCraw the shot put, discus, and probably the 4x800, Takiya Reed the discus and sprint events, and Shaniqua Ross the100, 200 and 4x100 relay events.

Alisha Tucker is currently slotted for the long jump and triple jump, Chantell West the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay, and Kiana Woodall the 800 and 4x800 relay events.

Comets Boys Track Team
Among the Comets boys, Kendall Adams is currently pegged for the high jump, long jump and triple jump, as well as the sprints, Antonio Bailey the shot put and relays, Marcus Bowman the 300 and 100 hurdles, triple jump, 4x400 relay and long jump, and Terence Boyd the long jump, triple jump, 300 hurdles, 100 hurdles and 4x100 and 4x400 relay events.

Bernard Bradsher is currently pegged for the discus and shot put, James Brandon the 100, 200 and 4x400 relay events, Davon Greene the 100, 200, high jump, long jump, triple jump, and 4x100 relay events, Tyrell Harris the 100, 200, 400 and 800, and Juan Leon the 800 and mile.

Travis Lipscomb is currently pegged for the long jump, triple jump, and maybe the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay, according to Douglas, while Aaron Little will compete in the 800 and mile, Boris Pointer the 100 and 200, Trey Roberts the 100 hurdles, 100-meter dash and 4x100 relay.

Tecquin Hogue is pegged for the 100, 200 and field events, Deonta Tucker the shot put and discus, Darius Weaver the 400, 800 and possibly the mile, and Gordon Word the long jump, triple jump, 400, 800 and 4x400 relay.

At this point, getting the athletes more experience is paramount, and Douglas is looking at the bigger picture.

“You’re trying to win meets, but sometimes you have to sacrifice winning and get some kids in events not necessarily to win them but get the athletes some experience,” explained Douglas.

“We want to win, but a bigger goal for us is to qualify as many as we can for district, regional and state meets.

“It’s a balancing act and I don’t want the athletes competing in so many events that it increases the chances of them getting hurt.”

“If they’re healthy it gives them a better chance of getting good scores and getting recognized for college.

“We’re caught between a rock and a hard place.  I wish we could get more people out, and that isn’t working now, but we’ll just keep working with what we have and do the best we can.”