Mitchell Christian ready for track season despite young rosterWith two seniors and one junior on its roster, the Mitchell Christian track teams have a lot of young athletes and a new head coach. Mitchell Christian Athletic Director Bob Lemon is taking over head coaching duties for the track teams and is looking forward to seeing how the young squads will fair in the region.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
With two seniors and one junior on its roster, the Mitchell Christian track teams have a lot of young athletes and a new head coach.
Mitchell Christian Athletic Director Bob Lemon is taking over head coaching duties for the track teams and is looking forward to seeing how the young squads will fair in the region.
“I don’t really know how the young runners compare with other runners in the region,” said Lemon, whose team has two competitors at today’s Dan Lennon Indoor meet at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. “At this point we’re just trying to build their individual skills and we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”
On the girls’ side, Lemon is looking for another solid year from sophomore Becca Glanzer.
As a freshman, Glanzer finished eighth place in the 1,600-meter run at the state tournament. She took fifth in the 3,200-meter run at state.
“I think she has higher aspirations to move up,” Lemon said. “She is just a really hard worker and sets a good example.”
Lemon said that Glanzer is looked at as a leader of the team along with senior Samantha Piehl and junior Brittany Zoss.
“Between those three girls, they really set the tone for what the other girls do and how hard they work,” Lemon said.
Piehl is a distance runner while Zoss is a sprinter for the Eagles.
The girls will be missing a catalyst for the field events from last season.
Mariah Nelson graduated from Mitchell Christian last year after a state championship season.
Nelson finished first place at the state tournament in the discus throw, while also finishing fifth place in the shot put.
“I think we need to sit down and figure out where our strengths are,” Lemon said. “That’s the key to best utilize their strengths and what they bring to the team.”
Lemon said he is hoping that freshman Taylor Krall can perform well in the field events for the team.
“I think she’ll eventually be fairly decent, but it’s a work in progress,” he said.
Kerissa Plooser is another athlete Lemon said could be used in field events for the girls’ team.
The boys’ team looks to have a few more competitors for the field events. Although Lemon says a few of them are still a work in progress.
Chandler Nelson, brother of Mariah Nelson, may be the top field performer for the boys’ team.
“He’s been working really hard in the strength training and developing his technique,” Lemon said. “I think his hard work will be rewarded. He has pushed himself and has high expectations.”
Chandler Nelson is freshman, and Lemon considers him to be one of the top shot-putters in the region.
Lemon said the region’s qualifiers in the shot put from last season have all graduated and that gives Nelson a good shot at competing for the chance to go to the state tournament.
Cody Gromer, Craigh Van Zee and Aaron Lemon are other possible candidates in field events, although Bob Lemon said the team is trying to put athletes where they fit best.
“At this point we’re not exactly sure where they all fit,” he said. “We’ll just see how we progress.”
Coach Lemon said that Aaron Lemon is expected to be the top runner for the boys’ team. He will compete in the 400-meter dash, the 800-meter run and long jump.
“Chandler (Nelson) and Aaron (Lemon) have aspirations to compete at the state level and we have some others that are probably there as well,” Coach Lemon said.
Nelson and Aaron Lemon are the only MCHS athletes competing today at the Dan Lennon Indoor meet.
Coach Lemon said the school is on spring break, so he did not expect his athletes to compete. The team is scheduled to compete in Aberdeen on Friday, but only a few athletes will attend, including the two who are competing today.
After the break, MCHS will begin its outdoor season where Lemon hopes his young squads can continue to improve.
“We’re looking not only at this year, but to try to build and make track something fun that they want to keep going at,” he said. “We need to try to keep our numbers and develop. We’ve got some younger kids with incredible potential. When you look down the road we could be competitive in our region.”