Boys anxious to start

Bryan Veginski

The Washington boys track and field team hopes to make consistent strides throughout the season.

Each individual has goals to reach and tomorrow’s meet vs. Central is the starting point for the Panthers.

“We’re trying to improve on each event, time,” WCHS head coach Rocke Cooper said. “The first meet will tell us where we’re at.”

The senior class currently consists of 10 athletes.

Nick Brunk and Dalton Ruzicka are 100 and 200 dash contestants. Ruzicka also is part of 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

Jake DeVore, Skylr Harkness and Emil Skov can run the 400 dash. All three are options in the 4x400.

Andrew Gundy, Jordan Miller and Jake Weston are shot put and discus possibilities.

Jacob Kupferschmid is in the mix in the 800 run and 4x800. Mike Petravick is slotted in the 110 high hurdles.

There are 13 juniors on the squad in 2009.

Cody Alexander is a pole vaulter and high jumper.

Jared Arnold, Greg McCandless and Matt Slater all are Washington participants for the 400 and 4x400.

Jake Brackeen hurls the shot and discus, like Sam Ryan, who also is a long jumper.

Evan McCauley is a sprinter in the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200. Levi Meeks will try the 100 and 200.

Andrew McGraw and John McDermott both are involved in the 800 and 1600. In addition, McGraw is listed in the 4x800 and McDermott in the 3200.

Drew Schlink is an option in the 100, 200, 4x100 and triple jump.

Colton Underwood is versatile as evidenced by his outlook for the 100, 4x100, high jump and shot.

Andrew Watson is getting a look in all three jumping events, plus the 100.

At the outset there were a dozen sophomores.

Joseph Crocker, Zane Elward, Joel Strubhar and Stephen Williams are 800 and 4x800 candidates. Williams added the 1600 and 3200 to his collection.

Dylan Koonce, Doug Schrock and Connor Underwood all are shot and discus throwers. Underwood also is involved in the 100.

Ben Misselhorn is a long-distance specialist with races in the 800, 1600, 3200 and 4x800.

Nick Moore, Zach Peterson and Dennis Zeller will dash in the 100 and 200. Moore and Zeller also are 4x100 runners.

Skyler Polhemus is a 100, 200 and 4x100 member, plus the high jump.

There are 19 freshmen competing for the Panthers.

In the 100 and 200 are Thomas Alt, Wyatt Frautschi, Tyler McMullen, Chris McMurray, Kurtis Michelfelder, Aaron Walker, Jordan Wilson and Kyle Zimmerman.

Besides those events, Michelfelder, Walker and Zimmerman are part of the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Wilson is a long jump and triple jump entrant.

Jacob Cox, Trent Weston and Mason Wright are in the shot and discus, while Zach Little and Dylan Reel concentrate on the discus.

Tyler Harrell and Nathan Kerby are high jumpers. Harrell is a 100 competitor as well, and Kerby a long jumper.

Cameron McIntosh, Steven Smith, Travis Wilkin and Spencer Wilson all are working into the 800 and 4x800. McIntosh, Wilkin and Wilson also are interested in the 1600.

Ruzicka in the sprints, Petravick in the high hurdles and Brackeen in the discus are Washington tracksters with a good chance to stand out this season.

Miller, Watson, Colton Underwood, Slater, Schlink, McCauley, Alexander, Williams, Misselhorn and Zimmerman are others with a good chance to make big contributions.

The Panthers were seventh in the Mid-Illini Conference in ’08 with 13 points.

Metamora has won the last four league titles.

The conference meet this year is May 14 at Pekin.

“We’re excited to get the season started,” Cooper said Thursday.

Monday, Washington hosts Streator in the second of four consecutive home meets.