The Trojans track was full of activity this week as the runners and field eventers start their training for the two-month-long season.
To start the year, the boys team will have six returning veterans that were ranked in the top 10 in Southern Nevada at the end of the 2015 season.
They are sophomore Bryce Odegard, junior Dylan Montgomery, senior Isaac Davis, junior Nik Clark, sophomore Layron Sonerholm and senior Nico Cipollini.
Sophomore Bryce Odegard was ranked ninth in Southern Nevada in the 800 meter (2 minutes, 7 seconds), seventh in the 1,600 meter (4:40.97), and fifth in the 3,200 meter (10:08.92) at the end of last season. Odegard went to state in cross-country in the fall and finished fourth. He will be a key long-distance runner this year and could be a top contender this year in track.
Sophomore Layron Sonerholm is ranked eighth in Southern Nevada in the 3,200 meter (10:40.85) and said he should finish strongly this year. He was a teammate of Odegard in cross-country. He said his goal was to beat Odegard this year, who he has never beaten in track or cross-country.
“I can’t beat him yet,” Sonerholm said. “I think it might be a mental thing.”
He said he will also be running in the 1,600 meter, the 4×800 relay and the 800-meter run.
“The 3,200 is my favorite and is what I am best at,” he said. “My goal is to make state in this event.”
The Trojans boys team will be strong in the field events this year. They will be led by the jumpers, starting with senior Isaac Davis, who was ranked third in Southern Nevada in the high jump (6-0) and was second in the triple jump (40-1.)
He is followed by Junior Dylan Montgomery, who was ranked eighth in the triple jump (41 feet).
Montgomery is better known though for his hurdles. He was fourth in Southern Nevada in the 110-meter hurdles (15.50 seconds), fifth in Southern Nevada in the 300-meter hurdles (42.33) and he said he would like to get his time down in the 14s in the 110.
His brother ran a 14.59 at state and won the title.
“It would be nice to beat that time,” he said. “It’s very possible to beat it this year.”
Junior Nik Clark was ranked 10th in the 110-meter hurdles (17.04). Last season was his best year.
In a class all his own is returning senior pole vaulter Nico Cipollini, who was ranked third (12-0). Cipollini’s goal is to not only to return to state this year, but to win it.
“I think I can do well this year because most of my competition in this event graduated,” he said. “I have been working out in the offseason with a club in Las Vegas.”
He said the most important thing he did was work on his basics.
“I worked with fundamentals, getting a new pole and lots of explosive weightlifting,” Cipollini said. “At the moment, I don’t think I will be doing track in college, but if I was to get an offer from a small college, I wouldn’t be against that.”
For the girls, they will have six athletes that were ranked in the top 10 at the end of the season.
They are sophomore Sydney Dennis, senior Fenny Descuatan, senior Meghan McDermott, junior Caeli Havel, junior Madison Shay and sophomore Annabelle Brophy.
Meghan McDermott was ranked fourth in the 110-meter hurdles (16.79), sixth in the long jump at (16-4) and fifth in the triple jump (33-9.5). She will be highly favored to win state this year in the hurdles. In order for her to do that she will have to bring her time down by at least a second.
“I really don’t think lowering my time will be that much of an issue because I feel stronger,” she said. “I have been working with Randall Cunningham (Las Vegas club track coach) all offseason and working hard on the weights and my speed.”
McDermott said she will focus on the 110 and not do the 300-meter hurdles because that would interfere with her triple and long jumping.
Also, sophomore Sydney Dennis returns. She was ranked fourth in Southern Nevada in the 1,600 meter (5:44.25) and second in the 3,200-meter run (12:15.42) and is the strongest middle distance runner on the team.
Senior Fenny Descuatan was ranked seventh in the 3,200 meter (12:41) and led the cross-country team this year.
In field events, the jumps will be led by McDermott’s jumping. In addition, the Trojans have two good throwers. Caeli Havel was ranked eighth in the shot put (30 foot 6.5 inches) and junior Madison Shay was ranked eighth in the discus (92 feet 1 inch).
Shay said she will be able to add at least 10 feet to her throw.
“I am stronger than last year and have been working a lot in the weight room,” she said. “My goal is 105 feet this year.”
Shay said she is now comfortable with her form and believes she has found her sport.
“I like team sports, but this is the best for me because I like the fact that throwing is all me and I have no one else to blame but myself,” Shay said. “I hope to go to college in this sport.”
Sophomore Annabelle Brophy was ranked sixth in the high jump at (4 feet 8 inches).
The Trojans first meet will be in two weeks on March 11 at Cheyenne High School, which will be a newcomers’ meet for freshmen at 3:30 p.m.
-Contact sports editor Vern hee at firstname.lastname@example.org