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 Track Teams Small on Numbers, Big on Heart

March 26, 2008 - Knightstown’s boys and girls varsity track teams are going to have a tough time coming up with the numbers they will need to compete this season.

Both varsity squads have as many competitors as there are events. That translates into zero depth and potential forfeits in several events. Both the boys and girls have just 15 students participating this season.

Coach Bob Prescott’s boys team opened their season at Rushville against the Lions and Morton Memorial. Rushville won the event with 107 points, Knightstown had 51 and the Tigers had nine points.

Coach Dan Clevenger’s girls also opened their season last week at Rushville and managed just 22 points. Rushville had 111 and Morton seven.

There are several reasons for the downturn in students participating in track and field, but perhaps none more prevalent than the fact that the Panthers do not have a home track this season. Because of the condition of the track at the middle school, Knightstown will not host a single meet this season. The Panthers have a coed home event schedule tomorrow with Eastern Hancock and Tri High, but the meet will take place at the Royals’ facility.

“We’ve got some pretty low numbers this year and it’s pretty hard to recruit kids when you don’t even have your own facility,” Prescott said Monday.

Clevenger agreed. “I don’t think there’s any question that the numbers are down because of the condition of the track. You’re not going to have a single home meet this year and that also makes it nearly impossible to have good practices. That makes it harder on everyone.”

KHS athletic director Dave Bradford said he had been told by the CAB administration that a new all-weather track could be three or four years away. Because of budget constraints and recent cost-cutting measures in the classrooms, a new track is pretty low on the list of priorities.

In the meantime, the student-athletes who are competing are giving it their best shot.

Panther junior Anthony Hibbert turned in two first-place finishes against Rushville and Morton in the boys meet. Hibbert won the 110-meter low hurdles in a time of 17:06, winning by a considerable margin (second place came in at 18:56). Hibbert also won the long jump with a leap of 19-feet, and scored points with a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash.

Freshman Lane Fields also grabbed a first place ribbon by winning the 400-meter dash in 56:09. Luke Brishaber finished fourth in that event. Fields also finished second in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and was third in the long jump.

Junior Sam Rech won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46:09, and also finished second in the high jump with a leap of 6’1”.

Sophomore Travis VanOsdol brought the Panthers their other first-place finish, winning the shot put with a throw of 46’4”. VanOsdol also finished third in the discus. Freshman Micah Matlock scored points for Knightstown with fourth place finishes in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs.

In the girls meet, Clevenger didn’t have the numbers to run any of the relay races. Morton also had no relay teams, so the Lions ran by themselves in all three events.

Senior Diana Trautmann turned in Knightstown’s lone first-place performance, winning the long jump with a leap of 14’4”. Trautmann finished second in the 200-meter dash (28.84) and second in the 100 (13.87).

Sabrina Hatfield was third and Jocelyn Sturgill fourth in the shot put. Weiland was second in the 3200 and third in the 1600, while Osborn finished third in the 800 and fourth in the 1600.

Both boys and girls will be in action tomorrow for the three-way meet with Eastern Hancock and Tri. The home event will take place on the Eastern Hancock track.


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