WEBSTER CITY - Over half of the 28-girl roster is comprised of freshmen, and only three team members with any state meet experience return.
On the surface, it would appear that the Webster City girls' track team is in full-on rebuilding mode.
Maybe. But maybe not.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
WCHS junior Kaitlyn Kehoe heads down the backstretch during the Class 3A 4x400-meter relay at last spring’s state track meet. Kehoe is one of only a few runners with experience back for the Lynx in 2012.
"Yeah, we have a lot of freshmen, but I have high expectations for this year and I have a firm belief that we can do some real good things," Webster City co-head coach Theo Clark said. "The preparation is there and now we just have to find out where we're at."
Clark and his coaching partner Kristy Manson will lead the Lynx into their first outdoor meet of the season on Monday at the Richard Ryan Relays in Gowrie.
Sophomore Morgan Gourley qualified for the Class 3A state meet in both the 400-meter dash and as part of the 4x400 relay a year ago. Classmate Kaylee Schnathorst and junior Kaitlyn Kehoe were also on the relay.
Schnathorst, senior thrower Katie Holdgrafer and junior distance runner Morgan Moline have been designated as team captains for the spring season, and they alongside Gourley and Kehoe will provide the leadership.
"We're looking to those three captains to set the tone in the meets," Clark said. "And Morgan (Gourley) had a really good year last year, and then Kaitlyn's versatility is a big asset to us. She can open the meet in the 4x800 and end it in the 4x400, and we don't have anyone else right now that can do that."
Holdgrafer was the Lynx top thrower a season ago, but she's expected to have some competition in 2012. A sprinter and hurdler during her freshman campaign, Schnathorst has made the move to the throw events and Clark thinks the results will speak for themselves.
"Kaylee's still going to do the hurdles, but she's really doing well in the shot (put)," Clark said. "We're also trying to work her into the discus and we're trying to let her get comfortable in that before we let loose in the meets."
Toss in talented freshman long jumper Carrie Gerdes, and the chance is there to beef up point totals in the field events compared to a year ago. Gerdes turned in a leap of 16 feet, 1 inches during the indoor season and she currently sits third in 3A, according to quikstats.com.
"Carrie jumped 15 feet last year (in middle school) and she's already improved on that, and we haven't even figured out the right technique yet," Clark said. "As soon as we get the skills down, she's going to be really dangerous in that event.
"We're really emphasizing the field events because those are points that we didn't see last year."
Webster City finished at the back of the pack in the North Central Conference a season ago, and it's a position that Clark expects his team to avoid this spring.
"I think I can almost guarantee that we're not going to be last again," he said. "We have some young girls that are making an immediate impact, so I'm excited."