Lynchburg-Clays boys and girls track and field teams are poised for a breakout year in 2018 according to coach Shawn McLaughlin. His expectations are high for both teams and include competing for the Southern Hills Athletic Conference title.
The boys team returns a wealth of experience in the sprinting events and that is where McLaughlin thinks they will shine this season.
“The boys team has all of its sprinters coming back but lost quite a bit in the distance events. Ben Bales a distance runner, Corey Mullenix a sprinter and Dakota Stubbs a thrower will be the senior leaders for the deep boys team with about 30 boys participating this year,” McLaughlin said.
The boys will welcome several new faces to the team this year and not all of them will be freshman. McLaughlin believes that the new additions will help improve the overall depth of the team and its ability to compete at a high level.
“Several new faces on the boys side that are not freshman, Noble Walker, Joey Stewart, Colt Tatman and Zander Blankenship. We also have a strong group of freshman boys, two of which Dawson Osborn and Connor Tyree will have to fill in for the distance kids that graduated last year,” said the Mustangs coach.
The Lady Mustangs also find themselves on the cusp of a promising season as they return a majority of their top performers in the running events.
“The girls team returns a solid group in all phases of running. Our top sprinters, middle distance and distance runners are coming back. Taiyler Marcelino and Hailey Lay are our two senior sprinters, Abby Blankenship is a returning hurdler, Emily Pinkerton is one of our top distance runners and Keyara Oaks will compete in the shot and discus. Angela McLaughlin will also be returning after missing last season with an injury. These girls will be the core of a very strong girls team,” McLaughlin said.
The girls team will also welcome a plethora of new athletes this year and not all of them are freshmen.
“The girls have several new faces that I am excited to see. Zoe Fittro, Logan Binkley, Kaylee Lunsford and Heather Sexton are all sophomores that did not run last year. A large group of freshman that also have potential,” the Lady Mustangs coach said.
McLaughlin talked about the support his team gets from the community and invited locals to come out and support the team this season.
“Lynchburg Clay has one of the best facilities in the area and quality boys and girls teams that should compete in our league as well as any team around,” said McLaughlin.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.