The Hillsboro High School boys track team comes in the 2016 season with a little more pep in their step this year as they make the move back down to Division II.
“Being in Division II this year is exciting,” said Indians Head Coach Bud Marsh on the move. “Spending the last two years in Division I is an eye opener. The DI district is not as strong as the DII district but it’s a whole other ball game when you go up to Pickerington North for the regional. Especially when you on the lower end of DI and competing with teams that are three and four times bigger than you.”
In years past, the Indians have had a strength in distance running. This year, after losing their best long distance runner from last year in De-Andre Steward, the boys track is very inexperience in the distance category. What they lack in distance, however, they make up for in sprinting and field events.
“We’ve been blessed in the past with being loaded with distance and maybe lacking a little in other areas,” coach Marsh said. “Now, we’re lacking in the distance but loaded with sprinters and our field events are looking much better. We’ve got some good young kids running distance but they are inexperienced. They’re working hard and hopefully by the end of the year, they’ll be up there ready to compete.”
In the offseason, the Hillsboro boys had many athletes competing in indoor track. Six of those boys made it to the indoor state track meet.Coach Marsh says as the season starts, he will be looking for the boys to continue improving their times and that the offseason work should help out.
“We strive to go out every day and compete and improve on our times,” Marsh said. “That’s how we’re judging success. A kid may get last but if he improved his time you can’t argue with that. That’s what we want. I’ve really been pleased with these kids and their work habits. This is the most kids we’ve had in the offseason doing indoor and they had success. We had six quality to go to the state indoor track meet. And that’s what you have to do to be successful in a sport. You can’t just come out and expect it to happen. You have to put in the time in the offseason, whether it be in that sport or by playing another sport and keeping your body in shape. That’s what these guys are committed to doing.
“Individually, we have Mackenzie Conlon. He’s one of the best hurdlers in this region. Braden Wildey is a good sprinter and is much stronger this year than he has been in years past so we’re looking for good things out of him. Austin Goolsby is a sophomore pole vaulter. He struggled with it a little last year and I told him he needed to go to a camp or two in the off season and develop there. He went from 10’6” last year to 15’ indoor and that’s just unbelievable. That puts him as one of the top vaulters in the state. That says a lot about his willingness to get better and all these guys have that. In the high jump we have Jeremy Hayton who is a 6’ high jumper.”
The Hillsboro Indians will kick off their track this upcomign Tuesday, March 29 when they travel to Washington Courthouse.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1649 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.