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Multi-tasking will be the major descriptor of this season’s Hawks boys track team under new coach Drew Simpson.
“The number of students we have on the team is our strength and weakness,” said Simpson, who substitute teaches for the LaRue County school system. “We have a small high school team and because of that all of my athletes have to compete in four events.”
Perhaps because of the few number of athletes, however, he has found a more personal team, one with heart and a lot of determination, he said.
Blake Heibert, a senior, runs the 110 hurdles, triple jump, 4x400, and 4x200.
“Blake has great speed and foot work,” said Simpson. “He is lacking form with the hurdles and triple jump, but I believe this is just because he is rusty.”
Sophomore Raymundo Perez returns after competing at state in pole vault last season. This year he will add the 4x400, 4x200 and open 200.
“Raymundo is a very optimistic athlete who helps to lighten the mood during practices,” Simpson said. “He is a strong runner but has yet to learn to push through the finish line.”
Senior Cody Thompson, a three-year veteran, runs the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4x400 and the 4x200 relay.
“His biggest strength is his great running form that he keeps through his entire race,” Simpson said. “He has gained much muscle from the prior football season and needs to lean out to help cut some time off his races.”
Among newcomers are eighth grader Randy Young who is showing great running form and, according to the coach, is already in good shape from his prior cross country season.
“Randy, because of his young age, has not fully developed and because of this he may be at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with juniors and seniors,” said Simpson. “However he pushes himself daily at practice and will be a competitive force for our team.”
Trevor Wallace, a freshman, has not missed a practice.
“He is open to running any events and is a great team player,” the coach said of the first-year competitor. “I have no doubt that as track season progresses he will grow and become an effective runner.”
Simpson said Heibert has shown him what it takes to be a leader on the team.
“He is focused during the entire practice and gives 100 percent every day,” the coach said. “He is a soft spoken young man but what he doesn’t say in practice he shows on the track with great work ethic.”
Simpson, who graduated from Campbellsville University in December, said one team goal is to place in the top three in the regional tournament.
“I would also like to see every athlete set a personal record in one or more of their events,” he said.
The Hawks, in AA’s Region Two, travel to Green County tomorrow, then host the LaRue Invitational March 24.