Even though there are only two returning letterwinners this season for the East Clinton girls track and field team, head coach Bob Malone said this is a talented group.
“We have one of the biggest and most talented girls teams we’ve had in a while,” said Malone. “We have a lot of ladies coming to the track team that have a lot of talent and are great athletes in cross country, volleyball and basketball.”
Malone has been a coach in the program for three years but this is his first season as the varsity girls head coach. He will be assisted by Bob Henson, Steven Sodini and Michael Fritz at the varsity level and David Boris and Jim Vest at the middle school level.
East Clinton was sixth in the SBAAC National Division meet in 2019. The returning athletes are Carah Antek and Kenton Deaton. Anteck was first in the 3,200-meter run in 2019.
Among the athletes not returning are Emma Malone (third in long jump, sixth in 4×100 and seventh in 100 at SBAAC in 2019), Myah Jones and Rhylee Luttrell, Malone said.
Newcomers to note are Gracie Boggs, Gracie Evanshine, Libby Evanshine, Jordan Collom, Kaylynn Deaton, Jozie Jones, Kelsi Lilly, Timmi Mahanes, Emma Riddle, Lauren Runyon, Liz Schiff and Molly Seabaugh.
Malone said leaders on the team include Gracie and Libby Evanshine, Boggs, Antek, Kenton Deaton, Collom, Runyon, Jones and Lilly.
“I like the dedication and the inspiration each of these ladies bring to the track team,” said Malone. “These ladies come to practice and expect to be challenged and pushed to new heights and levels. We as coaches have to step up our game to give these young ladies the skill sets they desire and deserve because each one of them are champions in their own right. This is one of the strongest most talented girls teams we have had in a very long time.”
Having coach several of these athletes in volleyball, Malone said he knows their desire, capabilities, winning attitude and dedication. His team has a good “chance of being one of the strongest girls track teams in the SBAAC” this season.
As for 2020, Malone dealt with the team as one of the coaches and as a father as daughter Emma was one of the SBAAC’s best.
“I saw the potential and knew what they were capable of and to have it taken away from them broke my heart,” said Malone. “It would mean the world to me to see these athletes competing and to have fans in the stands cheering the athletes on. I hope that we have increased numbers because it was so limited during volleyball and basketball season. These athletes deserve the opportunity to compete.”