Track Season Has A Speedy Start

Jake Melton, Sports Editor

Major changes are coming to track this season. In addition to a varsity squad, a junior varsity squad, as well as a co-op with Grundy County will be added this year. The team has introduced a new distance coach, Paul Wright, a former athlete at Lipscomb. Coach Wanuch is now the new sprint and jump coach. Coffee County will have the ability to compete in pole vault and decathlon this year.

Due to the abundance of new athletes Coffee County has its first varsity and junior varsity teams. The athletes on the varsity team will perform at both home and away meets. Members of the junior varsity team will only perform at home meets and will mainly  focus on development during training to prepare them for upcoming seasons. Varsity athletes will be highly competitive, training for the meets during the current season. The team will establish new leaders due to the majority of last year’s captains being seniors. Because the athletes are young, they will have more time to develop their abilities for the coming years. 

This season will feature a Co-op team. A number of athletes from Grundy County have teamed up with Coffee County this season due to their lack of a facility. This will mainly benefit the distance team, who will be receiving a cross country state competitor, Léo Penne, along with two other strong runners Sebastian Ledford, and Jadan Campbell.

The team has multiple college prospects competing this year. One of these athletes, Sarah Pearson, who is coming off an ACL tear has received numerous offers from a variety of schools. “She is definitely looking to compete in college next year,” says Coach Wanuch. Unfortunately her injury will keep her from competing in the pentathlon. She should still have a strong season competing in the majority of her events. Leo Penne, a foreign exchange student from France is looking at some options for competing here in the states. “He definitely has the skill level to be considered for scholarships,” Coach Wanuch stated. “Looking to the future because we have such a young team, there is definitely the potential for some of these younger athletes to develop into college prospects. A number of our distance runners and a couple of our sprinters may be able to elevate their performance into near college ready performances.” Wanuch added.

Coach Wanuch has his standards high and is looking to achieve some major goals this year. “We would like to win the All Area Championship this year in Tullahoma. We would also like to repeat the girls’ performance at that meet last year, which they won. I would also like to see the boys fair a little better in that meet. They fell to fifth place last year. When it comes to the postseason and the journey to state, I would like to see some similar performances to last year.  We sent eight athletes to sectionals,” said coach Wanuch. He also has hopes on expanding the Phil Bonham Night of Miles which will be held April 14, at Carden-Jarrell Field. This will be one of Coffee County’s largest invitational meets. It will bring in the best milers from around Tennessee to perform in a true mile. A community 5k will be held earlier in the day. The meet commemorates Coach Phil Bonham, a former track coach who passed away in 2016.

Students should attend the track meets and encourage these phenomenal athletes!