It’s still early and the weather has just started cooperating, but Enterprise High track coaches say they’ve seen some positive signs for this year’s Wildcats and the future of the program.
“I’m really excited about how hard they’re working,” boys head coach Steve Kracht said at Wednesday’s practice. “The kids seem to be taking an interest in the new way we’re training this year. Because they’re seeing results it keeps bringing them back.
“We time something almost every day so they get immediate feedback. ‘What I get? What I get? Did I get faster?’ It keeps them interested and working hard. … Most of them are such close friends, they have that competition with each other. It’s fun to watch for me.”
Kracht said the early season results have been encouraging.
“The times keep coming down,” he said. “We participated in the indoor at the Multiplex in Birmingham. There were some fast people and our kids competed as well as anybody did up there. We’ve got some work to do to get to some of the higher levels. But eventually if they stick with it, they’ll be just fine.”
The junior varsity had a meet Thursday at Smiths Station, while the varsity’s next meet is Friday in Troy. On Saturday, the junior high meet is at home.
Kracht, who has coached pole vault for years in Wisconsin, has just introduced it for the first time at Enterprise. He said freshman Brison Chatman has picked it up quicker than his teammates.
“He’s a natural athlete and he’s picked it up very fast,” Kracht said. “Now, he’s very sloppy technically. He’s got the athleticism and the courage to do it — and it does take a lot of courage. The others we’re working with have the courage, too. They’re just learning it slower. They’ll get there.”
Chatman cleared 8 feet in a recent meet. In a practice drill Kracht set the bar at 13½ feet.
“They were like, ‘We can’t make that,’” the coach said. “I said, ‘I know. I want you to kick the bar off.’ We talked about the swing, getting your hips over the shoulders. Well, on his last try Brison kicked the bar off, which was really good.
“Amariia Leggett (sophomore) and Alexis Brunney (junior) and Sam Whitaker (freshman), they’re all getting closer.”
The boys 4 x 100 relay team already has set the school record at 43.76 seconds. The team is made up of four juniors — Jared Smith, Jaylon Webster, Jalen Cunningham and LaZarieus Leonard.
Brad Fortney, head coach of the girls track team, said sprinters Rachel Peterson and Aniyah Kitt, an eighth grader, have gotten off to strong starts.
“The boys and girls teams are both pretty young,” Fortney said. “We’ve got a strong junior class and some really good sophomores, freshmen and eighth graders. On the throw side, Kayana Luke could be a potential state qualifier in shot and disc. Jocelyn Jones throws the javelin and high jumps. They’re both juniors. Jocelyn went 4 feet, 8 inches in the high jump last week.
“Our eight grade throwers for girls, we have seven of them and they’re all 20-feet-plus, which is good. Raven Jump’s already thrown more than 28 feet as an eighth grader. Distance wise, Lauren Rodgers is running out of her mind right now. She’s been good. A sophomore, she’s already set the school record, went 2:33 last week in the 800. Natalie Warner, a junior, was right behind her, too.”
Fortney said all of the 123 track athletes will participate in at least six meets this spring.
“And our three home meets, everyone participates in those,” the coach said. “We’ll have 123 kids doing at least two events.”