2015 Tiger Track and Field Event-by-Event Preview: Relay Teams

 

Junior Colin O'Daniel will be an integral part of multiple relay teams this season. | Photo by Jana Bollinger

Junior Colin O’Daniel will be an integral part of multiple relay teams this season. | Photo by Jana Bollinger

Part one in a 5 part series previewing the 2015 St. Xavier Track and Field Tigers: Relay Teams

 

EVENTS

4 x 100 m
4 x 200 m
4 x 400 m
4 x 800 m

WHERE DID THEY FINISH LAST YEAR?

4 x 100 m Relay Team – Finished 5th in Region 3A
4 x 200 m Relay Team – Finished 9th in State
4 x 400 m Relay Team – Finished 7th in State
4 x 800 m Relay Team – Finished 3rd in State

KEY RETURNERS

Josh Russell – 4 x 100 m, 4 x 200 m
JR Johnson – 4 x 100 m
Taijon Smith – 4 x 100 m
Colin O’Daniel – 4 x 200 m, 4 x 400 m
Joe Butler – 4 x 200 m
Patrick Ritter – 4 x 200 m, 4 x 400 m
Eli George – 4 x 400 m
William Mulloy – 4 x 400 m
Ben Kleine-Kracht – 4 x 800 m

OVERVIEW

Last year was a good year for the relay teams, but this year they have a chance to be great.

The 4 x 100 m relay team had a very difficult end to their season last year. A dropped handoff led to 5th place at Region and no trip to Lexington for State. They have a great chance to redeem themselves this year, though. They will be led by three seniors in Josh Russell, J.R. Johnson and TaiJon Smith. They have the memory of failure from last year and will be looking for that trip to Lexington this year.

The 4 x 200 m relay team was oh so close to finishing top 8 last year and scoring at State, 0.42 seconds to be exact. Like the 4 x 100 relay team, the 4 x 200 has great experience coming back. All four from last year’s 9th place relay team are back this season. Russell, the lone senior on this team, will lead the charge along with juniors Colin O’Daniel, Patrick Ritter and Joe Butler.

“It all comes down to the starts and handoffs,” said O’Daniel. “If we don’t get a good start off of the blocks, it is hard to make up for lost time there. Also, having quick and smooth handoffs are key to a fast 4 x 200, and we didn’t execute that well last year.”

The 4 x 400 m relay team is also returning all four members of last year’s team. Seniors William Mulloy and Eli George, along with Ritter and O’Daniel, will look to improve on last year’s 7th place finish at State.

“I hope to pick up where we left off and improve from there,” said O’Daniel. “We have all put in lots of hard work during the pre-season, and I’m sure all we can do is get better from there.”

“We have a lot of talent between Colin, Ritter and Eli,” said Mulloy. “If we can find the right day and order, I think the school record is just there waiting to be broken.”

The 4 x 800 team had the most success last season, as they finished 3rd at State. Senior Ben Kleine-Kracht is the only member of last year’s State relay team to return to the team this Spring. Look for George, senior Tyler Just and junior Matthew Thomas.

What does the 4 x 800 team need to do to reach that level of excellence?

“Commitment,” said Kleine-Kracht. “We have to stay committed, stay healthy and work hard like we always do and success will come with it. Matthew Thomas and Eli George have always been great at the 800, but they were needed in other events last year so look out for them. Also, watch out for Just, who is new to this level of competition in the 800, to step up and surprise some people.”

“We have the talent for [a state championship],” said George. “It’s going to take dedication. Not only going to practice but also in appetite and keeping ourselves healthy. Last year’s team wasn’t as good as it could have been. Injuries and illness came up before state that kept key runners out of the 4 x 800. Matthew Thomas is one of those key runners who has been injury free lately. I also hope to see a big step up from senior Tyler Just as well.”

Next up: Field Events

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About Cole Bollinger

Editor for WSTX Sports

Posted on March 9, 2015, in Tiger Track and Field and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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