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2015 Tiger Track and Field Event-by-Event Preview: Hurdles

Jaylon Hibbs will undoubtedly make some noise running hurdles this season. | Photo by Jana Bollinger

Jaylon Hibbs will undoubtedly make some noise running hurdles this season. | Photo by Jana Bollinger

Part three in a 5 part series previewing the 2015 St. Xavier Track and Field Tigers: Hurdles

 

EVENTS

110 Meter Hurdles

300 Meter Hurdles

WHERE DID THEY FINISH LAST YEAR?

110 Meter Hurdles – Michael Ritter (6th), Jaylon Hibbs (10)

300 Meter Hurdles – Michael Ritter (6th), Jaylon Hibbs (5th at Region)

KEY RETURNERS

Jaylon Hibbs – 110 and 300 Meter Hurdles

OVERVIEW

This is our smallest of the five previews, as there are only two events in this category. The only guy on the team who has had experience at the state meet in one of these events is senior Jaylon Hibbs. There might not be as much depth here as there are at other positions on the team, but with hurdles being kind of an added bonus for most teams in the state, every point could be the difference in deciding this year’s state champion.

Last year in the 110 meter hurdles, Hibbs finished 10th at state. He ranks this year as the 4th best returner.

“I just feel like the 110m is my race,” said Hibbs. “I stumbled over a hurdle last year in state and cost myself time and my team points, so I’m coming back with a vengeance in pursuit of that state title. One thing I’m doing to improve besides lifting weights four times a week, is simply working hard each day at practice and trying not only to better prepare myself this year at state, but my fellow teammates around me as well.”

The Tiger Track and Field team lost a great hurdler in Michael Ritter to graduation, and they are going to need someone to step up this year. Hibbs thinks he knows who it will be.

“Jack Raque for sure,” said Hibbs. “I was really surprised with how much better he has become, since last year especially. We will definitely be competing and pushing each other every day.”

If Raque is as improved as Hibbs says, we could be in for some surprise points at the State Meet.

What’s the difference in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, besides the distance?

“The 110 are all about rhythm and getting three steps in between the hurdles,” said Hibbs “The 300 is more about pacing and saving yourself for those last 3 hurdles to give it all you have. The hardest thing to figure out for me is the pacing itself, so I’ll be doing a lot of work with that throughout the season.”

Next up: Sprints

2015 Tiger Track and Field Event-by-Event Preview: Field Events

Jake Glass will be a force to be reckoned with in the Discus and Shot Put. | Photo by Jana Bollinger

Jake Glass will be a force to be reckoned with in the Discus and Shot Put. | Photo by Jana Bollinger

Part two in a 5 part series previewing the 2015 St. Xavier Track and Field Tigers: Field Events

EVENTS

Discus
High Jump
Long Jump
Pole Vault
Shot Put
Triple Jump

WHERE DID THEY FINISH LAST YEAR?

Discus – Jake Glass (7th)
High Jump – Colin O’Daniel (20th)
Long Jump – Blake Isaacs (4th)
Pole Vault – David Flynn (13th)
Shot Put – Jake Glass (2nd), Stephen Gray (7th)
Triple Jump – Lucas Miller (5th at Region)

KEY RETURNERS

Discus – Jake Glass (SR), Michael Richards (SR)
High Jump – Colin O’Daniel (JR)
Long Jump – Max Masterson (SO)
Shot Put – Jake Glass (SR)
Triple Jump – James Bryant (SO)

OVERVIEW

Senior Jake Glass will lead the field events this season, as he finished 7th in Discus and 2nd in the Shot Put last spring at state. If the Tiger Track and Field team wins their first state title since 2003 this year, Glass will be a huge reason why. With a couple of seniors from other schools graduating and moving on from high school discus, Glass has a huge opportunity to improve on that 7th place finish last season.

“It was a long offseason, and I’ve already done what it takes to be competing for the gold medal,” Glass said. “Once my competition rhythm is back, the tape will tell the story.”

Last year in the High Jump, Colin O’Daniel finished 20th at the State meet. This year, he will be in contention for a top 8 spot and the ability to score for the team.

“I would say I need to work on my form for one thing,” said O’Daniel. “Also, I need to work on saving my legs. My legs were worn out and I had shin splints during state last year. This year I’ll work on stretching them more. We also have a new high jump coach, and I’m sure he will help me improve.”

In the Long Jump, the Tigers lose Blake Isaacs to graduation, but they return sophomore Max Masterson. Masterson finished 11th in the Region as a freshman last season, and he could make some noise this season. He could be a dark horse to make state this season. There are a lot of young horses in the Long Jump around the Commonwealth of Kentucky, so it will be difficult. He was the 2nd best freshman in Kentucky in the event last year, so expect to hear even more about Masterson in the coming years.

The pole vaulters on St. X lack major experience, as no one on the roster has vaulted at state. This will be an event to watch throughout the season, as it will be interesting to see who steps up and takes the roster spot for Regionals.

Triple Jump will have one member coming back form the Region team last year. Sophomore James Bryant will be vying for a spot in State and an opportunity to score points, a chance St. X did not have in last season’s State Meet.

Glass will also participate in the Shot Put this season. He is coming off a runner-up finish last season in the event, and it will be a great matchup between him and Landon Young of Lafayette, last year’s state champion. It will most likely come down to those two, and if Glass could become an individual champion in the event, those two extra points could go a long way in the team standings.

“I’ve put in just as much, if not more, time than any athlete in this state, and now I’m walking into this season as a different entity,” Glass explained. “I’m stronger, faster and I don’t think anyone in the state can beat me.”

Next up: Hurdles

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

Former Tiger Cross Country and Track Star Bobby Curtis finishes 9th overall at Chicago Marathon; Top American

Bobby Curtis after the 2012 Healthy Kidney 10K run in New York City | Photo via villanovarunning.blogspot.com

Bobby Curtis after the 2012 Healthy Kidney 10K run in New York City | Photo via villanovarunning.blogspot.com

Former Tiger Cross Country and Track star Bobby Curtis, Class of 2003, finished 9th at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday with a time of 2:11:20 and was the top American finisher. The Chicago Marathon is a world famous event and is one of the biggest marathons of the year.

When Curtis was a Tiger, he set the 3200m run state record which still holds to this day. He won the 5000m run NCAA Division 1 National Championship in track at Villanova and also became the 1st Kentuckian to break 4 minutes in the mile with a 3:57.20.

Way to represent the Green and Gold, Bobby! We Are!

Chicago Marathon Top 10

Pos. Name (CTZ) City, State BIB Division Age Overall Pace Est.Finish Est.Finish Daytime Diff Time
1 Kipchoge, Eliud (KEN) 2 25-29 29 04:45 +00:00 02:04:11
2 Kitwara, Sammy (KEN) 6 25-29 27 04:45 +00:17 02:04:28
3 Chumba, Dickson (KEN) 7 25-29 27 04:45 +00:21 02:04:32
4 Bekele, Kenenisa (ETH) 1 30-34 32 04:48 +01:40 02:05:51
5 Koech, Bernard (KEN) 5 25-29 26 04:54 +04:19 02:08:30
6 Ghebreslassie, Ghirmay (ERI) 51 16-19 18 04:56 +04:57 02:09:08
7 Rutto, Lani (KEN) 43 25-29 25 05:00 +06:31 02:10:42
8 Korir, Wesley (KEN) 8 30-34 31 05:01 +06:58 02:11:09
9 Curtis, Bobby (USA) 17 25-29 29 05:01 +07:09 02:11:20
10 Kobayashi, Koji (JPN) Ota, GUNMA 9 25-29 25 05:02 +07:32 02:11:43

3A Track and Field State Meet Performance List

4x800 Unfinished Business

The 4×800 Team

The Tiger Track and Field team will travel to Lexington this upcoming weekend to compete at this year’s 3A State Track Meet. The Track and Field participants from St. X are the following:

4 x 800 relay – Ben Farber, Ben Kleine-Kracht, Ben Metzger and Jack Minogue

110 Meter Hurdles – Michael Ritter and Jaylon Hibbs

4 x 200 relay – Colin O’Daniel, Josh Russell, Cedric Miller and JR Johnson

1600 – William Mulloy and Max Mudd

400 – Colin O’Daniel

300 – Meter Hurdles-  Michael Ritter

800 – William Mulloy

3200 – Chris Striegel and Spencer Hayden

4 x 400 relay – William Mulloy, Colin O’Daniel, Eli George and Patrick Ritter

Shot Put – Jake Glass and Stephen Gray

Discus – Jake Glass

Long Jump – Blake Isaacs

High Jump – Colin O’Daniel

Pole Vault – David Flynn

Talking to the Tiger Track and Field Athletes

William and Max

Max Mudd (shown in the orange and red) and William Mulloy (red) will be two critical pieces to the puzzle as St. X Track and Field begins the race toward a State Championship | Photo by jscott via kytrackxc.com

The Track and Field team opened their 2014 season at the Tiger Relays on Saturday, and the Tigers are looking to better their runner-up finish from last year. The Tigers will return key contributors such as William Mulloy, Joe Butler, Eli George, Taijon Smith, Chris Striegel, Cedric Miller, Blake Isaacs and Noah Allgeier. I talked with some key contributors in multiple events this season.

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