• 61°

Poplarville track and field ready to start competing

Poplarville’s track and field program is looking to build off of last season’s successes.

Poplarville doesn’t have a track to practice on, so instead the team has measured out a mile course and marked off the 100 and 200 meter points for sprinters.

Practices will increase in number and intensity as the semester goes on.

The team’s first meet will be March 5 at Long Beach.

Head Coach Run Bowen said that last year’s team was a youth movement with a variety of middle schoolers making the team. Those young athletes will now have the experience and training to better last year’s performances.

Bowen said having a number of athletes coming back from last season and knowing what it takes to be successful will be a benefit for the team.

“We’ve got a good core and the kids are working on their own. We know who’s going to run each event,” Bowen said.

The team has had some success in distant running, so this year the focus will be on getting the sprinters up to par.

Bowen said the lack of a go to, every week runner in the shorter events hurt the team.

This year that won’t be the case.

“Our short sprints, the 100 meter, 200 meter, we’ve struggled a little bit with because we didn’t have a consistent runner. (This year) we have some guys who will make it all the way through the track season,” Bowen said.

The Hornets’ performances last season have led to heightened expectations for the program.

Athletes who have had a taste of success now want more and are working hard to improve upon last year.

Bowen said the positive results the program had previously has led to an increased sense of energy within the program as the athletes prepare for the start to the season.

“There are several kids that have run the past couple of years that are excited and ready to go. They’ve had a little success at district and region, and are excited to go even further,” Bowen said. Now, as the season draws closer, Bowen said that making sure he has a consistent set of athletes will make all the difference in the world for the program.

“I would like to make sure we’ve got a couple sprinters that stay the course, go through the grind and hopefully compete at state,” Bowen said.