Building On Success Of Last Year

MEMBERS OF the PM boys and girls indoor track and field teams are (front row, from left) Colin Donnelly, David Williams, Nick Reid, Sanzhar Abdimazhitov, Kedryn Chandler, Cooper Braddy, Skylar Hartless, (middle row) Grayson Shields, Anastasia Harshaw, Matthew Hemmings, Koya Chandler, Jillian Wheelock, Jenna Porterfield, Kovyk Chandler, (back row) Trevor Tomlin, Brendon Conley, Zavery Wallace, Holden Kerr, Trey Orren, Omar Massenberg, Colton Staton and Brenden Plogger.

MEMBERS OF the PM boys and girls indoor track and field teams are (front row, from left) Colin Donnelly, David Williams, Nick Reid, Sanzhar Abdimazhitov, Kedryn Chandler, Cooper Braddy, Skylar Hartless, (middle row) Grayson Shields, Anastasia Harshaw, Matthew Hemmings, Koya Chandler, Jillian Wheelock, Jenna Porterfield, Kovyk Chandler, (back row) Trevor Tomlin, Brendon Conley, Zavery Wallace, Holden Kerr, Trey Orren, Omar Massenberg, Colton Staton and Brenden Plogger.

Blues’ Strengths Are Throwing, Distance Running

Led by experienced distance runners and throwers, the Parry McCluer High School indoor track and field teams have high hopes for the season ahead.

There are 16 boys and nine girls competing for the Fighting Blues this season.

PM head coach Chris Poluikis, who has been coaching the Blues’ runners for 16 years, is glad to have 10 of his cross country runners doing indoor track – six boys and four girls.

That’s good news for a team that had a lot of success last winter, with the boys placing 12th at the state meet and the girls sending three individuals to state.

PM’s captain is senior Dylan May, who won the Class 1 boys’ state cross country title last month and led the Blues to their first state title as a team in 39 years. May also won state track titles this past spring, winning the 1600 and 3200-meter outdoor titles in June. His younger sister, Kensey, a sophomore, won both of those races last spring as a freshman before winning the state cross country title last month, but she’ll compete for the swimming team again this winter.

The PM boys return three runners from the 4 X 400-meter relay team that placed second at the state meet: seniors Cooper Braddy and Holden Kerr and junior Brenden Plogger. Braddy and Plogger were members of the cross country team this fall. Another cross country team member, junior Trevor Tomlin, should help make up for the graduation of Caleb Workman, and Dylan May ran for the Blues’ third-place 4 X 800-meter relay team at the state meet last winter.

Other cross country team members who should be strong in middle- and long-distance races are junior Kedryn Chandler and sophomore Matthew Hemmings. Joining the Blues and bringing his sprinting ability is junior Nick Reid, who was a talented running back for the football team this fall. Sophomore Colin Donnelly is a returning middle-distance runner.

New to the team are sophomore David Williams and junior Sanzhar Abdimazhitov, an exchange student from Kazakhstan.

The Blues also have an eighth-grader, Kovyk Chandler, who will practice with the team and compete in junior varsity races.

In the shot put, PM throwing coach Matthew Douglas said the Blues have “some experience coming back, which is really a key thing. We also have some great upcoming young talent.”

Douglas said the the leaders are seniors Colton Staton and Brendon Conley and junior Zavery Wallace. Staton placed seventh in the shot put at the state indoor meet last year before placing sixth at the state outdoor meet. Wallace finished 13th at the state indoor meet, and Conley was a regional qualifier during the outdoor season.

Also returning are junior Omar Massenberg, an experienced thrower, and sophomore Trey Orren, who was a regional qualifier in the shot put during his freshman outdoor season.

Douglas said his top throwers are aiming to throw distances from the mid-to-upper-40-feet range.

The PM girls’ runners will look to their cross country runners for leadership, after the Blues placed fourth at the state cross country meet. Those runners consist of a trio of sophomores – Koya Chandler, Jillian Wheelock and Sadie Dryden – and junior Cloey Mazingo.

New to the team are a pair of freshman runners, Anastasia Harshaw and Jaden Clark.

The Lady Blues have three returning throwers. Senior Grayson Shields looks to be one of the top throwers in the state in the shot put after placing 11th at both the state indoor and outdoor meets as a junior. Joining Shields are juniors Skylar Hartless and Jenna Porterfield, throwers Douglas hopes can record distances of over 30 feet.

Most of the Blues’ meets will be at Liberty University, including their first meet, the Holiday Track Classic, on Saturday, Dec. 20.

The News-Gazette

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