BELDING — Belding normally has had some good track teams in recent years.
2012 was not one of them due to injuries and youth, according to coach John Carlson.
The Redskin boys were unable to do much with the O-K Blue Conference because of some key injuries, according to Carlson.
“We were very sad with the injuries we had on the boys team this year,” he said. “We had a really strong sprinting core and some injuries piled on each other. We never had the team we thought we’d really have.”
The girls team was just young, he said.
“We were really young on the girls team and we continued to improve all season. We were really excited about the girls team all year,” he said.
The girls actually came close to winning some meets, Carlson noted.
“In the girls, we lost four of our five conference meets coming down to the mile relay,” he said. “We had a great mile relay. It was third-fastest in school history. We weren’t fast enough for the teams in the Blue.”
Carlson mentioned a few boys who stood out.
“Our strongest athlete of the year was Scotty Foote,” he said. “Any time you have a guy make it to the state meet three years in a row he’s a pretty special athlete. He anchored our sprint relay teams and did well in the hurdles.
“Another guy who came on strong in the end was sophomore Trevor Curtis. Trevor worked hard every day and at the end of the year he started running a 1,600 and he won two JV meets in a row in the 1,600 as a tenth-grader.
“In the field events Austin Alexander had a strong season in the pole vault. He was regional champ in the pole vault and he ended up taking ninth in the state meet. He had a season-best jump of 13-10.
“Eric Doty won our team award this year for the toughest athlete. He was all-American in the Paralympic trials.”
Doty lost a leg in a car accident three years ago and still threw the shot and discus.
The freshman class of girls earned Carlson’s praise.
“The freshman class did an amazing job,” he said.
“Monica Baylis had a school record in the 800-meter run (2:22.3). She was part of the two-mile relay team with Danielle Rode, Joesi Krieger and Rachel Warner. They combined in the two-mile relay record by 21 seconds. Monica missed the school record in the one-mile by one second.
“Danielle Rode had a school record in the pole vault (9-0).
“Mackenzie Briemayer as a sophomore shattered the school record in the 200 meters (26.6).”
Those girls make Carlson feel good about next season.
“Certainly all the experience is going to help the girls out next season as a team,” he said. “It’s hard to coach experience. It’s something you earn as the season goes on.”
The boys will be stronger next year with the injured sprinters coming back, Carlson noted.
“We should have a really strong sprint group,” he said. “Brendan Zuver was out with a broken foot. Jake Chickering was a strong runner and will be next season. We’re pretty excited about next year.”