Marauders looking for seniors to take lead

Mt. Vernon Marauders

Coach: Bruce Kendall

Key losses: Lincoln Hine, Kyle Forsythe, Wyatt Gutierrez, Brayton Shannon, Dan Werner

Key returnees: Donovan Bigelow, Junior; Tyler Bostic, Sophomore; Brian Bozymski, Junior; Alex Carver, Sophomore; Jordan House, Junior; Eric Larson, Junior; Blake Miller, Junior; Juwann Nelson, Junior; Christian Noble, Junior; Aaron Rush, Junior; Brandt True, Junior; Brisco Wood, Junior

Newcomers: Jeston Benbow, Sophomore, Drew Bluethmann, Sophomore, Rielly Glassing, Freshman

Outlook: If there’s one thing that the Mt. Vernon boys track team will have an abundance of, it will be experience.

Loaded with seniors, especially in the long-distance events, the Marauders will turn to their accomplished runners not only for points but for leadership as well.

Two of the more veteran runners are Christian Noble and Aaron Rush. Both runners competed at last year’s state meet and both medaled in their respective events. Noble took seventh in the 3,200-meter run and Rush grabbed ninth in the 1,600.

Yet, even with Noble and Rush being the most adept runners, coach Bruce Kendall said the plan is to ease their workload and let them work at their best events.

“When they’re seniors and state medalists we like to give them chances to leave their legacy,” Kendall said. “When you get to a certain level you can’t have your elite athletes do as much so we’re going to give them a shot to leave their mark and set some records.”

Also looking to build on last year’s excellent season will be senior Brisco Wood in the 800 and junior Donovan Bigelow in the 200-meter dash.

Both Wood and Bigelow made it to last year’s gauntlet regional at North Central and performed very well against some of the state’s best competition. Bigelow, then a sophomore, just missed the cut for the 200 finals and Wood was less than a second away from sneaking into state in the 800.

“For Brisco in the regional last year, he was in the position, lane wise, he hadn’t been in all year so we’ve got to get him in that uncomfortable spot,” Kendall said.

Kendall ruled out any newcomers in the distance events but noted that there will be some new faces in some of the sprints. He mentioned that nothing is set in stone and that there could be a handful of new runners on a given night.

Another area where there will be a lot of new competitors for the Marauders is the field events. A season ago, the Marauders’ Lincoln Hine and Kyle Forsythe took first and third, respectively in the pole vault at North Central but are now both competing at the collegiate level.

“Blake Miller looks like he’ll be a good contender in the pole vault, Kendall said. “It’s kind of a mystery right now because we don’t have too many places to vault indoors, and you don’t what’s going to happen until you get outdoors.”