Strong mix of experience, newcomers keeps New Pal competitive

NEW PALESTINE DRAGONS

Coach: Kyle Ralph

Key losses: Kyle Zehner, Chris Poturalski

Key returnees: Austin Hart, Sr.; Reid Dye, Sr.; Adam Brickens, Jr.

Newcomers: Brady Walden, Jr.; Spencer Corey, Jr.; Caleb Eagleson, Jr.; Jordan Shanahan, Jr.; Adam Kincaid, Jr.; Duke Blackwell, Sr.; Kyler Harrison, Fr.; Caleb Strim, Fr.; Laine Schoanuer, Fr.

Outlook: According to Ralph, there will be plenty of new faces competing for the Dragons this season both on the track and in the field combined with some veterans.

“I think we have a very nice core of returning athletes that got a lot of experience last year and had to work through a lot of events,” Ralph said.

Will that experience pay off?

Ralph thinks so.

“That experience should be great this year, as it will make a well rounded team and help with the mental toughness it takes to run three to four events in a single meet,” he said.

When it comes to top returners, Ralph singled out seniors Austin Hart, who runs hurdles, and Reid Dye, who runs sprints, along with mid-distance runner Adam Brickens, a junior.

And what about the newcomers?

Ralph admits while there are many new competitors on the roster, the Dragons can and will contend.

“We have a long way to go, as we have a lot of people new to track and new to some of their events, but as long as we dedicate ourselves to the daily challenge track presents and commit to being a team, we will be successful,” Ralph said.

The New Palestine boys’ track team will have to find an athlete who can replace Kyle Zehner, but there are options.

The Dragons will look for big efforts out of juniors Brady Walden, who will participate in sprints and jumps, and Spencer Corey, who will run mid-distance events.

Juniors Caleb Eagleson, who will run in distance races, Jordan Shanahan, who will run sprints, and Adam Kincaid, who will run sprints, will be factors.

In addition, senior Duke Blackwell will run sprints, while freshmen Kyler Harison and Caleb Strim will handle distance events, and fellow freshman Laine Schoanuer will jump.