Track team returns plenty of firepower
With the coronavirus COVID-19 delaying closing schools, its unclear when, or if, the upcoming spring sports season will be played. With hopes that it’s only a matter of time until teams can take the field again, the Salisbury track and field team will return plenty of experienced athletes from 2019.
But the graduates that have since moved on will be missed.
Erica Holben and Delano McKenzie lead that list of those who won’t be returning.
Holben placed second in the high jump at the Colonial League Track and Field Championships, jumping 4 feet, 11 inches. She also took second in three events at districts: high jump (5-2), long jump (16-0) and triple jump (33-7).
McKenzie, who was a gifted sprinter and jumper, leads the list of graduates from the boys’ side. He took second in the 100-meter dash (11.42 seconds) at leagues, and jumped to a sixth-place finish in the long jump (20-8 1/4). At districts, he improved on that long jump finish with a mark of 20 feet, 9 inches for third place; he also placed fourth in the 100-meter dash.
“As usual with our small squad, which is about 60 this season, we will have few league wins due to size issues,” head coach Victor DeOliveira said. “But we will have some good individual efforts in the postseason.”
Both the boys and girls teams finished 1-10 in the Colonial League last season due to low numbers. That is the case yet again, but a number of the athletes that are coming out are once again among the league’s top competitors.
Senior distance runner Shane Artis, who recently committed to continue his career at The Citadel, returns to the track after placing second at leagues in the 1600-meter run, posting a time of 4:29.35. He also placed second at districts in the event and figures to headline the top boys finishers this spring.
Timmy Buda, also a senior, returns to the track as well, but as a sprinter for the Falcons. He took fifth at leagues last year in the 100-meter dash in 11.33 seconds, just .18 seconds behind top finisher Tyrek Scipio of Bangor. He took second in the 200-meter dash at districts a week later, running the event in 22.93 districts. His mark is second all-time in District Class 2A meet competition. Jim Thorpe’s Jarrin Geisinger, who ran the 200-meter in 22.52 seconds last spring, holds the meet record.
Sophomore Hunter Bleam is back expecting to take the next step in the jumping events. He placed 10th at leagues in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 7 inches. A week later he jumped 6 feet, 1 inch at districts for a fourth-place finish.
“We have some very good returning athletes that will be strong in the areas of jumping, sprinting and the 1600-meter run,” DeOliveira said.
On the girls’ side, senior Lily Schimeneck returns looking to carry on the rich tradition of Falcon jumpers. Her top finish at leagues came in the triple jump, posting a mark of 32-10 1/2 for sixth place. She improved on that at districts by placing third and jumping 33 feet, 7 inches.
“We have been working hard in the area of pole vault, and we have very good numbers this season,” DeOliveira said. “I am hopeful we can have some success in that event.”