Trojans up and running

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  • Troy senior Hunter Leighty Sprints out a short course in the back parking lot at Troy High School during practice March 22. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Troy junior Ricki Fisher easily clears the "bar" at an initially low height during practice March 22. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • Troy senior Hunter Leighty Sprints out a short course in the back parking lot at Troy High School during practice March 22. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Troy junior Ricki Fisher easily clears the "bar" at an initially low height during practice March 22. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

Heading into the start of their season, the Troy High School track and field team had already planned to wait until the Eureka Meet on Saturday, April 6 even before the Libby Time Trial was canceled due to snow.

Troy Head Coach Neil Newton said that with conditions outside, he already knew by last Friday that they wouldn’t be ready for a competition this Friday.

But Troy’s nine-member team is rearing to get into the season when they go to Eureka.

Most of the team are returning student athletes, such as senior Hunter Leighty, who Newton said is already ahead of where he was this time a year ago.

Leighty, who posted strong finishes in the 400m dash, appears ready to go further this year.

“So, we’re excited to see where that goes,” Newton said.

Returning junior high jumper Ella Pierce played volleyball and basketball in fall and winter seasons, giving her plenty of opportunity to work on her jumping.

But, she is also battling a knee injury, as is Trojan senior basketball powerhouse Trevor Hoagland, who came out for the first time for track this season.

“That’s kind of been frustrating, but you’re always going to have some injuries here and there, and we’ll get over them,” Newton said. “The season’s still young, so we’ll have plenty of time.”

Hoagland joins junior Ricki Starks and his freshman brother A.J. Starks as the new additions to the team this season. The others are all returning, and all solid athletes.

“We’ve got a good group of kids,” Newton said. “They really work hard in everything they do, so we’re proud of the work they’ve put in so far.”

Newton said that the Starks brothers have already shown some competitiveness with one another, and he is looking forward to how they develop over the season.

“It’s going to be exciting to actually have some distance runners,” Newton said. “They’ve already been racing quite a bit, so it’s been awesome.”

The winter has held them back a little from getting actual track time, though Newton said he has been getting the Trojans out and running as much as the weather has allowed.

“We’ve been running the airport loop, and different hills here and there,” he said.

“We’re really happy with the people we have out. Like I said, just a great group of kids. We’ve enjoyed the heck out of it,” Newton said.

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