IR track team looks to improve with new blood and veterans

The Henlopen Conference is generally very competitive, year in and year out, and this year should be no exception.

The Indian River High School track-and-field team is hoping to improve upon last year’s performances. Head coach Bob Hahn is back for his eighth season at the helm and is hopeful that an influx of newcomers, along with some solid returners, will lead to more success in 2018.

“We have a lot of new student-athletes who will be joining the track-and-field team this year, along with a solid group of veterans,” the veteran head coach noted. “As a coaching staff, we are looking forward to guiding the student-athletes and help them reach their full potential, both on and off the track.”

For the boys’ team, last year’s 3-10 mark is a distant memory for a unit that is looking at a strong group of juniors to get things going in the right direction.

Reshawn Turner and Kashid Waples will both break from the starting line in the 100m and 200m, with Waples also adding the 400m to his list of events. Tony Velasquez will lead the way in the middle- and long-distance events — 800m, 1,600m and 3,200m.

In the field events, senior Mike Corcoran and sophomore Ramond Turner will each participate in the shot and discus.

The girls’ squad, which went 5-7 last year in the regular season, will be led by a party of five returners. Senior Jewel Yanek is back to run the 800m, 1,600m and 3,200m for the Indians, while classmate Trayona Nock looks to out-jump the competition in the triple jump.

Sophomore Yonya Wise is expected to perform strongly in the 100m and 200m this year for the Indians. Junior Sarah Roehl is expected to take the lead in the 400m and 800m events, with fellow junior Lauren Grow pulling double-duty with the long jump and the new pole-vault event.

“We have added a new assistant coach from northern New Jersey, Bob Bishop, who is helping bring pole vault to Indian River,” Hahn said of the new event. “We are in the process of fundraising to acquire the funds to purchase the necessary equipment. Anyone interested in helping with those efforts can make a donation to the Indian River Track & Field Boosters.”

The coaching addition of Bishop, along with former Indians all-state sprinter Keiosha Shelton, will provide additional support to Hahn and the athletes. Shelton will also work with the jumpers.

“As a staff, we are excited to see what our athletes will do this spring, and look forward to getting as many athletes qualified for states as we can,” Hahn concluded.

The Final Lap: “Every meet this year will be tough,” Hahn assessed. “There are a lot of great programs we will be facing. If, as a team, we stay focused on the task at hand and have everyone do their part, it will be a very competitive year.”