Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Plains track and field stacked with returning athletes

Valley Press | March 27, 2024 12:00 AM

Loaded is not a bad way to be.

Especially if you are the track and field coach at Plains High School and loaded in this case means a large turnout of athletes in general, including a solid core of experienced tracksters.

And no list would be complete for the Horsemen and Trotters without junior Alexis Demming, who last year was the lone state champion among Sanders and Mineral County athletes.

Demming won the Class B-C state discus championship last year after finishing fourth as a freshman in 2022.

In addition, Demming was third in the shot put at the state meet, after helping the Trotters to a seventh-place team finish in the Divisional tournament.

Most of last year, Demming and Bigfork senior Scout Nadeau waged a two-person competition for supremacy in shot put and discus events, with Nadeau usually coming out on top in the shot put, while Demming dominated the discus event.

Demming is back to defend her title in the discus, while her main competitor in the B-C shot put ranks graduated and moved on.

Also expected to shine this year is Marina Tulloch (middle and long distance running events) after finishing fourth this past Falls in the State B-C cross country championships.

Other returning Plains competitors who made it to the state meet in Laurel, were: Kali Tuma (400 meter run), 100 meter hurdles, and 300 meter hurdles); Peyton Wasson (800 meter and 1600 meter runs); Katelyn Subatch (both relays, the 800 meter run, and triple jump); John Thurston (200 meters and 4X100 meter relay); junior Darren Standeford (both relays); Nick Hill (4X100 relay); Jay Flanigan (both relays); and Joe Martin (4X400 relay).

The top departure from last year’s team is now graduated Mason Elliot who was a state level competitor in both hurdles events.

Head track coach Rachel Chenoweth is counting on that number of experienced returnees, as well as a large increase in overall turnout, to make Plains very competitive among the B-C schools.

“We have a large contingent of returning athletes from last year’s program,” she said. “That includes both individual and relay competitors. Also, we have a 50 percent increase in the number of athletes over last year. The increased number creates greater depth in the events on the track and in the field. When the athletes commit to practicing and competing to the best of their abilities, they bring someone along with them, helping their teammate get better”.

That way of thinking fits perfectly with coach Chenoweth’s coaching goals.

“We help athletes identify their strengths then train them in such a way as to help them match their full potential during the season”.

Plains is scheduled to open their 2024 track season this Friday (March 29) in Eureka. They travel the following weekend to the Bigfork Invitational meet, Saturday, April 6.