By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Don’t ask Enid track coach Joe Miranov about Oklahoma’s weather.
Only in Oklahoma can there be spring-like temperatures during the brief indoor season, but snowstorms when the Pacers and Plainsmen have been trying to prepare for the outdoor season.
“The weather has been kicking us,’’ Miranov said. “It has set us back a few weeks. We have been able to get a little conditioning in, but we haven’t been able to work on hand-offs or our field events.’’
Because of those conditions, Enid will use today’s opening meet at Edmond more for practice. But the weather hasn’t dampened Miranov’s enthusiasm for the potential of both the boys and the girls.
Both teams have their highest numbers out in years, Miranov said.
The boys are deeper in the sprints than they have been in years, Miranov said. The girls will be able to score points in both sprints and distances, as well as some field events.
“The kids are pushing each other to make the varsity,’’ Miranov said. “That’s how you have a good team. Everything is rounding out where we could be a team to be reckoned with.’’
Seth “Popeye’’ Handley, who place fourth in the 400 and fifth in the 200 at last year’s state meet, heads the boys sprint corps. He will be joined by Alex Lofton, Marshawn Mills, Alex McCoy, Raheem Mitchell and Johnny Lawrence.
Lawrence and Mills joined Handley on a 400-meter relay team, which was second in regional. Handley and McCoy were on the 1,600-meter relay, which qualified for state.
The 800-meter relay has been added to the regional and state meets. Miranov will mix and match various groups in an effort to see which combination will give EHS the most points.
“Do we use Seth in the 200 or 400, or do we put him in three relays?’’ Miranov said. “If we put him on a relay, are we looking just to go to state or are we looking at placing at state? That’s what we have to look at.’’
Enid’s strength here, Miranov said, is all six are good competitors, which in track may be more important than just pure speed.
McCoy and Lofton are contenders in the 400. Mills, Lofton and Lawrence are pushing each other in the long jump. Mills and McCoy are potential point-getters in the high jump.
Rob Frantz’s best throw in the shot a year ago was 45-5. He may have the potential to go as far as 50 feet.
Chris Daniels, Jake Taylor, Josh Redd and Nate House have potential in the 3,200 relay. Markell Windler and Antonio Thomas are in the hurdles.
The versatility of Holly Stuart and Andi Pierce give Miranov more options with the girls.
Stuart and Pierce, who helped lead EHS to the girls state cross country championships as a team, can do anything from the 200 to the 3,200.
“Nobody likes to run the 3,200, but if push came to shove, those two girls will run it for us,’’ Miranov said. “It looks like we’re pretty well-rounded between the sprints and the distances. We just want to see where we want to use them.’’
Stuart and Tyler Berge back from a 3,200-meter relay that was second in regionals. Autumn D’Auteuil and Savannah D’Auteuil, two more cross country runners, will complete the quartet.
Making state in cross country, Miranov said, has strengthened the mindset of the girls team.
Freshman Misha Claytor has potential in the sprints and should be on the 1,600 relay with Stuart, Pierce and Autumn D’Auteuil.
High-jumper Macy Adams was a regional runner-up as a freshman and won two indoor meets. She hopes to clear 5-4 to 5-6 this season. She is another adept sprinter.
Ellanah Schneider was throwing the shot put in the 28-29-foot range in early practices. Audrey Rose was sixth in both the shot put and the discus in last year’s regionals.
Miranov expects the field events to get better once the weather cooperates.
Miranov said his assistants — Kareem Sears, Shawn Mills, Trent Holland, Mike Bluey, Sophie Doro and Ginny Shipley have added “a lot,’’ to the team’s improvement.
Enid’s next meet will be March 8 at Owasso.ꂟ