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Firestone boys track team showing improvement early in season

4/24/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

WEST AKRON — Firestone High School boys track head coach Tim Carroll said he likes the way his team is progressing so far this season.

“We are improving and working hard to identify everybody’s strengths and [weaknesses],” he said. “We have a lot of new kids on the team this year to go with the kids we have returning. A lot of the kids from the football team are out this year, which is nice.”

This year’s squad is a young team overall, Carroll said, but he noted Firestone has “some senior leadership that we rely on.”

“Senior Rae’Kwon Smith is running well for us and is a tough kid. Rae’Kwon, Bryce Johnson and Arrik Brown are team captains that do a nice job for us and make my job easier. They are good leaders and work hard at practice,” the coach stated. “Senior Louis Christian has put up points for us in the 100 and 200. Senior Jacob Petry and Nathan Herr are running well this year. Both of them were hurt for part of last year; now they are looking strong and you could say have their swagger back.”

In addition, Carroll said, the team has been getting strong performances from its junior class.

“Junior Kamar Majid has, by far, scored the most points on the team. He has won the high jump at every meet and come in first or second in the long jump, 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles at each meet so far. Kamar finished third in the high jump at the indoor state meet, and I expect him to make it to state in multiple events this year,” the coach said. “Juniors Jovahn Fair and Bryce Harris are throwing well, and we are depending on them to help us score points at every meet this season. Jovahn has won the discus at two invitationals. Junior Robert Bell is getting better each meet in the hurdles. He works hard, and we depend on Robert to put up points in the hurdles along with Kamar. Junior Harley Moyer has also put up points in the distance events in every meet so far.”

Also playing key roles early in the season, Carroll said, have been a pair of underclassmen.

“Freshman Kay-el Floyd has helped us put up points in the sprints,” he stated, “and sophomore Darcy Isaiah ran an impressive race at the Kent Rough Rider Invitational, finishing third.”

In 2013, Firestone completed the season with a 4-3 record in dual meets. The team finished third at the City Series championship meet, scoring 103 points.

According to Carroll, Firestone’s No. 1 goal this season is to claim the league title.

“We are looking to win the City [Series] championship this season, which would be only the third City [Series] championship for the boys team. The girls and boys teams have never won the City title in the same year, so we are hoping to make history,” he said. “Buchtel and Ellet boys are good this year, and the other City teams have some athletes that will be a challenge to beat. It should be a real battle for the City title this year, and it should be a fun meet.”

While his team is off to a strong start to the season, Carroll said his athletes will need to work hard and strive for continuous improvement to reach their goals.

“We have done well. Recently, we took second at the Kent Rough Rider Invitational, which was big considering we were last at that meet the prior season, and we finished fourth at the Big Ox Invitational at St. Thomas Aquinas this past weekend,” he said. “We are strong in field events and hurdles and doing well in distance and sprints. We need to improve in all areas if we want to continue to be competitive this season.”

Carroll is in his second year as the Firestone boys track head coach. His assistants are: Reggie Floyd, throwing coach; George Aronhalt, throws and sprints coach; Dan Lewis, sprints coach; and Brad Ullman, distance coach.

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