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Coventry boys track team enjoying mix of youth, experience

5/8/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — Coventry boys track head coach Danny Savage said this year’s team features “a nice mix of veterans and young kids” who have meshed well together.

“The veterans have taken the younger kids under their wings and shown them the ropes,” he said. “It’s nice when you have a team like that because it alleviates some of the in-meet chaos some coaches have to deal with.”

The result, Savage said, has been “a very successful season so far.”

“We are currently 7-1 in dual meets and have finished in the top four at all of our invitationals so far this year, bringing home the runner-up trophy from the Ernie Moore Invitational last weekend,” the coach said May 2. “Our 4x200 team has come in first at all of our meets so far, and Zack Lake won the Best Sprinter Award at the Valkyrie Invitational. It is so fun to be placing well at invitationals and getting to give the kids all their medals and ribbons that they earn.”

According to Savage, the team’s senior leaders — led by Luke Bogdanovich, Kelan Siner, Zack Smith and Tyler Davis — have been “incredible.”

“I have been with some of them for their whole track career, and it is going to be really hard to say goodbye to them at the end of the season,” he said. “The way I have seen them grow not only as track and field athletes, but as young men, as well, has truly been special. They have instilled the new winning attitude that now surrounds our track program and have been instrumental in taking our program to the next level.”

Three other team standouts this season, Savage said, have been juniors Zack Lake and Devon Jones, and sophomore Jaret Skaggs.

“You cannot say enough about the work ethic and leadership of Zack. He is every coach’s dream athlete — an incredibly hard worker, great leader and all-around tremendous young man that everyone on our team looks up to,” the coach said. “Jaret is up there with Zack in all those categories and is someone you can depend on meet in and meet out. Devon is such a great athlete who has really just recently found his niche in the track world and will continue to excel.”

A strength for this year’s team has been the distance squad, which features sophomores Tucker Pearce, Evan Davenport and Nick Jones, and juniors Sam Neugebauer and Trevor Burkhart.

“They are all young and just coming into their own as distance runners,” Savage said. “In previous years, we rarely, if ever, scored in distance events, and it’s nice to now be able to count on them for points meet in and meet out. [Junior] Andrae Martin has also really stepped up this year — he is just a little guy that you would never think is fast, but then goes out and flies down the track. Plus, now that he has learned to take a hand-off, he is the glue of our 4x1.”

The team has “definitely” shown improvement throughout the season, Savage said.

“The kids are working extremely hard in practice, and they’re seeing the benefits of that in meets. They have a new found sense of hunger that hasn’t really been around this team before,” he stated. “I attribute that to the leadership of our current senior class and some of the underclassmen. The way that they all work together and have fun and root each other on is special for a coach to see.”

Savage, who is in his third year as head coach, is assisted by Brian Duncan.

“Our goals are to finish in the top two in our league and also to qualify as many individuals and relays on to the regional and state meet,” the head coach said. “We are extremely proud of the way these kids work day in and day out, and it is so fun seeing their hard work pay off. I can’t wait to see what they will do this postseason.”

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