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North Miami boys' track looking for foundation to build off of in 2018

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OFF THE MARK: North Miami senior Connor Hanaway works on his starts from the blocks during a recent practice. Hanway is a welcome additon to theWarriors in the short and middle distance events ahead of the 2018 season.
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LATE CHARGE: North Miami junior Malachi Sanderson (Front) edges out teammate Mark Troyer (Back) to the line after a pair of laps around the track at a recent practice. Sanderson returns to help anchor the middle distance for the Warriors in the 2018 track season.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

After the TRC and sectional boys’ track and field meets concluded last season, North Miami found itself staring up at the rest of the teams in the field, finish last at both meets.

Devin Crossland scored the bulk of the Warriors’ 16 points at the conference meet while only the 400-meter relay team managed to place for the team at the Bremen sectional.

Ahead of the 2018 season, the task for North Miami will be to find a foundation to build off of as the practice involvement has been hit-or-miss early in the season.

The task of helping the team build up is in the hands of new head coach Brandon Timmons, who took on the responsibility just before the season started.

“Coach (Jason) Faine asked me to be an assistant for the girls’ track team about a year ago, which I said I would do,” Timmons said when asked about taking over the head coaching position. “Right before the season started, (athletic director) Ed Contreras called me about the boys’ coaching position and I went ahead and took it.

“In high school, I ran distance, so I had a good idea of what to do there but it’s a lot different when you add in taking care of hurdles, shot put, discus and the other different events. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect but it’s been okay so far.”

Timmons noted that the first few practices had been alright, adding several athletes were still coming out after winter sports concluded.

“Practices have been pretty good,” Timmons noted. “There are a lot of complaints, which is normal, but they’re working hard each day.

“We’ve got about 15-20 guys out right now with some guys still coming out as time has gone on.”

One of the first areas the new coach wanted to improve upon was practices, one of the biggest hang ups many members of the squad had last season.

“There’s a lot to improve from last year from what I understand,” Timmons pointed out. “Early on last year, the guys said they were killing each other, going all-out in everything and they felt burnt out by the end of the season.

“Many of them felt it wasn’t enjoyable being out there and that’s why several were on the fence about coming back out. I want to be able to show them how it can be done and how to have fun while still working hard.”

With the squad still coming together, Timmons pointed out a few of the athletes that had made positive impacts on the track early in the season.

“We have a few seniors in Connor Hanaway, Mark Troyer and Austin Malott,” Timmons said. “Canaan Scott returns for us and will be one of our main throwers, Malachi Sanderson is out in our distance events and we’re expecting most of the team from last year to be out as we go along.”

Other members of the team so far include distance runners Auston Hileman, Ethan Butcher, and Daniel Madden, throwers Carson Rexroad and Dylan Hansen and runners Trey Mettler and Zane Hanaway.

The returning groups gave Timmons a good idea of where the team’s strengths were early in the season.

“Mid-distance and long distance are going to be a couple of areas we’re going to be strong in,” Timmons said. “We should also have a good throwing group at meets this year.

“Right now, relays are looking kind of iffy and we’re lacking in our hurdles. We have one long jumper and high jumper we’re waiting on right now, so those areas are going to be weak for us.”

Timmons said he had lofty goals for many of the members of the team this season, stating that he foresaw big things from the group if they were willing to work hard and trust in what they were doing every day.

“At the beginning of the year, we talked and I said we want to get everyone out to the state meet,” Timmons said. “Will that happen? Most likely not, but we feel we can get most of these guys out to the regional.

“These guys are all hard workers and I see a lot of potential in the runners. We want to see times improve, distances increase and the kids getting better, all the things you want to see them doing at the end of the year.”