McPherson High track and field coach Jace Pavlovich says Thursday’s season opener at Andale is all about evaluation.
“I feel really good about where we are at this point, but it’s hard to tell,” Pavlovich said. “We have been working harder than we ever have to this point and still have 86 kids out.”
Where the Bullpups place in the team standings isn’t a concern at this point.
“This first meet, our focus is not on competing against the field, but on setting a decent starting mark,” Pavlovich said. “We are using this meet more as a workout than an actual meet.”
The foundation is there for a highly successful season.
“Our strengths as of right now on the girls’ side is in the throws and sprints,” Pavlovich said. “Health is an issue with our girls’ distance runners. The guys should score well in the sprints and in the jumps.”
Highlighting the returnees are Amy Suenram, who was the Class 4A state champion in the long jump last year, and Chris Stoppel, who medaled in both the 100 and 200 meters at state. Pavlovich said he has many other performers who are expected to step up as state contenders.
Nine teams are expected to make up the field for the 3 p.m. event.