Despite being short-handed this year, the Cloverdale boys and girls' track teams are looking forward to the upcoming season.
With several individuals back from last year's squad, the Clovers are currently working hard to make the most out of 2006.
"We're just trying to get in shape," Cloverdale Head Coach Kristen Crabtree said. "Some kids still don't really know what they want to do. So we're timing some things and measuring some things to see where everybody kind of fits in."
Junior Kabe Mattocks already knows where he fits in.
After advancing to regional competition in 110-meter high hurdles last year, Mattocks returns this season with big goals in mind.
"I'm hoping to get out of regionals this year," Mattocks said. "I'm going to try hard this season -- harder than I did last season. I gave it everything I could, but it just wasn't enough. So I'll just try harder."
Along with Mattocks, fellow senior captain Raymond Green is also optimistic. Green will be leading the Clovers in sprinting events, the long jump and high jump this season, as well as teaming with Mattocks and junior Christian Cheatham in the 1,600 meter relay.
The relay team hasn't found a fourth piece to the puzzle yet, but nevertheless, they are looking to do some damage.
"I want try to get our 4X4 team to the regional, if not get out of the regional and break the school record," Green said. "That's one of my goals, work hard on the 4X4 team this year."
Along with the 1,600 relay team, Cheatham will also sprint for the Clovers while competing in the high jump and long jump this season.
"He's a good high jumper and a good long jumper," Crabtree said. "So he'll be someone who we really benefit from."
Senior captain Hunter Fielden also returns this season, looking to make an impact in the shotput and discus events. Alex Swenson, Sam Spinks, Ben Cheatham and Josh Nickerson will join Fielden in the throwing events for the Clovers.
In the distance events, James Fidler, Ryan Dean, Raymond Gilbrech, Raymond Monds and Brian Stone will all be competing for Cloverdale, while the mid-distance team will be composed of Timmy Clapper, Clement Elie, Daniel Hodgkiss and Zach McCallie.
The sprinting team will consist of Green, Cheatham, Nick Keefer and Luke Mader, while Keefer, Fidler and Mattocks will be responsible for the hurdling duties.
All in all, the Clovers have 22 people competing on the 2006 boys' team.
"We don't have a lot of numbers, and we usually don't," Crabtree said. "So we're going to have a lot of individual people that are going to stand out in events."
If numbers are scarce on the boys' team, they're nearly nonexistent for the girls' team.
The Clovers will only have 12 girls competing this season.
"We lost a lot of seniors last year," Crabtree said. "So I'm still trying to get to know them and their abilities."
Senior captain Kay Roeckel will lead the girls' squad this season, competing in the shotput and discus events for the Clovers.
Roeckel will be joined by Kayleigh Smallwood, Lenn Lorentson, Kally Knudson in the throwing events.
Ashley Higgins, Monica Hodgkiss and Samantha Miller will be sprinters this season, while Brynlea Mattocks and Ashley Koosman will handle hurdling and jumping duties.
Jenna Lewis, Holly Roberson and Megan Schwomeyer will be running the distance events for Cloverdale.
The Clovers host North Putnam and Eminence April 4 at 4:30 p.m.
"I want the kids to make improvements individually in each of their events, improve their times, improves their jumps, throws and those kinds of things," Crabtree said. "I'm not looking for all firsts. We're just looking for individual improvement to gain for the next year."