In her second season coaching the South Putnam girls' track team, Kathy Herrin is looking for more results this season.
"We have a better rapport," Herrin said. "There's not as much whining as last year."
Along with boys' team, the South Putnam girls' track team is gearing up for the season ahead. Although the girls' squad is lacking numbers this year, the boys' team is large in size and preparing to compete at a high level in 2006.
"We've got great numbers this year," South Putnam boys' Coach Carl Coons said. "We've got 45 kids out right now, and they're working real hard."
Leading the boys' team this year, seniors Drew Christy and Bryce Birkemeier return to handle sprinting duties for the Eagles. Christy will also be competing in the high jump, while Birkemeier will be a long jumper for South Putnam.
Along with the tandem, sophomore Josh Sanders will round out the sprinting squad, which Coons thinks will be a strength of the team.
Another strong point will be the pole vault, where Jason Huck will be leading the Eagles. Other pole vaulters will be fellow senior Ian Redman and freshman Dane Nelson.
Seniors Bo Jackson, Heath Pruitt, Chris McCormick, along with junior Harold Kester and freshmen Loren Ashcraft, Richard Arnold, Tyler Heavin and Kasey McLaughlin will be competing in distance events this season.
"We've got good senior leadership," Coons said. "We've got representation in each class."
Senior Zach Rhine will be running the 800-meter race, while Daniel Williams, Kody Terry and Connor Frame will round out the mid-distance team, competing in the 400-meter.
Hurdling duties will be handled by Zach Miller, Allen Riddell, while seniors Luke Becker and Scott Bunten and junior Ryan Smith will lead the shot put and discus team, also consisting of freshmen Derek Tomaw, Andy Peyton, and Ryan Blanton.
"I'm looking forward to the year," Coons said. "We've got some people that are going to be pretty good. So we'll just see how we progress."
The South Putnam girls' team will be led by a strong hurdling unit, consisting of sophomore Shelby Johnston and senior Danielle Welsh. Johnston will also be competing in the high jump, while Welsh and Franklin will make up the long jumping team.
Another strength of the Eagles will be sophomore Shannon Egold and freshman Ashley VanSickle in the distance events, Herrin said.
"We have some talent that we're tapping into," Herrin said. "We have a smaller group, but that's good."
Other seniors on the squad include Sarah Beasley, Janet Burdge, Mary Martin and Molly McLaughlin, while C.J. Searles, Stephanie Durham and Meredith Wallace are juniors on the team.
Other sophomores include Crystal Simpson, Kaylee Hutcheson, Katelyn Hayes, Samantha Harris, Ashley Franklin, Tosha Fisher, and Rose Bartley, while Amanda Way, Sam Kuchler, Sarah Holloway and Lauren Haynes make up the freshman class.
Both South Putnam teams compete at Greencastle April 4.
"My goal is to just keep bumping ourselves up in the sectional and the conference," Herrin said. "I really think this year we're going to see better times."