Cloverdale track teams geared for new year

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Greencastle honored its winter sports athletes Monday evening. Picking up honors were (from left to right) Kelsey Murtagh for girls' swimming, Erica Pickens for cheerleading, Luke Crimmins for boys' swimming, Chris Pingleton for wrestling and Brennan Burks for boys' basketball. Not pictured: Lauren Robertson for girls' basketball.

CLOVERDALE -- Kristin Crabtree is ushering in a new era for the Cloverdale High School track teams.

With help from David Kiley, Crabtree has had her athletes working through a vigorous weight program, and she believes the dividends are starting to pay off.

"This is new for everybody," Crabtree said Monday. "I thought we needed a jolt.

"We have a new weight program. We've never really had a set up like that before. I can definitely tell the kids are in better shape already."

The Clovers head into the 2007 campaign minus three competitors, whom the squad lost to graduation.

Gone are Hunter Fielden, Kay Roeckel and Raymond Green.

However, Crabtree said the Clovers return an abundance of experience, led by seniors Kabe Mattocks, Chris Gary, Ben Cheatham, Christian Cheatham and Samantha Miller. In addition, the team will also boast first-year seniors Michael Neese and Seth Trinkle.

Mattocks and Christian Cheatham were both regional qualifiers last year, with Mattocks advancing in hurdles and Cheatham advancing in the high jump.

"We've got more seniors this year, more senior leadership," Crabtree said.

Mattocks will compete in hurdles again this year while Cheatham will compete in the high jump, long jump and sprints. Ben Cheatham will throw for the Clovers and may also run in distance events while Gary competes in the 800-meter and 3,200-meter run. Miller is also a sprinter.

Crabtree said Neese and Trinkle aren't sure what they want to compete in, but they will help the team.

She added she expects a big season for Mattocks.

"We'd like to get him to state," Crabtree said.

Crabtree is also optimistic about a large group of underclassmen on the team this season.

"We have more numbers," she said. "That will be good for us. We have a large amount of freshmen this year and a lot of them have been working."

Crabtree said she's adjusted her coaching this year, splitting the upper and underclassmen and having them work more together this year.

"I think that's pushed them," she said.

She is also optimistic that a return to the state finals is possible for junior high jumper Ashley Koosman and added she believes junior high jumper Brynlea Mattocks could also advance to the state meet.

"I think she'll make it," Crabtree said of Koosman. "And I think Brynlea as well. We're hoping for great things. We've really been working hard."

Crabtree said Koosman also competes in the long jump as well as hurdles while Brynlea Mattocks also competes in the 400-meter run.

Also back for the Clovers this year is thrower Dylan Stone. The junior tied the school record in the shot put last year.

Crabtree said she believes the Clovers are headed toward a good year.

"As individuals we want them to better themselves," Crabtree said. "We want everybody to improve on times, distance and heights and they usually do.

"We want to look forward instead of backward."

The Clovers open the season on April 3 when they host North Putnam and Eminence.

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