GREENCASTLE -- For the South Putnam girls' track team, head coach Kate Atkinson says she want to see what every coach wants to see in their squad -- constant improvement. She'll have a couple key seniors that will help lead the team and make that desire a reality.
She spoke about what she's seen in practice and how she thinks the season will shake out.
"We're looking about the same as we have the past few years," she said. "We've got, our 4x800 team, everyone is back. We have a couple freshmen that, hopefully, can get us some scores in the sprint. We're looking to put together a competitive 4x100 team, which we've been lacking a little bit.
"It's very positive -- it's been very encouraging. The girls are excited and have been working hard. I think we'll do OK," she added.
Atkinson also addressed the fact the team has a good amount of lead-in time to the season and how her squad has prepared to attack the track.
"Since we have such a long period until we really start competing, we just really tried to work on the mileage and the conditioning base altogether," Atkinson said. "We haven't gotten too specific as far as breaking down events. That's probably been the million dollar question, everybody 'What event am I going to do? What event am I going to do? Just don't worry about it.'"
"Our main thing has just been overall conditioning. At this point now, back from spring break, we can start looking at individually placing kids and looking at what they can do. But yea, basically we've just been working on overall conditioning," she said.
Rachel Egold, Amanda Lund, Kaitlyn Cox, Shelby Hacker, Kendra Martin and Hannah Cline will be some key components that helps power the Eagles. Atkinson acknowledged how each individual will help the team achieve some nice things.
"I think the obvious person that would stand out is Rachel Egold in the 800," she said. "She's a senior; she's put in a lot of time. Each year she's gotten better, so we look for her to do some things. Amanda Lund in our distance should do well. Kaitlyn Cox coming in that had a successful cross country season, so hopefully she can translate that to the track. We have Shelby Hacker as our senior thrower, so hopefully she can have a better year than she's had in the past. I know she's ready for some breakout numbers.
"We have a couple other seniors that I really have no idea what they're going to do," Atkinson continued. "One has been hit and miss for us. I think she's only run one year so far, so it will be interesting to see what she can do. That would be Kendra Martin.
"Hannah Cline, another senior, is making the transition from thrower to runner, so we'll see how, she'll be in more of the distance races, but we'll see what she can do for us," she said.
When the talk moved to season expectations, Atkinson reaffirmed she wants to see improvement every step of the way.
"My biggest thing is, I want to see the girls improve each meet. We're pretty young," Atkinson commented. "We have some freshmen and some other girls who have never run and really want to be involved, so it'll be interesting. If they can keep improving and stay positive and see progress, I think that will definitely be a plus. That will be a goal of ours for our overall improvement.
"I think as far as setting specific goals, it's good to set those to have something to reach for, but at the same time, I want to stay a little smaller with this group. So, they see more progress in a shorter amount of time and stuff. We're just going to start small and work on daily progress and go from there," she said.
South Putnam will take on Northview and Owen Valley Thursday at 5 p.m.