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After a year off due to COVID-19, head track coach Brad Elliott has seen the program take a slightly different look heading into the 2021 season.
Elliott will be in the drivers seat of both the boys and girls teams this season after long-time Raiderette head coach, Deb Larsen, retired.
Elliott is assisted by Daniel Showalter, Melissa Shields and Tiffany Bolles.
Seniors that missed out on their senior year included Sam Stewart, Gracie Mobley, Rachel Gregg, Jaycee Knight and Madison Birkenholz for the Raiderettes, while the Raiders lost Dawson Frost, Keelan Klommhaus, Kolben Klommhaus, Reas Knapp, Joan Trujillo and Isaac Timmerman.
The current teams seniors have not seen action since their sophomore year.
“We totally missed the 2020 season so it’s a whole new look at the athletes,” said coach Elliott. “Our seniors haven’t seen competition since their sophomore season, so there will be some break-out performances that may or may not have occurred in 2020. At this point we had some very nice performances in team time trials that show great promise for days ahead.”
The numbers are slightly down this season, which schools have seen throughout the state, however, some schools have seen an increase in numbers.
“What we lack in overall numbers we make-up or in the quality of athletes,” said coach Elliott. “it’s an exciting new format this year with coed practices and meets so we are looking to rebuild the culture of Mount Ayr Track and Field in the absence of a 2020 season. Our kids missed out on all of the positives of what track can bring a year ago and it’s been a challenge in getting kids out this season.”
Individual performances will be relied on by Mount Ayr to fuel points totals on both sides.
“This team has someoutstanding competitors ready to break out this year,” said coach Elliott. “We’re excited to dust off the spikes and implements and finish what we started in 2020.”
Mount Ayr competed in Panora on Tuesday, April 6 and look to compete on tonight (April 8) with the girls headed to Interstate-35 and the Raiders headed to Clarke.
Results will appear in next week’s Record-News.