New coach takes over for Evart girls track team

EVART — Evart’s girls track team has a new coach with Ken Willems.

Practices started last week. Willems has helped out Evart girls track teams in the past. He moved to the area a few years ago.

“I’m a retired coach from Indiana,” Willems said. “They needed someone here. I know a lot of the kids.”

As of late last week, the girls roster had 21 athletes. There’s a few others, he indicated, that might come out.

Last week, the Wildcats got outdoors when they could.

“We’ve actually done quite a bit,” Willems said. “Grace Hamilton, one of our distance runners, has put in about five miles a day and has put in a very good pace. We’ve done some hurdles work. Sprinters have done sprint workouts. We’ve been outside running, even when it’s cold.”

Field events should be a strong area for Evart. Jessica Tea in the high jump and Kirsten Parsons in the throws will be among the leaders

“We need to find a pole vaulter,” Willems said. “Other than that we’ll be strong in team events. The girls are working hard. Our girls competing first at meets will be fine. We’ll get our share of points there. It’s a matter of if we can fill in behind them with seconds and thirds. If they keep working, I think we’ll get there.”

This Friday, Evart will be at an indoor meet in Grand Valley.

“That’s a meet where the number of events is limited because it’s indoors,” Willems said. “Not everyone will make that trip.”

Junior Tabby Turley is expected to be the team’s top hurdler.

After break, Evart is at Mesick April 17. Willems isn’t figuring having his team on the outdoor track any time too soon.