Wildcat track teams set to get in some action

EVART — Evart’s track teams open what they hope will be a highly successful season this week.

Evart was scheduled to be home on Tuesday against Morley Stanwood and will be at Reed City on Thursday and at the Morley Stanwood Relays on Saturday.

Girls coach Rene Ward said on Monday her team was anxious to have outdoor competition for what would be the first time.

“They worked hard all spring break,” Ward said. “It was optional spring practice but a majority of our kids were there. It felt pretty good.”

Among Evart’s top point-getters will be Dustin Bowen, a senior, who is in the shot put and discus.

“I threw my best last year and it was 38-1,” he said, referring to the shot put. “I want to beat my best and break 40 at least for my senior year. In the discus, I’m not too strong in, but I’d like to get at least in the 100s this year. I concentrate on form and try to get the best release I can.”

In the throws, “we lost some big guys last year but we have two freshmen that are throwing really well right now so we should be decent,” Bowen said. “We’ll miss them but we have freshmen who are throwing well right now.”

The entire team “will be pretty good,” Bowen said. “We’ll win some meets.”

Because of the recent weather, preseason practices have been limited. Evart did go to a late-March indoor meet in Grand Valley.

“The weather was hurting us,” Bowen said.

Also expected to score points for the Evart boys is senior Alec McKay. He’ll be in the 400, long jump and relays.

“I’d like to break 53 (seconds) in the 400 and maybe win conference,” he said, adding that 54 seconds has been his best time. “I just have to keep working hard in practice.”

In the relays, “we lost two big runners last year and we’re trying to replace them with young guys,” McKay said.

In the long jump, McKay hopes to break 19 feet.

As a team, “we look pretty good,” he said. “We’re pretty young though.”

On the girls side, Katie Parsons and her sister, Kirsten, are expected to be point producers.

Katie is a sophomore in the shot put, discus, relays and mid-distances. She was also a thrower last year,

“I did well,” Parsons said. “I was second on the team and now I’m first and I’m planning on stepping it up this year because our seniors are gone. Distance wise, my goal is to get over 85 and 90 (in the discus). For shot, I want to get around 30.”

The key will be form, she said.

In the throws this year, “we’re going to do very well,” Parsons said.

Her sister, Kirsten Parsons, a freshman also will be in the shot put and discus. At a late March indoor meet in Grand Valley, Parsons threw the shot for her first time ever at 26-7.

Kirsten said Katie showed her the form for the discus.