Panthers#8217; track teams battle youth

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 12, 2008

CHESAPEAKE — The big name track standouts are missing from the Chesapeake Panthers’ track roster this season.

But veteran coach Phil Davis hopes to take all other names and put together one solid unit.

“The difference this year is everybody has to contribute,” said Davis. “There’s no one who can carry the team. But they’ll get better. They’re all working really hard.”

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The top returning players are Tyler Cravens in the mid-distance races and relays, pole vaulters Aaron Ross and Aaron Allen, and hurdles Heath Hazlett and Joe Riley.

Davis said the team has a lot of sprinters led by Ryan Reynolds, Aaron Donahoe, Peter Hintz, and Drew Blake.

“Once we get everyone where they are best suited, we’ll get a better idea of what we’re capable of doing,” said Davis.

The Panthers have just three seniors on the roster.

The Lady Panthers are even younger. The lone senior is Laura Fields who qualified two years ago for the state meet in the 200 meters.

“We’ve got a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We’re just trying to find their best event and try to get better. We trying to build,” said Lady Panthers coach Dana Edwards.

“But Laura Fields is very good. If she stays healthy, she should have a good year. She pulled a muscle last year in the sectionals and didn’t advance.”

The Lady Panthers have three juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen.

“Our throws are good. We can compete,” said Edward.