'Betsy boys looking strong

By Allen LaMountain

   A veteran Cyclone boys track and field squad should prove themselves tough to beat in Region 1-AA's Watauga Conference.
   Seniors dot the roster with Andrew Presnell taking aim at his father Jim Presnell's school record in the discus -- and with it a spot in the State meet -- Neal Wandell taking his spot in the boys sprint relay's and Whitman Brown leading the way in the boys 100 meter hurdles.
   "A goal of Andrew's has been to concentrate on discus," said head coach Tommy Jenkins. "He has been gunning for his dad's record and he has a good chance."
   Another senior who is hoping to make a splash is Marvin Smith, who coach Jenkins said, "(Marvin) is working hard to be our shot putter. He has lost a lot of weight and is more physically fit, and he wants to try to get to the State meet."
   Other events like the long jump and triple jump are still up for grabs, but Walter Brown could compete along with Chris Hobbs and possibly Lester Bailey.
   Brown, along with Justin Cooter should hold down the 100 and 300 hurdles respectively. "I feel comfortable with either at any given time. I think both will compete in either event." commented Jenkins.
   One thing the Cyclones won't lack is speed as Bailey, Brown, Wandell and youngsters like Ben Fields, Bill Simthong, and Adam Turley all have speed to burn.
   "Wandell is the nucleus for this group being the senior, and he has competed in these events before. Some combination of those guys will be in the mix for the 4x200 and 4x400 events, as well as the 100 and 200 events" Jenkins said. "We'll just have to see who rises to the occasion."
   Bailey should be especially tough in the 100 meter dash, but Jenkins will let everyone compete in practice and let the cream rise to the top by itself.
   "Lester blew away the field in our scrimmage," said Jenkins. "But we didn't run all the events because of the rain. It will be different people at different meets. We'll try to put the kid in the event that they can have the most success in."
   Distance running could be a strength as several cross country members will compete for 'Betsy in the 1600 and 3200 events. Ross Chun and Andy Young are among a group of runners competing for spots along with Alex Perkins and Jared Cakebread.
   Competing at the double-A level should benefit the Cyclones on an individual level as several Cyclones could be strong enough to compete for the State meet.
   "I think the move down to AA gives us a better opportunity to compete," Jenkins said. "Three A is just so strong from Oak Ridge on in to Science Hill and D-B. I can't predict how successful we'll be, but I think it's a golden opportunity to get some athlete's in the State meet."