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April 2, 2014

H.S. BOYS’ TRACK SEASON PREVIEW: Dragons have eyes on sectional title

With superior distance runners, Creek believes it has a chance to end Jeff’s sectional reign

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — A year ago, Silver Creek thought it had a chance to end Jeffersonville’s 40-year run as sectional champions before injuries derailed its bid.

Led by their talented distance crew, the Dragons may have an even better shot in 2014. Creek has six distance runners that could help end the state’s longest sectional streak.

“Silver Creek has been fortunate to have had a good tradition in turning out distance runners,” said Dragons coach Darrell Kingery, who is entering his fourth year at Creek and his 39th overall as a head track coach. “Our distance crew, boys and girls, have had a great winter of training even though the weather has been terrible. Our motto has been, when [the weather is] too bad for everyone else, it is just right for us.”

A year ago, the Dragons’ distance runners had a great sectional. Sophomores Morgan Davidson and Tanner Coots finished second and third in the 800, respectively, and Isaak Haas won the 1,600 and 3,200 championships.

Haas has moved on to college, but the Dragons have replenished in the distance events. Sophomore Andrew Westfall should excel in the 1,600 and the 3,200, while freshmen Matthew Bottorff, Boone Barton and Cameron Stephens will fight for varsity spots.

“Right now, they are running times in practice that amaze even me,” Kingery said of his distance crew. “Most of my distance runners know what they need to do to continue to be successful, and the gratifying thing for me is that I don’t even need to be there for them to do it. They show up and do it, even if there is snow, rain or whatever else mother nature throws at them.”

The distance runners won’t be alone in their quest to knock off the Red Devils. If healthy, the Dragons will have one of the sectional’s top sprinters and jumpers in Bobby Haines, arguably its best thrower in Schuyler Hosp and standout hurdlers in Cole Williams and Clarksville transfer Josh Grady.

“The nice thing about the team is we cover all the bases,” Kingery said. “In a lot of events, we have two. If you’re going to be Jeff, you have to have two.”

So, do the Dragons have a legitimate shot at ending Jeff’s incredible streak?

“I don’t know,” Kingery admitted. “They’ve won 40-something in a row and they have a lot of weapons. But that’s always our goal. If it happens, it happens. That’s what we’re working for. Hopefully we’ll be right there.”

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