Spartan boys look to run strong this season

The Exira-EHK boys track and field team is gearing up and preparing for another season that’s right around the corner and they have a new assistant coach to help guide them. Cassidy Nerland was an All-American thrower at Grandview.

“The boys are ready to start the new season,” said Spartans Head Coach Kevin Brown. “I enjoy having them come up to me during the offseason and ask what they can do to get ready for the season. The vibe at practice has been all business. I really think they are looking forward to competing and improving on their personal bests from last year.”

Last season, the Spartans roster had 18 members, with some graduated, but many students returning, including some new faces, including Junior Aiden Flathers and Senior Easton Nelson.

“She has been an amazing addition. She also took the lead for our lifting program,” Brown said. “Aiden Flathers is a new face, who has shown he is one of our top sprinters. Easton Nelsen is also another addition that can make an impact in throws/sprints.”

During the previous season, the Spartans finished in the top 10 in multiple events, including a sixth place finish at the Audubon Boys Early Bird March 29, eighth place at the Jerome Howe Relays April 4, eighth place at the CAM Classic Invitational Track Meet April 19, seventh place in the Gregg Beam Hawkeye Co-Ed Invitational April 22, sixth place in the Gonzales/Parrish Invitational April 28 and a seventh place finish in the Rolling Valley Conference Meet May 3.

Every season is different and Brown hopes to see improvements coming into the new year.

“My goal from day one is to get more kids to the state meet,” he said. “We had one state qualifier each of the last two years. I really want to be able to take a Suburban full of qualifiers this year.”

The lone qualifier was Senior Derrek Kommes who qualified for state last season in the high jump event. Kommes is also one of the leaders of the Spartans, hoping to set the tone for the team.

“Derrek Kommes surprised some people last year when he qualified for state in high jump,” Brown said. “My goal is for him to continue to grow as a high jumper and compete against the best in the state once again this year. Cash Emgarten narrowly missed qualifying to state in the open 200m/400m due to some windy conditions last year. Without a doubt I believe he will be ready to go and qualify this year.”

With any season presents challenges along the way, but Brown is confident the challenges that come with any season will not stop the team from competing at a high level.

“As always getting reps in on an all weather track is a challenge,” he said. “We are hoping the weather stay dry so we can can get quality practices in on our cinder track. We currently have 25 guys out for boys track and it's a nice challenge to have. The guys will have to compete to show me who deserves the spots within the meet lineup.”



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