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By Troy Treasure
North Shelby head track and field coach Renee Shinn believes the 2021 teams have good potential. Much of that is due to versatility.
“We’ve had a really good set of days, weather-wise. We’ve been able to be outside, which is always a plus for the athletes,” Shinn said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what the kids can do.”
North Shelby’s first meet is scheduled for March 25 at Monroe City.
Entering this past weekend, NS had 14 athletes evenly split by gender.
Shinn said last week she anticipates having a good girls’ 4×100 meter relay team and, possibly, a 4×400 relay group.
“It does depend on what other events the athletes want to be in,” Shinn said. “You can only be in four events, per track meet. If they are interested in individual events, that really restricts you.
“If they can be successful in those individual events, I don’t want to hold them back,” she added, “but if the success is on the relay team, then that’s what we will try to do.”
Sophomores Caroline Linberger and Whitney Shinn are likely members of the 4×100 team. Renee Shinn cited their leg-length and quickness. In addition, Linberger was observed working on approaches at the long jump and triple jump pit at practice last week. Renee anticipates Whitney competing in the 400.
Shinn stated freshmen Marissa McEwen and Alexa Mesmer are interested in the shot put, discus and javelin.
On the boys’ side, junior Noah Greenwell recently joined the team. Renee Shinn indicated Greenwell’s athleticism likely will allow him to flex into several events. Shinn also mentioned junior Gage Hawkins and sophomore Jeremiaha Pratt as middle-distance runners.
“Freshman-wise, Riley Hill is a strong guy. He works hard to build that strength,” Shinn said. “He wants to compete and do well in shot (put) and discus.
“I would like to speak specifics for all the athletes, but I just don’t know at this point,” she continued. “We’ve only had a week and a half of practice. A lot of it is conditioning. Time will tell what will happen.”
Shinn said it is special to be practicing, though there’s a balancing act with different kids also committed to other activities, including preparation for FFA competitions.
Considering what occurred a year ago at this time – it’s all good.
“When we walked out of here, I think it was March 18 of 2020, I know I didn’t have a grasp of, ‘Hey, this is going to be the last time we were in the building as students, as athletes.’ It was a big loss for them,” she said.
One of last year’s graduates who missed their senior season is Maggie von Thun. Shinn said von Thun has worked with current athletes on some of the field events, including javelin.
Several boys and girls partook in von Thun’s tutorial on Tuesday of last week.
“Javelin is an event that is strictly high school. It’s fairly new to high school track and field to begin with. We have students who have never held the javelin,” Shinn explained. “That was great and I would guess that meant a lot to her.”