“It’s hard to train for speed in weather like this,” said head coach Justin DeShon.
The team competed in the Lions Chick-fil-A Showcase at Westlake High School on Feb. 2, running against 20 other teams.
The girls’ 4x100 meter relay finished in second with a time of 49.75 seconds, just .63 seconds behind the first place team. The boys’ 1600-meter medley finished second with a time of 3:47.92 minutes, just 0.99 of a second behind the first place team.
On March 2 the Jaguars went to Starrs Mill in Fayette County to compete in the Panther Relays against more than 30 teams.
Overall, the girls finished fifth with a score of 30 and the boys finished 13th with a score of 17.
“The boys have improved from last season. Both teams are strong and I’m proud of their efforts with how cold it’s been,” DeShon said.
New Manchester track and field only graduated one senior, allowing the rest of the team to return, including the girls’ 4x100 team that finished second in the state last year — Niata Alexander, Anika Carter, Jhordynn Datcher and Uriyah Lucas.
This season the Jaguars were able to field a full varsity and a full JV team as they have 90 runners total, with almost 20 boys and girls each on varsity filling all but one event.
“We have every event except pole vault. There’s a lot that goes into it. It’s not that we don’t have anyone that wants to do it, but we would have to raise the expenses and have the right coaching,” DeShon said.
This past weekend the team competed in the Atlanta Games Invitational Saturday at Lakewood Stadium.
“We will compete against almost 50 teams. This is a huge meet. It’s the biggest meet before we get to regionals,” DeShon said last week.
Prior to competing, DeShon said his team is confident and realizes that everyone is in the same boat at the moment as there has yet to be any consistently good track weather.
The goals for the boys and girls this season are to win a region title. Along with that, DeShon would like for the girls 4x100 team to win the gold at state this year and for the boys to be successful in their relays as well.