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2020 Rushville Boys Track Outlook from Jim Marlatt

Prior to the start of any season, there is always an air of hope and optimism by coaches and players.  Unfortunately, that hope and optimism for the spring sports season was dashed for everyone with its cancellation due to COVID-19.

But we asked coaches to share with us what they were looking forward to: team outlook, individual hopes and expectations or anything else about the season in general.  We’ll be sharing those stories as we receive them and we appreciate those who took the time to send us their thoughts.

Rushville Boys Track Coach Jim Marlatt- The 2020 Rushville boys track and field season got off to a great start. The team was hungry to build on a successful 2019 which included a very close runner-up finish in the EIAC, a sectional championship and 13 individual and relay regional qualifiers. The 2020 season ended abruptly following four weeks of practice and one indoor meet (Owl Invitational at Ball State). This short practice time and single meet displayed a team which worked hard, pushed each other, was enthusiastic about the season, brought great attitudes every day, and was deep and talented.

The 2020 Rushville boys track and field team had championship potential.  Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic brought an abrupt end to everyone’s track and field seasons. Like all spring sports teams across the country, ours will never get a chance to fulfill their potential. They will miss out on a season of competition, hard work, improvement, experience, camaraderie, victory, and defeat. But these athletes care about their sport, teammates and coaches.  It is worth recognizing their commitment to track and field and the season that was unfairly taken from them.

The 2020 Rushville boys team featured 12 seniors who brought experience, leadership, and talent. Matthew Bertram, Nick Bowling, Ethan Chastain, Cole Dixon, Braiden Hunter, Austen Gerrian, Kanyon Keith, John King, Nick Lawler, Isaac Lawrence, Marcus Malson, and Casey Smith provided a strong foundation for an excellent team. These young men had put in the time and work required to be successful and were looking forward to the opportunity to lead this team to a high level of competition. They are all excellent representatives of Rushville Track and Field, Rushville Consolidated High School and the Rush County community. Thank you Seniors!

In the field events, the Lions squad was shaping up nicely. In the discus, 2019 regional qualifier and senior Nick Lawler was poised for a strong season with support from Casey Smith, Marcus Malson, Nick Amos, Joe Sheehan, Nash Paddack, Chandler Pendergraft, Eli McGrath, Austin Vance, and Brady Yeend. The throwers also appeared to be improved in the shot put. Freshman Eli McGrath had a strong start to the season and Lawler set a career best at the Owl Invitational indoor meet. Malson, Amos, Sheehan, Paddack, Pendergraft, and Yeend also looked to contribute in the event.

Senior and 2019 regional qualifier John King returned in the pole vault and seemed ready to improve on a strong junior season. Fellow seniors Nick Bowling, Matthew Bertram and Braiden Hunter all had potential for significant improvement while David Oakley and Bradyon Spiker flashed future potential in the event.

In the high jump, senior Austen Gerrian was jumping well and preparing to improve on a 4th place 2019 sectional finish. Newcomer Alec Evans appeared ready to make a significant impact in the high jump while freshmen Jacob Hampton and Trenton Dyer picked up the event quickly.

Sophomore Carter Tague had a strong start to the season in the long jump while Freshman Tristan Norris performed very well at the Owl Invitational. Smith, Colton Griffith, Josiah Hay, Hunter Norris, Evans, Ashton Hampton, and Dyer panned on contributing in the event as well.

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