FHS back on right track
With spring break out of the way, Franklin’s track and field teams have returned to their natural flow.
“Anytime you’re separated for 9-10 days, it’s difficult to get back in rhythm,” FHS coach Jay Brooks said.
“Hopefully we’re progressing toward peaking at the right time here in a few weeks at the conference meet.”
The FHS boys won a seven-team meet April 6 at Western Carolina University. The Panthers scored 164 2/3 points to beat Smoky Mountain, which scored 128 points, along with five other teams.
The FHS girls finished fourth with 84 points, behind Smoky (168), Swain County (128) and Rabun Gap (116).
Although the girls finished lower than their counterparts, they had more individual event winners. Kennedy Conner won the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches) and triple jump (32-8). LesLeigh Tabor swept the throwing events, winning discus (88-10) and shot put (40-3).
The only winner for the Franklin boys was Josiah Brendel, who won the high jump after clearing 5-10. The 4x400 relay also secured a victory with a time of 3 minutes, 41.5 seconds.
The WNC Athletic Conference championship is set for May 3. Each team is allowed to enter a maximum of three individuals per event, and the Panthers aim to finalize which athletes will compete in what events.
Since the FHS boys have a large team of 40 athletes, figuring that out may be more difficult.
“We want three quality people in all of the events,” Brooks said.
“It will be interesting to see how we can do when we start putting people in those places on purpose.”
The girls have a much smaller team, consisting of 15 athletes. However, many of them are really coming on strong, Brooks said.
Conner set a new personal-record in high jump recently. Madison Tallent and Devon Smith have also been setting PRs, while Mary Bowles has steadily reduced her times.
Tabor has broken her own school record in shot put multiple times this spring.
Brooks anticipates both the girls and boys will have good chances at finishing among the top teams at the WNCAC meet.
“I absolutely think it all comes down to so much gray areas in the jumps and throws,” Brooks said. “If our kids can get the marks they can get, then I definitely think we can be in the upper part of that with a chance.
“The girls we’ve got are doing so well. If they can score the points they’re capable of, then yeah, I think they’ll be in the upper part as well. They’ve done really well with numbers we’ve got, so it’s exciting on that end.”