Lady Tiger track and field won't carry a lot of experience into the 2013 season, but Glen Rose is driven to make the most of its opportunities.
"We'll be real young on the girls' side this year because there are small senior and junior classes for track and field," said coach Todd Swearengin. "We'll count on some sophomores and a lot of strong freshmen. I think those classes are talented coming in; it's just going to take a little bit of time to figure out what their strengths are. A number of them play other sports like softball and tennis, but I think by the time district comes around we'll have those girls where they need to be to help us and depth won't be as much of an issue."
The Lady Tigers finished third in district last year, led by current senior Reilly Junge.
"Reilly was a regional qualifier the previous three years, including qualifying in five events last year," Swearengin said.
Those events were the triple jump, long jump, 300-meter hurdles and two relays. Junge tentatively plans to compete this season while dealing with a knee injury, so other Lady Tigers will have to raise the bar on their contributions.
Senior Destiny Ponce finished fourth in the shot put at regionals last year.
"It looks like she'll be back," Swearengin said.
Sophomores Lexi Crabtree and Kalli Crabtree were regional qualifiers in relays last year.
"We could look to them in all three relays and they're high jumpers," Swearengin said.
Sophomore Ashlan Bernard was a regional qualifier in two relays last year. Swearengin looks for her to be a key part of all relays this season.
Coach Deanna Bozarth has high hopes for several other underclassmen.
"Grace Payne is a newcomer that we expect good things from in the 800," she said. "I think Sierra Armstrong can be a quality performer in the hurdles. Jarissa Keller is a newcomer with a lot of potential for relays and the 400. There are several freshmen who could contribute, but we'll just have to see how they do in the weeks to come as they get more practice in."
Swearengin thinks Glen Rose could do well in distance races this season.
"Makayla Kucera and Grace Payne both qualified for regionals in cross country, so I look forward to them doing some good things in the 1600 and 3200," he said.
In past seasons, Swearengin said the Lady Tigers have been strong in all relays and most of the field events. On the other hand, the program has struggled in distance races and sprints.
In 7-3A, Swearengin expects Alvarado to be tough because of its depth and he added that Stephenville is traditionally strong. The coach knows his athletes lead busy lives and just wants them to work hard when they can.
"I think the coaches from the other sports do a great job of sharing athletes with us and vice versa," he said. "That's just part of it at a small school."