District 7-3A promises to be a tough landscape for Tiger track and field, but coach Todd Swearengin believes Glen Rose will be able to advance several athletes on to the regional meet this season.
The Tigers finished third in 8-3A last year, as current senior Blake Eschbach led the way.
“Blake is a three-year regional qualifier for us,” Swearengin said. “He went to regionals in four events last year – long jump, triple jump, 1600-meter relay, 300-meter hurdles – and also qualified for state in the 300-meter hurdles. I expect Blake to do the same events this year, and we might try some new things with him.
“Our 800-meter relay will be strong as well, and he’ll be on that. Blake can be strong in whatever we put him in.”
Senior Carter Brandt is a three-year regional qualifier.
“Carter qualified last year in the 400 meters and the 1600-meter relay,” Swearengin said. “We’ll also have him in the 800-meter relay.”
Senior Austin Gibson was a regional qualifier last year in the 800 meters.
“With Austin returning from a broken leg and playing baseball, we’ll have to see with him,” the coach said.
Senior Jared Thames took fourth place in district last year in both the shot put and discus.
“Jared is a good competitor in those events,” Swearengin said.
The coach is looking for senior Ryan Lamb to provide short-range speed.
“I think Ryan will do well on the sprints – the 100 and the relays,” Swearengin said. “He’s probably our fastest kid in the 100.”
The coach is also counting on several juniors to step up.
“Nathan Smith and Senovio Delagarza were both alternates last year for the relays and have a chance to be on there this year,” Swearengin said. “I think both of them could break through, and Nathan might run the 400 for us. I also think Kevin Uehlein could have a good chance to do very well. He’s a long jumper and a sprinter; he has a chance to be on our 800-meter relay.”
The coach is hopeful the Tigers can step it up in their endurance events this season.
“We haven’t had much success recently in the distance events, but Corbin Milton might be able to change that,” Swearengin said. “I know he’ll be more competitive than who we’ve had in the past in the 1600 and the 3200.”
Underclassmen will have to show what they can do in the weeks to come.
“I see several young guys who could be competitive this year,” Swearengin said. “I do think they will help us field a strong JV.”
Swearengin said the Tigers have traditionally been strong in the 400 meters, the 800 meters, the 800-meter relay, the 1600-meter relay and hurdling events.
“We try to push the toughest races,” he said. “At district, our top three guys finished in the top six in the 400, the 300 hurdles, the 800 relay, the 1600 relay and the 800.”
On the other end of the spectrum, the coach noted events where Glen Rose has struggled in recent years.
“I definitely think long distance has been a weakness in the past, as has the pole vault,” he said. “That’s a very time-consuming event, and many of our kids are stretched thin across multiple sports.”
Swearengin shared his thoughts on what the other 7-3A programs may bring to the table.
“Alvarado will be strong because of their depth and their ability in the distance events and pole vault,” he said. “Stephenville will be strong with their depth, and Hillsboro is always strong in the sprint events. I think we will get 2-3 relays out (to regionals), the 400, the hurdles and in some other events. Going for the district championship will be very tough.”
Glen Rose opens the season Saturday in Alvarado.