Troy boys track and field team features mix of youth, experience

TROY — The start of the Troy boys track and field team’s season just got condensed by Mother Nature.

Which will make Deon Metz’s plans possibly change a little bit.

Metz, who has a combination of upperclassmen and young athletes on the roster, was planning on using the early going to find out exactly where everyone stood.

And he still will.

But, with the Up And Coming Invitational schedule for Saturday moved to Wednesday, the Trojans will open up the season Tuesday at Greenville, then have two invitational in three days to close the week.

“I still want to do that (use a lot of different runners) as much as possible,” Metz said. “We will see how it works out. We will use the season to build towards the MVL. As we see different kids times, we will see who is varsity and who is going to be reserve.”

Leading the sprinters will be a strong group of seniors in JJ McCoy, Evan Jones, Colin Stoltz, Will Wolke and Jack Kleinheinz.

“Colin is coming off a really strong season last year,” Metz said. “Will Wolke has looked really good for his first year out for track. We have a number of freshman and sophomores. So, we will just have to see how that group will work out.”

The same group will make up the 400 as well.

“There really isn’t middle distance any more,” Metz said. “The 400 is a sprint today. So, the 400 runners will come from the same group of guys.”

Kleinhenz will lead the 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles, along with junior Aidan Coleman and sophomore Antonio Gonzalez.

“He (Jack Kleinhemz) is really solid in the hurdles,” Metz said.

Junior Gavin Hutchinson is coming off a strong season in the 800 and seniors Matthew Spade and Braden Coate will handle the longer distances.

Coate is back on the track after battling stress fractures for most of his career and his coming off qualifying for state in cross country.

“Josh’s (Hutchinson) best event last year was the 800 and I am sure he wants to build off of that,” Metz said. “Seeing what Braden (Coate) did in the fall is impressive. We are taking it slow with him. You probably won’t see him much until later in the year.”

The throws will be different than years past.

The Trojans are a bit of an unknown there — unlike past years.

Leading the throwers will be sophomore Devon Strobel.

“In the past, we have always had great throwers,” Metz said. “Coach Gibbons has been working hard with them. Devon (Strobel) was our fourth thrower last year, so he is really going to have to step up.”

Kleinheinz will be a long jumper.

“He high jumped for us last year, but I think we are going to move him out of there and just start clean and look for some guys to step up,” Metz said.

The pole vaulters will be senior Gabe Cusick and junior Ethan Martin.

“Gabe (Cusick) is vaulting for the fourth year,” Metz said. “He is banged up right now, so I am not sure what his status is. Ethan Martin is a kid who just competed in the state indoor meet and has improved by leaps and bounds from last year.”

As always, one of the goals will defending the MVL title.

Metz said that won’t be easy.

“Tipp (Tippecanoe) and Piqua battled it out for second last year and Tipp edged Piqua out,” Metz said. “Both of those teams are loaded. They both have everybody back. Those are two really good teams. Hopefully, we can compete at the top again.”

After having a very busy first week of the season to start with.