TROY — There is no question depth is always a good thing.
But, Troy track and field coach Deon Metz said it almost to the extreme with the Troy squad this year.
“This is by far the largest team I have ever had here,” Metz said. “You always want to have numbers, but with this many, it is going to take us awhile into the season to get everything sorted out.”
Metz has a lot of options at every event.
In the sprints, senior Colin Stoltz leads the way.
“Colin (Stoltz) is coming off a great year last year,” Metz said. “He was one of the top sprinters in the MVL. He is a guy who can run the 100, 200, 4×100, 4×200. He was running indoor track for a little bit this winter, but he has an injury. We are just waiting to get him healthy.”
Senior Willie Richey is another top sprinter.
“He really came on last year,” Metz said. “He can run the 100, 200, 400.”
Junior Braeden Verceles and sophomore Creighton Verceles will also be counted on, along with junior Antonia Gonzales.
“Braeden (Verceles) and Antonio (Gonzales)are our top hurdlers and Creighton (Verceles) can run the 100, 200,” Metz said.
Sophomores Luke Harnish and Dakota Manson should also make an impact and seniors Nick Kawecki and Nick Prince are out for the first team after success in other sports.
“I am excited to see what those two guys (Nick Kawecki, Nick Prince) can do,” Metz said.
The middle distance runners will be led by Gavin Hutchinson.
“You can’t talk about that without talking about Gavin (Hutchinson),” Metz said. “He is a kid who I could put in almost any race and he would do well. He will be running for Wright State next year. He is a great 800 runner, but he can do the 400 too.”
There is a solid core of distance runners led by seniors Kyle McCord and Luke Plaisier, junior Cooper Gambrell and sophomore Noah Zink.
“They are all off the cross country team,” Metz said. “There is another group after that. It will be interesting to see how it works out.”
Returning state qualifier Ethan Martin is back for his senior year in the pole vault. And he has the school record of 15-6 in his sights.
“He did 15-2 in indoors this year,” Metz said. “The school record won’t be easy, but it is something he has a shot at. He had a good indoor season.”
The high jumpers will be Gonzales and Braeden Verceles and Creighton Verceles and sophomore Cameron Stoltz will be the long jumpers.
“We don’t have a lot of guys back from last year, so we will see how these guys do,” Metz said.
Junior Devon Strobel leads the throwers.
“He has been throwing really well and has been our top thrower,” Metz said. “We are excited to see what he does.”
Other throwers include juniors Max Chipley, Parker Nichols and Cameron Allison and sophomores Kyle Knorpp and Austin Zapfe.
Metz sees the MVL as strong as ever.
“As we have gotten better, everyone else keeps getting stronger,” Metz said. “You can go right down the list. Piqua, Tippecanoe, Butler, Greenville, Sidney. I think the conference is going to be really balanced.”
And Metz knows it could take a little while to figure out just what he has.
“You would like to think we could learn a lot in the first couple weeks,” he said. “But, with this many kids, it is probably going to take awhile. The first meet is Saturday and that is all open races, no relays. That is probably a good thing to help me figure out who to put in what relay. You are probably not going to see our best team until midway through the season.”
Which is not a bad things for a team that has as much depth as it has had in years.