CENTERVILLE – The Centerville High School boys track team is loaded with talent and is possibly favored to repeat as South Central Conference champions this season after finishing first at the SCC meet a year ago.

Centerville has six returning state qualifiers that will form an impressive nucleus for the squad.

Logan Danko (200, 4 x 200, 4 x 100), Levi Long (800), Wallace Carter (discus, shot put), Jason Harwell (shuttle hurdle relay, 4 x 100), Ethan Moorman (shuttle hurdle relay), and Tye Oden (4 x 200 relay) each competed at the 2007 State Track Meet in Des Moines.

Carter, a senior, won the 3A discus championship two years ago and took third last season. He also finished 16th in the shot put at the state meet.

Long crossed the finish line 14th in the 3A 800 meter run in Des Moines last season while the Centerville 4 x 200 meter relay team (Harwell, Oden, Kyle Kauzlarich and Zeth Finch) placed 17th, although Kauzlarich graduated and Finch is not on the team this season.

“We’re really improving right now. We have a lot of returners and we’re really pleased with everyone’s development so far. We’ve had three meets – two indoor and one outdoor,” commented Centerville head coach Jim McCord.

The Big Reds will have a well-balanced team that will be tough to beat in running and throwing events.

“I think our team strengths are probably the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,600 meter run,” said McCord. “Not only do we have the best thrower in the state in Wallace Carter, we have a pretty good group of supporting characters there. I know coach Clark is excited about that and we need those points. We’re pretty strong in most of the running events and the throws.”

Centerville may also win a few meets prior to the SCC meet in early May.

“We worry about winning one meet and that’s the conference meet. It’s going to be really tough this year. I think Eddyville-Blakesburg has some top-end talent that is outstanding and Albia is really coming along,” stated McCord.

Hurdles and long distance could be a weakness for the Big Reds this season.

“We have some holes this year. Last year I think we scored in all 17 events. Right now, the hurdles are a concern. We have some people that are going to try it. Our jumps are okay but we really need to shore up the hurdles. We don’t have a 3,200 meter runner, which is going to hurt us a little bit,” added McCord.

The Big Reds hit the track on Tuesday, April 8 in Chariton at the Charger Relays.

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