New faces amid few faces

Track season brings new coaches and smaller team

Senior Emery Driskel stacks up points while taking second in hurdles on April 10 at a varsity meet in Parsons.

Photo by Klair Vogel

Senior Emery Driskel stacks up points while taking second in hurdles on April 10 at a varsity meet in Parsons.

By Jess Oakley & Klair Vogel, Staff Writer

Iola track season started off with a struggle. The team is smaller and is being run by a returning coach with a new position as head coach.

This season, the team only has 22 members; last season there were 32. Finishing out the 2014 season, former head coach Marv Smith was in his 50th year of coaching this year. Faculty member Dana Daugharthy has taken his position. Coach Daugharthy has previously coached Iola football for the past consecutive three seasons and Iola track and field for the past two consecutive seasons; not yet including this season.

Many of the team members believed Coach Daugharthy needed to fill Coach Smith’s shoes. “Marv created quite a legacy at IHS” Coach Daugharthy said “However; I do not think of it as filling his shoes: I think of it as making my own shoes.”

Coach Daugharthy is not the only new coach this season. There are three new coaches; Amy Welch coaching hurdles, Chris Weide coaching short distance, jumping, and Misty Powelson coaching long distance, the only returning coach from previous seasons is Larry Wilson coaching pole vault.

For there being only 22 members on the team this season, only three are seniors: Jo Lohman, Travis Hermstein and Emery Driskel.

“I am slightly disappointed by the size of our team this year, but I suppose it could be worse” said senior Travis Hermstein.

The team may be small, but athletes are working as hard as they can.

“We may not be ready to compete but we are ready to have fun,” senior Driskel said. “I do not remember the exact numbers for last year, but there has been a steady decline in the past 5 years” Daugharthy said. There are more junior varsity members than there are varsity. The 10 freshmen on the team make up nearly half of the squad.

Coach Daugharthy has many expectations for the team this season with one of the expectations being seeing improvement from all individuals on the team and to be competitive as a team.

The team started its season at Labette County on April 2. This is the only meet in the season schedule that included both junior varsity and varsity. However, the meet was not finished due to severe weather predicted in the area at that time.

“The first meet is always a learning experienc,e” Daugharthy said.

The varsity then traveled to Parsons on the 10th. Only five of Iola’s track athletes competed. Driskel placed second in hurdles, first in the intermediate hurdles and second in the 200-meter dash.