(March 22, 2013) A number of Seahawks who competed in indoor track this winter are now participating outdoors, including sophomore Lucas Duker, a 3A state champion high jumper.
Duker’s high jump of 6 feet during the Feb. 19, state indoor meet earned him the title, but he feels it will take heights of 6 feet 2 inches or 6 feet 4 inches to win outdoors.
“I didn’t make it to states last year [outdoors], but at regionals, all the people who beat me were seniors,” he said. “I’m really hoping to get higher heights this season. I think I have a good chance to win states.”
Duker, who is the indoor Bayside and 3A East Regional high jump champion, will also participate in hurdle events.
About 50 boys are competing this season; about half are veterans. Among them are seniors Kyle Kelly (mid-distance/sprints), James Mapp (sprints), Lance Ward (distance), Zach Watters (pole vault) and Dan Winters (mid-Distance), and sophomore Jakhai Woodard (sprints/jumps).
Senior Patrick Phillips launched the shot put 46 feet 4.25 inches, good for seventh place in the indoor state championship. He will throw the shot put and discus outdoors.
Jumpers Colen Gaynor, a sophomore, and freshman Keyon Eley will contribute, as well.
“The boys won the Bayside title this winter and I think they’ll be competitive outdoors,” said Jody Stigler, now in his second year as head coach.
Decatur finished second behind Queen Anne’s during the conference championship last spring.
Stigler said Kelly has stepped up as one of the squad’s leaders.
“I think I’m going to lead the team by showing them my commitment and how my hard work has paid off from my freshman year to my senior year,” he said. “The boys’ team is very solid, [a] much stronger team from our indoor team. We won Baysides [indoors] and I think we’ll take the Bayside title outdoors.”
While Stigler said the boys’ squad is strongest in the field events and sprints, he’s certain the team will be successful as a whole.
“I think we’ll score points everywhere. We’re a pretty deep team,” he said. “We’re strong in almost every event.”
Stigler has some holes to fill on the Lady Seahawks’ squad, but he is confident the girls will be competitive this season. The team went undefeated during the 2012 regular season and captured the Bayside title.
Approximately 50 girls are participating; about half competed in 2012. The Seahawks will be solid in the sprint races and field events, Stigler said, particularly the hurdles.
Katie Collins, a junior, pole vaulted 8 feet 6 inches during the indoor state meet to finished third. She will vault outdoors as well as run sprints and compete in the long jump.
Stigler will count on juniors Rebecca Lederman (sprints) and Chloe Faunt-LeRoy (mid-distance/distance), senior Ameerah Lewis (shot put/discus) and sophomore Emily Kolarik (hurdles) to score points.
“I’m just going to help encourage everyone,” said FauntLeRoy, a three-year runner. “We’ve got a lot of potential and everyone’s working really hard. I’m excited and I think we’ll do really well.”