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Men's Track and Field Builds 2014-2015 Team
The men’s track team has only been able to score a total of 36 points over the past five track Region VI meets. With an average of less than eight points per meet, the Pratt Beavers frequently finished towards the bottom of the region.
Now, three sprinters from Alabama and a solid group of Kansas recruits hope to turn the tide and put Pratt back on top for the 2014-2015 season.
Here’s a list of the current track signings:
Kendrick Smith (Decatur, Ala.), pictured on the right, is one of Alabama’s top sprinters. His 10.66 (F.A.T) 100 meter time will contend for the state championship in May. He backs that up with a 21.13 200 meter and 49.75 400 meter. He’s also a threat in the field events as he’s long jumped over 20 feet and cleared 6’ 4’’ in the high jump.
Detrius McGuire (Decatur, Ala.) is one of Smith's teammates and looks to team up with Smith on Pratt’s 4x400 relay. His 23.1 200 and 52.3 400 times put him in position to reach the next level during the 2015 season.
Tyler Smith (Decatur, Ala.), pictured on the left, is one of the more versatile athletes joining the Pratt family next year. His 22.1 200 time and 49.8 400 time will make him a strong leg of the 4x400. He’s also a solid triple-jumper with a personal best of 44’ 9’’.
Steven Black (Halstead, Kan.) will be throwing for the Beavers next season. He’s been throwing the discus for as long as he can remember and looks to solidify the field portion of the team.
Joining Black in the throws will be the return of Cole Patton (Medicine Lodge, Kan.). Patton is currently throwing for Pratt and will be veteran of what should be a large class of throwers next season.
Payton Miller (Kiowa County, Kan.) will also be helping out in the field events as his specialty is the pole vault.
He’ll have an experienced teammate, as Blade Torline (Hodgeman County, Kan.) will return to vault for a second season at Pratt.
Aaron Mayer (Wabaunsee, Kan.) is a sprinter with range from the 100-400. He has been running relays and open events for his high school team for the last four years and is another key addition to the currently short-staffed sprinting crew.
Darius Slaughter (Houston, Texas) and Anthony Soto (Winfield, Kan.) are two of Pratt’s top returning track athletes. Slaughter has been running the 400 hurdles and open 400 for the Beavers this season. He’s also been continuing to improve in the long jump. Soto is a jumps specialist, focusing on the long and triple jumps. With a larger team to work with next season, both Soto and Slaughter will receive competition in practice that has been lacking for much of this season.
“We are fortunate to get three high-level competitors from Alabama," says Head Coach Dan Adler. "In talking with them, one thing is very apparent: all three are hungry to compete in our competitive region. They know we don’t have the best facilities, but like most of the recruits, they are taking that as a challenge and are looking forward to turning heads next January.”
Coach Adler is also enthusiastic about the signees from Kansas.
“The three Kansas men we’ve signed so far are all high-character, dedicated athletes. On their campus visits, I was impressed with their focus and drive. It’s that dedication that will lead them to be successful on the track and in the classroom.”
In regards to the returning team members, Coach Adler had these remarks:
“The four guys we have coming back from this year’s team will be rewarded with a much stronger team next year. It’s not been the easiest year with the transition of coaches, but these four men persevered through some rough times and I think it’ll make them appreciate success that much more. Those guys deserve a lot of credit. It would have been easy to walk away from the program.”