Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 12, 2014

Rams gear up for track season

Travel to Salem for opening outdoor meet

By Paul Hines


The Rams track and field team will look to a solid senior group of athletes to pile up the points this season.

This group of seniors just all the way down the line every single one of them are going to be counted on and have the ability to contribute in a big way for us,” Mt. Vernon coach Clint Turner said.

The senior group is highlighted by all-stater Joseph McDaniel. Last year as a junior McDaniel finished ninth at the 2A state meet with a pole vault leap of 13 feet, nine inches.

David Modert and Jordan Wilemon are both four-year competitors, who will run in the distance events.

Those guys have been with us all four years, contributed at the (South Seven) Conference meet level and the state meet level,” Turner said. “They should be able to help us out running with the top people in Southern Illinois, if not the state of Illinois and doing real well for us.”

Brykell Patton, who also runs cross country with Modert and Wilemon, will compete in the hurdles. Last year was his first season in the event.

He's been able to work indoors a little bit with that,” Turner said. “He's definitely shown some improvement.”

The Rams will look to Nic Meyer in the weight events of shot put and discus. He hurled a personal best during the shot put at a recent indoor meet.

I think just on his strength gains, he's going to be able to throw some good, good improvements in the shot or the disc,” Turner said.

Seniors Robert Grider and Crayton Turner will anchor the sprint group. Both were part of the 800 relay team that placed second at the SIU Indoor Meet.

Mt. Vernon opens the season with a pair of indoor events. The Rams traveled to Southern Illinois University to start the year. The meet doesn't keep track of team scores, but Turner said it serves as a valuable asset for his team.

It's hard to find a guy that can actually practice with the (same) intensity as a meet,” Turner said. “So you have a tendency to run a little harder and strain a little more.”

Mt. Vernon has a pair of home meets this season. The Rams host a five-team event on Wednesday, April 9. The Ram Relays follow in May.

In addition to the seniors, the Rams will look for solid performances from several underclassmen. Demontez Miller-Gray and TraVontae Wilborn will contribute as sprinters. Daniel Flood will compete in distance events. Ethan Badger will run the 800 meters. The Rams also have track newcomer Shakari Hawkins, who will compete in the jumps and could move into the sprints. Freshman Nate Williamson will also compete in the weight events.

Mt. Vernon travels to Salem in its opening outdoor meet of the season on Thursday, March 27.