Greg Slade had built a yearly track and field contender at Rose Hill, and part of the reason why he accepted the job at Campus before last season was because it was a rebuilding challenge.
After a season of implementing Slade’s training, Campus is showing signs this season of becoming a threat in every event with its boys team. It’s the kind of progress Slade wants to see from a program that’s improving.
Campus had three individual champions at its small-meet debut at Eisenhower, and then finished third at the more competitive Winfield Invitational last Thursday. The Colts will compete at the Maize Invitational on Friday.
“We’ve got over 80 boys out for track this year and we have a strong senior class, but we’re still really young,” Slade said. “I feel like our overall success is going to come down to us having the ability to score in a majority of the events, which I think we can do.”
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Junior Jordan Cox is an emerging talent in the jumps, as he set personal-bests in Winfield in the high jump by clearing 6-foot-4 and and in the triple jump at 41-10. He also is competitive in the long jump.
But the difference for Campus has come with the depth Slade has established in all events.
Mario Ponds, John Becker, Harold Craig, Tony Letterman and Federico Harvey are all good sprinters, and then the Colts’ cross country stable of runners has transferred over to the track with Jon Fleming, Aaron Lindsay, Jon Greenlee, and Paul Johnson.
Noah Childers is becoming a threat in the hurdles, while Cox is joined by Arturo Netherland and Caleb Parker in the jumps. Jessiah Lowe and Blake Janes do all three throws, while Quinton Wiseman throws the javelin.
It’s a foundation that Slade thinks will establish Campus as a threat and not just for this season.
“I feel like we can score in just about every event,” Slade said. “All three of our relays are pretty competitive and the events we’re not scoring in right now, we’ve talked to some kids about that and we feel like they’re capable of scoring in those.”
Frausto shines — Alyssa Frausto has carved out a good reputation from her cross country success, but the track is where the Northwest sophomore blossoms.
In longer cross country races Frausto’s sprinting ability is not as advantageous as it is during track season, where she specializes in the 800-meter run and the 1600.
“Cross country is a good sport for her,” said Northwest coach Ron Russell, who works with Frausto in both sports, “but track is really her thing. She is outstanding on the track.”
Frausto’s kick is so good that Russell has to fend off his own sprinting coaches in practice.
“They’ve been hounding me consistently to let her come over and run on the 4x1 and 4x4 teams,” Russell said. “That’s a nice thought, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen.”
Frausto’s season debut April 2 at the Southeast Invitational was impressive, as she won both of her races in solid times of 2:30.00 and 5:22.50.
On Friday, Frausto will be tested in the elite 1600 race at the Pre-State Challenge at Wichita State. She also ran in the elite 800 race Thursday evening.
“She’s super competitive and hates to lose any race at any time,” Russell said. “Even when we’re running in practice, she has to be first. She’s going to give it everything she’s got every time out.”