By William /

CANTON – Despite being a small school, the Canton/Galva track and field team made some waves in 2021 with a state champion and several medalists, good enough for the Eagle boys to place second in the Wheat State League, fourth at state regionals and twelfth at the state meet.

Looking to repeat some of that success in 2022, the Eagles will be led once again by Tina McMannis who will be in her seventh season as the head coach of the track and field program for Canton/Galva, with assistance from Lyle Silsby.

While the Eagle boys will need to replace two key seniors in throwers Tyler Rummel and Conner Koehn, they do return arguably one of the best athletes in the state in senior Tyson Struber. All Struber did last spring was to take first in the 200 meters and fifth in the 100 meters at the state championship meet after winning both at the Wheat State League meet.

Returning to help Struber on the boys team will be two dynamic distance runners in seniors Christian Darrah and Morgan Becker. All the duo did last spring was dominate at distance running with Darrah earning a state medal by taking seventh at state in the 3,200 meters, finished second at the league meet in the 1,600 meters, and second in the 2021 state cross-country meet, while Becker won both the 3,200 and 800 meters at the league meet, finished thirteenth at the state cross-country meet before closing out his junior year with a medal for finishing sixth in the 3,200 meters at state.

Also returning in 2022 with hopes of building on last season success will be Lane McMannis, who as just a freshman won the league title in the 300 hurdles.

The entire league champion and fifteenth placing at state 4×400 meter relay team returns as well in Darrah, Struber, McMannis and junior Tanner Koehn.

Five fresh faces fresh faces will be joining the Eagle boys including two freshman, Nathaniel Erskin and Brayden O’Hara plus junior Isaiah Patton, sophomore Wyatt Collins (who had much success throwing in junior high), and senior Ethan Alkire a runner from the cross-country team.

The coaches are also expecting two others, junior Preston Minson, and sophomore Jaden Ediger to improve in the throws, sprints, and jumps.

“The boys team returns all of last year’s state qualifiers,” noted Coach McMannis. “We hope to use that experience and leadership to build a successful season. Even with the small numbers, the boys team was runner-up at the 2021 Wheat State League meet while bringing home seven league championships.”

For the Lady Eagle tracksters, they will be led by junior Mimi Craig who medaled by finishing fourth at state in the shot put, and sophomore Emily Lance who placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles at state regionals last spring as just a freshman.

The Lady Eagles will need to replace graduates Sarah Kendall and Aleah Peters.

Coach McMannis concluded her pre-season reflections by saying, “The girls will be led by state medalist Mimi Craig and sophomore Emily Lance who gained valuable experience in her hurdle races last season. We look for Emily to get stronger and show improvement for 2022.”

The Canton/Galva track teams will open the 2022 season on Friday, April 1 on the road at Bennington before traveling to Marion on Tuesday, April 5.

(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at