COACH BEGINS 8th SEASON
CANTON – Beginning her 24th season working with track/field and season eight as the head coach for Canton/Galva, Tina McMannis welcomes back several state qualifiers while noting that higher numbers of athletes will key the success for the Eagles in 2023.
In previous seven seasons heading up the track/field program, McMannis has had 23 Eagles qualify for state while bringing home 17 state medals and one state champion.
“Our numbers have grown this season which will give our team more ability to score points at meets,” noted coach McMannis. “We have returning state level athletes on both the girls and boys teams as well.”
During the 2022 season, the Eagle boys captured titles at the Wheat State League meet in five events including Tyson Struber in both the 100 and 200 meters, Christian Darrah in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters plus Lane McMannis in the 300-meter hurdles. As a team the boys finished fourth at the league meet, fourth in state regionals and 18th at the state meet.
Four Canton/Galva athletes qualified for the 2022 state meet with Mimi Craig placing 12th overall in the shot put for the Lady Eagles. For the Eagle boys, Tyson Struber, Christian Darrah, and Lane McMannis all went to the state meet where Struber placed 4th in the 200 meters, 7th in the javelin and 9th in the 100 meters while McMannis finished 9th in the 300-meter hurdles as just a sophomore and Darrah placed 7th in the 3,200 meters and 8th in the 1,600 meters.
Unfortunately both Struber and Darrah have graduated with Struber playing football at Kansas State University and Darrah running both track and cross country for the Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons. Also graduating was Morgan Becker and four-year competitor in distance running and a team leader while 2023 senior TJ Koehn is not doing track/field while recovering from an injury suffered during the football season.
Coach McMannis is excited to see what transpires with the transfer in of senior Jett Vincent from Axtell/Grinnell where he was a state qualifier in both the 100 and 200 meters. Vincent has already proven his value for both the football and basketball teams while he gets ready to attend Colorado State University next fall to play football.
While only senior Mimi Craig returns to lead the Lady Eagles, Lane McMannis returns for his junior season with the league title in hand for the 300-meter hurdles. Wyatt Collins, a junior will be back in the shot put where his 2022 best was 36-feet-6.5 inches and discus (best of 111-feet-1-inch) as will be senior Isaiah Patton who has a career best run of 12.15 seconds in the 100 meters.
Referencing Eagle boys, coach McMannis added, “Both Jett (Vincent) and Lane (McMannis) have state level experience. Senior Isaiah Patton and junior Wyatt Collins competed well at regionals last spring and are hoping to improve and make a trip to the state meet this season after missing out in 2022. Senior Preston Minson, junior Jaden Ediger, plus sophomores Nathanial Erskin and Brayden O’Hara are also returnees. The Eagle boys will have several newcomers to watch including junior Caden Marley along with freshmen Jayden Barnett, Trevor Erskin, and John Erskin.
Two freshman Lady Eagles that have the coaches excited about will be Trinity Espinoza and Jordyn Ellior as Espinoza was Wheat State League 2022 8th-grade champion in the long jump and Elliot was a 2022 8th-grade league champion in the 100-meter hurdles.
In discussing the Lady Eagles, coach McMannis said, “Mimi (Craig) has multiple years of state level experience and will need to be a leader for a relatively young group of girls. Other than juniors Emily Lance and Emma Herrera, the entire Lady Eagle team will be freshmen coming off a successful 8th-grade track season including Jordyn Elliot, Trinity Espinoza, Jayden Orth, and Makinlee Hoppes.”
Coach McMannis concluded her reflections on the upcoming 2023 season by explaining, “We have a pretty tough opening schedule with Invitationals at both Bennington and Lyons in our first two weeks while some athletes will also travel to the Shocker Pre-State Classic in Wichita in the back half of the season.”
The Eagle track/field teams will open the 2023 season with road meets at Bennington on both Friday, March 31 and Tuesday, April 4 followed by the Lyons Invitational on Thursday, April 6.
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