BROOKVILLE — Coming off a state runner-up team finish and its third straight District 9 Class 2A title with the most points scored since 1980, expectations for the upcoming track and field season were sky-high once again for the Brookville Raiders.
Even with the loss of 58 individual points scored at districts lost to graduation, the Raiders rolled into this spring as the favorite for a four-peat.
It’s hard to argue had the spring been a normal one, but it isn’t for obvious reasons with the coronavirus pandemic putting everything on hold, perhaps for good. But it’s interesting to see what could’ve happened.
Senior Ian Thrush, a recent Duquesne recruit and commit, is back after already establishing himself as the most decorated Raider in program history with his eight state medals and eight D9 titles. He was the state runner-up in the 200-meter dash and ran a leg on the runner-up 4x100 relay. He was fourth in the 100 dash and ran a leg on the seventh-place medaling 4x400 relay.
Juniors Jack Krug and Kyle MacBeth are also back from the medaling relays, Krug in both and MacBeth in the 4x400. That trio and four-event D9 placer Cameron Hooven, a senior, head a still very talented roster.
So another D9 title and solid shot at finishing high again in the team standings at states were on the team’s checklist going into the spring.
“The team’s D9 title goal with the guys who have been around, Bryce (Baughman), Cameron, Ian, Wyatt (Kulik), the seniors who have been on the team for four years, it’d be cool to give them no experience other than winning a district championship,” Raiders head coach Dan Murdock, whose team rolled through a perfect dual meet season for the first time ever at 9-0.
“That was the goal for sure there and then like it always is, to see how many kids we can get down to the state meet and who we can put in the best position to medal.”
While Thrush heads that list of medal contenders (see accompanying story), there are others with more than a realistic shot to score plenty of postseason points with shots at state medals.
The returning medaling relays are still contenders, certainly at the D9 level. MacBeth likely slides into the 4x100 with Thrush and Krug along with the 4x400. He finished fourth in the 400 dash and javelin, so he’ll be a valuable asset again as will Krug in both relays and any of the sprints.
Krug was second and third in the 400 and 200 dash respectively at districts last year, qualifying for states in both, but just running the 200. He reached the semifinal round and finished 14th.
Where Murdock finds his other relay legs wasn’t finalized obviously, but he felt pretty good with more than one option among his 41-man roster.
Hooven scored in four events, including all three jumps with two fifths in the long and triple jumps and a sixth in the high jump. He also placed seventh in the 110 hurdles.
“Cam did some different things indoors this winter and he started to put some decent hurdle races together,” Murdock said. “The jumps indoors, it’s really tough because we don’t have anywhere to work on any of it so it’s just showing up on meet day and jumping. But it was going to be how the season progressed in which events he’d do. He was the number one or number two guy in the hurdles so that was something I was pushing in that direction because that you know there’s a chance to get to the state meet. But he’s also got that potential on any three of the jumps to get there.”
The Raiders return all four of their 4x800 runners who put together a fifth-place finish at districts with senior Bryce Baughman, junior Hayden Kramer and sophomores Garner McMaster and Calvin Doolittle. Baughman also scored points in the 3,200 run with a sixth while Doolittle qualified in the 800, placing 11th.
Sophomore Ian Pete qualified in the 300 hurdles, finishing 11th while all three pole vaulters who qualified are back, two of them scoring with top six finishes with fifth-place junior Tim Park, sixth-place senior Griffen Wolfe along with senior Wyatt Kulik, who was eighth.
The only other thrower back who qualified for districts was sophomore Cameron Moore, who was 11th in the javelin.
The rest of the combined coaching staff includes girls’ head coach Doug Roseman, Dana MacBeth, Ryan Young, John MacBeth, J. Dan Murdock and Hannah Sansom.
Seniors: Bryce Baughman, Luc Doolittle, Cameron Hooven, Wyatt Kulik, Ian Thrush, Griffen Wolfe.
Juniors: Brad Byerly, Vincent Doan, Robert Keth, Creed Knepp, Hayden Kramer, Jack Krug, Kyle MacBeth, Chase Palmer, Tim Park, J.P. Young.
Sophomores: Dakotah Davis, Joe Deibler, Calvin Doolittle, Alex Esposito, Shawn Foster, Hunter Geer, Ryan Geer, Bay Harper, Tate Lindermuth, Garner McMaster, Cameron Moore, Ian Pete, Jamison Rhoades, A.J. Sedor, Hunter Smith, Elias Troutman.
Freshmen: Gabe Bailey, Brody Barto, Miles Bogash, Braiden Davis, Isaac Hetrick, Brayden Kunselman, Hunter Rupp, Truman Sharp, Gideon Waterbury.