Head coach: David Seawright
Assistant coaches: Jennifer Fancher, distance runners; Tauheed Ferguson and Zach Howard, sprinters; Kevin Johnson, pole vault and jumpers; Matt Gerbig, throwers
Key female athletes: senior Samira Barnett, sprinter and high Jumper, school record holder in the 200-meter dash and runs on the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams; senior Joanna Gross, sprinter and long jumper, two-time state qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles, runs the 400-meter and is a member of the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams; senior Cassidy Hunter, 2018 state qualifier in the pole vault and the girls’ pole vault school record holder (10 feet, 1 inch).
Key male athletes: senior Kevin Haley Jr., two-time state qualifier in the 400-meter run (third place in 2019), school record holder in the 200-meter and 400-meter runs and a member of the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams; senior Shaan Cook, 2019 state qualifier in the long jump and school record holder for the event, runs on the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams; senior Jared Clark, 2019 sectionals qualifier in the triple jump, runs on the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams; junior Tauheed Ferguson, two-time state qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles (third in 2019) and school record holder for the event, runs on the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams; senior Tyrik Sims, member of state-qualifying 4x100-meter relay team in 2019, also takes part in the long jump, the 110-meter hurdles and other sprint events; junior Brock Keadle, 2019 state qualifier in the pole vault.
Girls’ team strengths and weaknesses: The Lady Wildcats return a number of solid athletes, and Seawright said the coaching staff made a push to increase the numbers in the program, seeing an increase from 32 athletes in 2019 to 48 this spring. The girls’ team does have some youth and inexperience in many areas and “must become knowledgeable about track and field,” Seawright said, adding that the extra depth should improve the competition within the program.
Boys’ team strengths and weaknesses: Depth is a major strength, Seawright said, as the program has over 70 athletes. Both the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams return experienced athletes and the distance groups (1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs) are benefiting from added competition. The program is full of young throwers with little experience, Seawright said, adding that the team is looking for some 800-meter runners to step up and for improvement in the hurdles and pole vault.
Region outlook: Seawright pegged defending GHSA 8-AAAAAA girls’ champion Dacula and defending boys’ co-champions Dacula and Lanier as the favorites “until someone steps up to challenge them.”
Season outlook: Both teams defeated Clarke Central in a season-opening time trials event Feb. 12 and will compete next at Parkview on Saturday, Feb. 22. He said the newcomers’ improvement and work ethic throughout the spring will determine the girls’ team’s success. “I believe that we have a chance to become region champions again (second time in three years) if we all work hard,” Barnett said. Seawright said the boys’ program has “fantastic” leadership and work ethic from the senior class and will have to “work extremely hard to obtain our goals because the region is full of talented programs, coaches and athletes.” Clark said the team is gunning for a region title. “Even though there is work to be done, we are ready to compete with anyone this season,” he said.