It wasn't that long ago that Wellsville-Middletown head track and field coach John Slovensky was basically working with a handful of athletes, all of which must have felt incredibly intimidated by the numbers all the other teams were working with.
That's because, in order to come out on top, the Tigers runners didn't have to beat just one runner from the other team, they had to defeat every runner from the other team, and if it was a tri or a quad meet, the odds of victory simply grew from there. Now it's a different story, though.
Teams are starting to win under the current Wellsville-Middletown regime. The baseball team finished second in the state. The boys basketball team made it to the district title game. Last year even the track and field team made its mark at the state meet as Seth Oliver went out with a bang in his final performance as a four-year varsity standout for the Tigers. Now the question is what lies ahead for this years boys and girls Wellsville-Middletown track squads, and who is going to get them there.
"We graduated three boys, most notably Seth Oliver, who earned All-State distinction in the 100m dash," said Slovensky. "We have four freshmen boys this year on the team and a total of three boys joining our team that have never competed in track and field. We hope to have a couple of sprint relay teams put together soon and compete in those events all season."
Even though the future looks bright for the boys in 2017-18, the girls outlook isn't quite so bright. That's because, just like the Lady Tigers softball and basketball teams this year, the track team simply doesn't have the participation level it needs to compete at the level it wants to.
"On the girls' side we are down to four members of our team. We have three sophomores and one junior," Slovensky said. "We plan to be competitive in the 4x800m relay and distance events with our squad. It has been a while since we've had a female state qualifier in track and field and we hope that might happen again this year."
Competing for the boys squad this year includes Tyler Bunch in the throwing events and Jacob Huff in the hurdles while the girls 4x800 relay Team consists of Hannah Slovensky, Lucy Schnitker, Elizabethn Burdick and Ariana Carmichael. Schnitker will also compete in the middle distance races and Hannah Slovensky will run in the distance events.