NEWTON -- There’s no replacing former star pole vaulter Mitch Mammoser at Newton High School.
The senior won his second straight class 1A pole vaulting state championships before heading to the University of Illinois to continue his career.
But it won’t be up to just one Eagle to replace Mammoser, the Eagles will be making it up in the aggregate, said coach Todd Short.
“In other spots, we’ll try to bump our points in some of the relays,” he said. “If everybody stays healthy and everything works out, I think we can make those points up. We have the makings to have another good season.”
Brandon Tolliver-Goode, Newton’s new lead pole vaulter, is still a force to be reckoned with. The junior finished eighth in the state in 2011 and fifth last season and should be strong all season long in his first year as an upperclassman. Matthew Tolliver-Goode, Brandon’s brother, and Brock Mammoser will also pole vault.
The strength of the team, as it has been for years, will be the relay teams, specifically in the shorter relays. Last year, the Eagles took second in the state in both the 100-meter and 200-meter relays.
Senior Dylan Johnson is the only returning relay runner from those teams, as Peyton Wyatt, Ridge Finn and Jake Stone all graduated.
“He’s one of our best kids, he medaled at three relays last year,” Short said. “Our strength has always be in our relays.”
Johnson competed in the 4x400 last year and may also move to the 4x800, which both should remain strengths for the Eagles. The 4x400 team took sixth at state last year.
Corey Davidson, Evan Brooks and Luke Stone all will run on the 400 and 800 relay teams, along with Johnson.
The 4x400 team competed at the Illinois Prep Top Times meet in Bloomington over the weekend, taking ninth.
Blake Ebeling also represented Newton at the meet, taking 12th in the high jump with a height of 4 feet 10 inches. He finished 12th, but Short is expecting big things out of the senior.
“Blake’s been to state the last two years in high jump, hopefully he can get back there against this year,” Short said.
The Eagles are breaking in some new sprinters after last season. Short said the Eagles will turn to senior Marcus Pilman and juniors Austin Angel and Gunner Pickens to carry the torch on the sprints this season.
In the hurdles, sophomore Jake Volk should see time in the 60-meter high hurdles while Evan Brooks should handle the 300-meter hurdles.
Dylan Davidson will be tasked with the long and triple jumps, and Short said Davidson’s improvements in both events should help the Eagles pick up some points. Corey Workman will also compete in the triple jump.
Kyle and Johnny Frohning will handle the throwing events, with both compete in the shot put and Kyle Frohning handling the discus. Short said both are steady and will help in the ever-constant battle for points.
After a small indoor season, the Eagles are scheduled to take to the track today in Robinson, taking on Neoga, Marshall and Robinson.
Short is optimistic about his team
“We lost some sprinters, (but) we got a nice core of returning kids,” he said.