TEUTOPOLIS — Teutopolis High School will have a new coach for the boys track team this season. Jordan Stallings begins his first year at Teutopolis where he will teach English/speech at the high school.

A graduate of Western Illinois University, Stallings went to school at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. He played basketball in high school but did not go on to play at the college level due to an ACL tear.

"Throughout high school I participated in track practices as a way of staying in shape for basketball, but never actually competed in meets," said Stallings. "Overall for my athletes, I would like for them to enjoy their season, but also be competitive in their respective events."

Stallings will be assisted by Tim Bower, who competed in track at Newton High School, and Levi Antrim, a student teacher at Teutopolis, who competed in track at Stewardson-Strasburg High School.

"I think this year we will be quite well off in our running events," said Stallings. "The 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 will be the events that we should be fairly competitive in. Also, discus and even shot are events where we are quite competitive as well as pole vault.

"Right now, before the meets have even begun, I would have to say much of our weakness will be in high jump and possibly relay events. But we are working on these and shouldn't be worried down the road about performing in these events."

Experienced personnel for the Wooden Shoes include seniors John Runde and Anthony Vahling, juniors Kraig Weber, Alex Kastl, Cody Clark, Karl Doedtman, Justin Repking, Shawn Weber, Jared Ochs and Jared Summers and sophomore Blake Thoele.

"Anthony is a great discus thrower, may even compete in the shot put and has an excellent opportunity with discus events going into May. Also, after high school he will be going into the Air Force Academy in Colorado on a full ride scholarship. An excellent student-athlete and great model for other student-athletes on work ethic and overall attitude.

"John is a shot put thrower and sprinter. He will be competitive this year in all events that he participates in.

"Kraig could be a force to be reckoned with in the discus. He gives Anthony some competition at times.

"Alex went to pole vault camps this summer and should be extremely competitive this season. He could even break the school record.

"Cody wants to be extremely successful in the pole vault but has to compete with Kastl for the top spot, which I believe he can do.

"Karl tries hard all the time and should be a major help in our relays and the 100 and 200 events.

"Justin Repking is a strong distance runner who will make an impact right off the bat. His competition is Jared Summers. But despite this he will be successful with the events he runs.

"Jared's name might be familiar because he was a cross country athlete and went to state this past season in the fall. He's the best distance runner we have, and perhaps the best distance runner in the surrounding area. Several Division I, II and III colleges are interested in him. We'll see how things shape up.

"Blake is out for his first year of track. He is extremely dominant in all sprinting events. I look for him to be extremely successful in all events, including high jump.

"Jacob is right there at the top with Blake. He is one of our best sprinters and will also be successful in all events that he is a part of.

"Shawn is extremely competitive and when he is running hard it seems like it is nothing to him (easy for him)."

Non-lettermen who will make an impact include Justin Probst, Domonic Vahling, Alex McWhorter, Kevin Bradley and Andrew Vahling.

"Justin is a discus and shot put thrower and through the season will develop an extremely good throw in both events. In the long run I believe he will be successful with these events some this year and definitely in his junior and senior seasons.

"Domonic throws discus and is competitive in the event, but he is an extreme}y strong sprinter and is in the top three on our team. He will have an immediate impact this year.

"Pole vault is Alex's main event and he is only a freshman. He is in the shadow of Alex Kastl and Cody Clark, but these are great guys to learn from.

"Kevin has stated that he is not a sprinter, but I'll tell you what, he can jump. Triple and long jump are his events and he is perhaps our best in these two events. He'll have an immediate impact as well.

"Andrew runs hurdles and also other running events, but I expect him to learn from Jarid Lewis and make some sort of impact for us throughout the season."

Coach Stallings commented some of the tougher meets will be Robinson, Charleston, Effingham and perhaps even Mattoon. These are some of the larger schools T-town will compete against.

"We've got an extremely strong group of guys on our team," said Stallings. "One of my main concerns is injuries. As with any sport, athletes do get injured and we have already had a couple of guys pull some of their major muscles, requiring them to sit out a few weeks.

"I also think onsistency is important. Some guys will hit a wall when they are running, preventing them from getting any more flow out of their run. Others might just have an off day which happens, but we would rather have those off days in practice than at a meet."

Millie Lange can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or millie.lange@effinghamdailynews.com.

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