Bellwood boys track and field team in sight of successful season


Zach Miller

The B-A track team is looking to hunt down another ICC title.

Jack Luensmann, Staff Writer

The 2020 boys track and field season came to an early close due to the COVID-19 shutdown in March of last year. But with the 2021 season underway, the boys are more ready than ever to get going. Despite last season being cancelled, the squad is looking for their seventh consecutive ICC title. Along with some new faces from the freshman class, the team has some returning players adding to their spread of talent.

Senior Zach Mallon is looking to make his mark at B-A in his final season of high school track. As a sophomore, Zach placed first in the triple jump and second in the long jump along with the Outstanding Jumper award at the 2019 ICC meet. At the 2019 District VI meet, Mallon placed ninth in the long jump with a measurement of nineteen feet and four inches and seventh in the triple jump with a measurement of forty feet and six inches. Mallon will take a part in the 4 x 100 relay, long jump, triple jump, and high jump events this year.

On the field side, senior Joe Wertz has his sights set to beat the 70-year-old school record for the shot put, currently held by Otto Kneidenger, with a distance of fifty-one feet and four and a half inches. Also as a sophomore, Joe threw for a new meet record in the shot put at the 2019 ICC meet with a distance of fifty feet and two inches along with placing fifth in the discus. He would go on to win the Outstanding Thrower award at the meet. Wertz placed second in the 2019 District VI meet for the shot put with a distance of forty-nine feet and three and three-fourths inches. Joe also placed eighth in discus with a measurement of 119 feet and nine inches.

Some other returning seniors are Preston Wilson, participating in the 800-meter dash as well as the 1600-meter dash, Kenny Robison taking place in the 3200-meter dash, and Hunter Gregg and Noah Patton taking part in the pole vault.

Junior Cooper Keen is hopeful for the up-and-coming season. “We have some good athletes returning, and we should do good in all categories, especially our relay teams,” Cooper said. Keen will participate in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 4 x 100-meter relay, 4 x 400-meter relay.

Coach Lovrich said the year layoff has disrupted the normal progression of participants from freshman on up, which presents a challenge for the team.

“With not having a season last year we are trying to find places for everyone to help benefit them individual and us as a team,” Coach Lovrich said.

The boys’ first meet is the Altoona Invitational on March 27th. Best of luck to the boys on the track and field!