Peco, Central running in lead position to begin 2000 season
Central's boys track coach Jeff Hallback doesn't think of his team as the front-runner, even if nearly everyone else does. "There's too many unknowns," said Hallback. "People move, people get hurt. You just never know, so I don't think of it that...
Central's boys track coach Jeff Hallback doesn't think of his team as the front-runner, even if nearly everyone else does.
"There's too many unknowns," said Hallback. "People move, people get hurt. You just never know, so I don't think of it that way. I do think we've got some talent."
The two-time defending Lake Superior Conference champions are hoping that talent pushes them to a remarkable third straight title this year.
The Trojans' hopes begin with super sophomore Rolando Peco, who qualified for the Minnesota State Meet last year in the 100 and the long jump.
"He's the most outstanding track athlete I've seen in 18 years of track at any level," said Duluth East head coach Bill Elliot.
Peco's eligibility, based on where he currently lives, has been a source of concern for the Trojans of late, but last week Peco told a relieved Central coaching staff that he would be a Trojan this season. That's good news for Duluth Central and bad news for the rest of the LSC.
Central, however, is not a one-man army. Its biggest strength, in fact, may be its depth.
Tri-captains Kevin Holubar, Kamden Vedder and Matt Leibfried will provide the squad's backbone in 2000. Each were state qualifiers: Holubar in the discus, Vedder in sprints and Leibfried in cross country last fall.
Vedder, a football star in the fall, shifts his game to the track in the spring and has all the natural running tools needed to excel, says his coach.
"He's an excellent athlete, and he's looking very good," said Hallback. "He's got a phenomenal amount of talent, he's a good kid, and he's got some things to prove."
As does Leibfried, who will be making his track comeback from a knee injury this spring.
Another Trojan working on a post-knee injury comeback is senior Andrew Howard, one of the section's top hurdlers. He's joined by fellow seniors Matt Herrick, the versatile Bud Trnka, Phil Wood, James Yardley and Adam Anderson, who has bettered his personal records from last year already in the shot and discus events.
Ben Schumaker and Adam Huot, both state relay performers last year, are in the mix as juniors this season as well, making the Trojans tough to beat from top to bottom.
You might even call them the front-runners, unless you're Hallback.