There may not be a lot of experience among the members of this season’s Halifax County High School boys and girls indoor track teams, but if work ethic is any indicator, there should be opportunities for success.

There are 11 new athletes on the boys team and 13 on the girls team, with a total of 14 ninth-graders on board between the two teams.

“For a lot of them, this is their first experience with track and field,” said Comets head coach Mary Douglas.

“I think it is a better outlook this season. We have more athletes to choose from for different events. That is a plus.”

One of the advantages of this season’s indoor track teams is that the athletes are working well.

“We have had kids in the past that were good,” Douglas pointed out.

“The advantage we have this year is we have so many (athletes) that have been out here working since the first part of September. The bottom line is they are working.”

The work the athletes are doing now will be an advantage later, Douglas said.

“The things they get now in the indoor season will carry over and help them moving into the outdoor season,” she explained.

“The least we will be doing is getting stronger for the outdoor season.”

One of the goals in front of the teams at this point is finding an event that suits each athlete.

“Our goal is to make sure we have everyone in an event that will be a winner for them,” explained Douglas.

“Even if they are not always winning in a meet, we want them to be in something they enjoy doing and can be successful at it.”

The Comets boys team appears on paper to be a little stronger than the girls team. Five athletes from last year’s boys team return for the 2019-2020 season while three athletes from last year’s squad return for the girls team.

One of the top returnees for the Comets boys team is senior Thomas Lee who has been strong for the Comets in the shot put.

“He is going to be our lead thrower right now,” Douglas said.

“He finished the outdoor season on a good note. We’re looking to him, and hopefully will pick up some more.”

Also returning for this season’s 17-man Comets boys team are junior Tevin Traynham and sophomores Daysun Wilson, Savion Howard and Demetrius Owen.

Typically, the Comets have lacked distance runners, but Douglas says it looks like that is changing this season.

“We have some distance runners on the boys team this season,” she noted.

“Some of the cross country kids have come out, so we have an advantage there. We’re looking at possibly getting a pretty good 4x800-meter relay team together, and that hasn’t happened in a long time.”

The girls team has 16 athletes on the roster with three athletes returning from last year’s team. Those three returning athletes, Senior J’Quaycia Brown, junior Alexis Hubbard and sophomore Tanaya Brandon, headline the squad.

The girls team does not have a group of distance runners as the boys team does, however it does have talent among the total of 13 freshman and sophomore athletes.

“We still don’t have distance runners, but we have a lot of new talent,” Douglas said.

“A lot of them are ninth-graders, some of whom ran track at the middle school. They are a little anxious about competing because it is a new level to them. I feel we have a good group of kids.”

As has been the case in most seasons, the jumping and sprint events will be the stronger of the events for both the boys and girls teams. Douglas said that it will take a couple of meets to find the events that best suits the athletes.

“We’re still trying to determine what areas we’re going to use them in,” she noted.

“The good thing is the competition will give us a better idea of where we can use them. We will do a lot of switching around to see which ones are better equipped for the particular events.”

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com