2021 Track and Field Preview

After a year layoff, the track team is ready to go.


Colin Ring

The track team warms up before a hard workout.

Last spring, the track and field team’s season ended before it even started with the appearance of the COVID pandemic, making them all the more eager to compete this year. The squad returns loads of talent in numerous events, including school record holder in the pole vault, Gus Wilkerson, senior, and 2019 state medalist in the discus as a freshman, LJ Minner, junior.

Wilkerson, who also runs the 100 and 200 meter dashes for the team, is looking to take his talents to new heights.

“My main goal is to top [his own] school record [in the pole vault] by at least a foot and a half so hit 13’. On top of that I want to go sub 11.3 in the 100 and depending on the team beat the 4×1 school record,” said Wilkerson.

Like Wilkerson, Minner has also been an extremely important member to the team over the past few years. Although he is well known as Westminster’s star running back, Minner’s athletic prowess in track and field cannot be overlooked.

Placing eighth in the discus as a freshman two years ago, Minner is a natural talent who has the unique potential to be one of the best in the state this year. His aptitude for the throws is gentitc as well, as Minner’s sister, Adrianna, set the school record in the shot put and finished fifth at state in both the shot put and the discus as a senior in 2019.

Similarly, Annessa Shively, senior, is also an exceptional multi-sport athlete. Shively, who is committed to play soccer for the Arkansas Razorbacks next year, is looking forward to her final track season.

“My favorite thing about track is hanging out with the team at meets and running as the anchor in the 4×4 because there’s so much adrenaline and it’s the last race of the day. I’m just excited we get to have a season since we didn’t last year,” said Shively.

If all goes according to plan, Shively is not afraid to say that she hopes to own a spot atop the track and field record board.

“My goals for this season are to break the school record in the 400 and 800,” said Shively.

Finally, the distance team also returns a lot of talent from this year’s cross country team. XC Varsity runners Hunter Freiner, Hayden Turley, Caleb Moellenhoff, Thomas Gorline, Colin Ring, and Connor Venneman, all seniors, have all taken their talents to the squad and hope to build upon their cross country success.

Freiner, who already owns a top ten school 5k, looks to set personal bests in three different events this year.

“This season I am hoping to break 9:40 in the two mile, break 4:40 in the mile, and break 2:05 in the 800,” said Freiner. “It is awesome to grow and get faster with others around you, and push yourself to the limit to run as hard as you can. I am looking forward to seeing myself improve individually, and see how fast myself and others can run as the season progresses.”