Eric Boll thinks this is the year his Eastern New Mexico University men’s track team could escape the cellar in the Lone Star Conference track meet.
Boll, an ENMU football assistant, is beginning his fifth season with the track program and admits it’s been a challenge trying to build it up.
ENMU’s men and women open their seasons in today’s McMurry University Relays in Abilene, Texas. They continue from there to a meet Saturday at New Mexico State.
“That’s our goal right now,” Boll said. “I really feel confident we can get a couple of teams at the conference meet, if we can stay healthy.”
Boll said the Greyhounds and Zias been productive in indoor and unattached meets.
“We’ve had our best offseason yet,” he said. “We’ve got better attitudes and our kids are working harder.
“I’m happier with this team than any I’ve had.”
The men return two-time Lone Star Conference javelin champion Zach Gerleve, but Boll said the senior from Truth or Consequences could get some stiff competition from former state champions Logan Capps (Class 1A), Robert Griego (Class 3A) and Steven Aragon (Class 5A).
The Hounds expect to be solid in distance events with Kenyan cross country standouts Nimrod Lelei and Felix Boit.
The Zias, on the other hand, probably will have a harder time moving up. Still, Boll said they have also made progress and could do well in field events with freshmen Deidre Brown (shot, discus, javelin) and Hannah Rhoten (long jump, triple jump), and sophomore Stephanie Fitts (discus).
“Deidre is going to have to do a lot for us,” Boll said. “She’s by far our best athlete on the girls’ side.”
5 — McMurry University Relays at Abilene, Texas, 8 a.m.; 7 — at New Mexico State Invitational, Las Cruces, 10 a.m.; 14 — Angelo State Relays at San Angelo, Texas, 8 a.m.; 28 — New Mexico Invitational at Albuquerque, 10 a.m.
3-5 — Lone Star Conference meet at Commerce, Texas, TBA.
All Times MDT.