It will be a new challenge for the New Haven track Shamrocks.
New Haven hosts the Class 2 District 4 Meet Saturday. It’s not the first time New Haven has hosted a big meet, or even a district meet. But this is the first Class 2 district meet for the Shamrocks.
New Haven, which moved up from Class 1, will host Belle, Bourbon, Cabool, Conway, Dixon, Gainesville, Hartville, Licking, Mansfield, Plato and Steelville in the first round of the state series.
Head Coach John Tucker said organizers are scrambling to make sure everything is ready. Recent heavy rain has hampered efforts, but Tucker feels the school will be ready to go.
Field events will start at 10:30 a.m. with the boys shot put, girls triple jump, girls pole vault, girls javelin and boys high jump.
Two more rounds of field events follow at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Preliminary heats in running events will start at 11:15 a.m. starting with the girls 100-meter high hurdles.
The 3,200-meter relay finals will break that up starting with the girls at 11:55 a.m.
One of New Haven’s top teams for the meet will be the 3,200-meter boys relay team, which will run at 12:10 p.m.
New Haven’s team of Dominic Lewis, Joseph Rethemeyer, Tim Madden and Martin Lewis won the Four Rivers Conference title Monday at Union. New Haven posted a time of 8:33.83.
“The team ran a season and career best,” Tucker said. “This is our strongest event in both genders so we have high expectations going into the district meet. We also continue to look better in the 1,600-, 800-, and 3,200-meter runs. We certainly need to get faster but with this group and the experiences we have had at this level I’m fairly certain we will continue to improve.”
Final running events are scheduled to start at 1 p.m. with the last event, the boys 1,600-meter relay, at 4:30 p.m.
The meet Saturday could represent a jump up in competition level for many of the New Haven athletes. Tucker explained that he ran many of them in the Four Rivers Conference Meet at the junior varsity level.
New Haven’s girls won the team title with 235 points, 92 in front of runner-up Owensville. New Haven’s JV boys team placed fourth with 66 points.
“I competed most of our athletes at the JV level,” Tucker said. “We are young and inexperienced, so it just made sense. On the JV girls side we were able to compete with three athletes in numerous events and have some success with many setting personal bests.”
Tucker said that success should give the athletes confidence heading into Saturday’s meet.
“With the move to Class 2 we are going to face some strong challenges so it was nice to have a strong showing,” Tucker said.