Early as it may be in the track season, Belton coach Richard Villigram is already seeing some positive results.
Villigram saw plenty to like April 5 when the Pirates competed in the Bill Summa/Grandview Invitational at William Chrisman High School. Belton’s boys had one champion and two second-place finishes and claimed fifth place in the 15 team meet.
The Pirates girls also made their presence felt with four top-five finishers.
“I was pleased with what we did,” Villigram said. “I was excited with how the kids have come along and they’ve been doing what we’ve asked them to do.”
Belton’s gold-medal performance came in the 3,200-meter relay, which Tristin Whitman, Noah Floyd, Mason Funk and Kory Snyder won with a time of 8 minutes, 38.51 seconds. It’s the same foursome that reached the Class 4 state meet last season, and Villigram said they’re working hard to make another trip to Jefferson City.
“They’re challenging themselves to make it on the podium this year,” Villigram said. “They do a great job of pushing each other at practice and they’re just committed to getting back at state.”
Snyder took second in the 3,200 with a time of 10:32.37 that Villigram also expects to see drop as the season moves along. Same for Floyd in the 800, where he also took second in 2:02.77.
“We expect that number to keep coming down because he keeps doing what we ask him to do,” Villigram said of Floyd. “He’s an awesome kid and does a great job. (Snyder) was satisfied with his time but he knows where it needs to be to get where he wants to go.”
Mason Goffoy took third in javelin to help Belton score 50 points in the boys meet.
Bailee Strickland had the top finish for Belton’s girls when she took third in the 800. Avery Hobson was fourth in the 100 and Kamryn Estell set a personal best when she took fifth in the discus.
“We’ve got young girls that have good things coming in the future,” Villigram said.
And Villagram, who is in his first year guiding the Pirate track program, expects to see more good things from the girls and boys as the season moves forward.
“We’ve progressed from the first meet of the season and we’re where we want to be right now,” Villagram said. “We haven’t seen any plateaus yet and by conference and districts we expect them to really take off.”