KFHS track continues to improve

Published 7:18 pm Thursday, January 17, 2013

King’s Fork senior Te’Shaibrah Myles works out with teammate junior Robert Kelly during indoor track practice on Thursday afternoon at King’s Fork High School. Myles has made her presence known as a pole vaulter, surpassing the state qualifying height with a vault of nine feet and six inches this season.

The King’s Fork track and field team has picked up where it left off last season and continued its path of improvement after four meets this season.

Marvin Ricks, one of the team’s coaches, summed up his expectations for this year’s team quite simply.

“Just steady improvement,” he said.

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KF enjoys a large group of returning athletes from last year, and that group has shown no signs of a lapse in effort or ability.

“Basically everybody who competed last year has improved from the year prior,” Ricks said.

“We have a very solid sprints program, and our jumps and distance program has come a long ways, as well,” he said.

The team is neither senior-laden nor especially young.

“It’s still moderate, which is exactly what you want,” Ricks said. “We probably have a few seniors that graduate next year, but by then our sophomores will be pretty solid.”

Ricks said one of the biggest challenges the team has faced is not limiting itself to previous team’s standards. He noted that the kids have met this challenge, though, as the season has progressed.

A real standout for King’s Fork is senior Te’Shaibrah Myles in the pole vault. In her last meet, she impressed even herself by vaulting 9’6”.

“She tied her outdoor (personal record) indoors and qualified for states,” Ricks said.

Myles had to build up her confidence from the beginning of the season

“The whole time I was doubting myself,” she said. “I was like, ‘OK, if I just clear seven (feet), I make districts. Whatever.’ Then I cleared 7’6”. I was like, ‘Cool!’ I jumped eight, (and) I said, ‘Well, that’s regionals.’”

When she passed the state qualifying height and had begun beating others who had defeated her in previous weeks, her confidence was fully restored, complete with a message to fellow competitors: “‘Watch out for T’Shaibrah, because she is back and she has her game face on,’” she said.

Among the sprinters, the boys’ 4×200 relay team has set itself apart.

“The whole relay team on the guys’ side has performed at a different level,” Ricks said. “They’re one of the leading teams in the state.”

The team qualified for states in the first meet of the season and includes seniors Patrick Boone and Noah Johnson, junior Andrew Gould and sophomore Darrell Johnson.

The girls’ side also has shown great growth on its sprint team. Ricks in particular cited juniors Gabrielle Snipes, Roneka Spady and Danielle Hill, along with his daughter, sophomore Courtney Ricks.

Ricks also had praise for two of the team’s standout distance runners.

“Miguel Ramos and Brandon Gibson have both dropped at least 10 seconds off of their 1000 (meter) time,” he said.

Ramos, a senior, has also shown improvement in the 1600-meter event.

King’s Fork is slated to compete today in the Hampton Roads Elite High School Invitational along with about 40 different schools at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.