Sophomore Shelbie Walker could help the Lady Buffs in any number of events, including potentially the long jump, pole vault and several races. Both Walker and junior Hallie Light were Lady Buffs cheerleaders earlier in the school year, and Carney said that sport’s combination of physical strength and athleticism should translate to track.
Carney also said he’s had a good turnout of freshmen to his practices, including Katelyn Ferrell, Ashley Taylor and Texas move-in Madelyn Hunter.
“She’s a sprinter,” Carney said of Hunter. “She has some good wheels.”
For the Buffs, Kyler Thompson returns for another shot at the state high jump competition. Thompson finished 13th in that event at State last season.
“He qualified for State with a 6-foot jump, and that’s what (2013 state high jump champion Zach) Skimbo did when he was a junior,” Carney said of Thompson.
Slater was part of McAlester’s state-qualifying boys’ 4x400 relay team last season. Carney said other events for Slater this season could include the 400 meter and 800 meter.
The Buffs could also get an infusion of distance runners from McAlester’s cross country team. Carryovers from the fall could include seniors Hank Brown and Noah Rose, plus brothers Sam and Stone Adams.
“He’s a hard worker, and he’s a senior,” Carney said of Rose.
“I’ve got some distance runners that it’s hard to tell; they’re still pretty young.”
Other potential contributors include junior Riley Smith, who’ll throw the shot put, and senior Caden Pratt, though Pratt has yet to come out for track. Pratt finished fourth in the state long jump competition in 2013.
Carney said that with a season’s worth of practice, many Buffs and Lady Buffs who came up just short of qualifying for State last season should get over the hump this season. Smith, for example, missed the state shot put competition by half an inch.