The Monett Lady Cubs track team is already hard at work preparing for another successful season.
Coach Alan Spencer will rely on a strong core of athletes, including four seniors, who possess both experience and proven leadership skills.
"We look to have a solid year," said Coach Spencer. "We hope to have a competitive team that can score well in the conference meet. Monett has won 13 of the last 16 Big 8 girls track championships, and we hope to compete for the top spot again this year."
One of the key returnees for the Lady Cubs will be junior Madison Carlin. The two-year letterwinner was the conference champion in the 100-meter hurdles and a sectional qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles.
Other Lady Cubs who will be looking to build on last year's success are senior Tiffany Carver in the long jump, senior Keli Cornell in high jump and junior Jenny Frazier in the shot, who all three qualified for sectionals in their events in 2009.
Monett will also be returning three of four team members from both the 4x400 and 4x200 relay teams that qualified for sectionals last spring. Seniors Sara Hammond, Millie Fulton and Carver return from the 4x200 relay team, and Hammond, Fulton and junior Amanda McKinney return for the 4x400 team.
Key returners on the 2010 squad by event are as follows:
Sprints and relays: Carver, Fulton, Hammond, McKinney and junior Katie Upchurch, sophomore Sophie Fulton; and sophomore Jordan VanLue.
Hurdles: Carlin and sophomore Jessica Schmidt.
Middle distance (400 and 800): Millie Fulton.
Distance: junior Hannah Martin.
Jumps: Carver, Cornell, McKinney and VanLue.
Throws: Frazier and junior Desirae Fowler.
Pole vault: junior Carrie Robbins.
Other members of the Lady Cubs squad include: sophomores Amber Cole and Nicollete Fellwock; and freshmen Cheryl Barnes, Whitley Bohannan, Alex Brennon, Anna Cloud, Kristin Dotson, Christina Erganian, Josee Kruger, Raigan Ratliff, Brittany Schultz, Ashton Snow, Andrea Soriano and Ciarra Stevens.
Monett opens the track season on March 23 at the Neosho Warm-Up meet. The annual Cubs Relays are scheduled for April 27.
Last season, the Monett girls track team finished second in the Big 8 Conference and tied for third in districts. The squad also finished first at the Lamar Relays and second at the East Newton meet.
Coach Spencer is assisted by Melanie Mayberry.