By Corey B. Elliot
— The Ben Davis boys’ track and field team is poised to reduplicate its successes of 2012 and as they begin practice for the 2013 season, coach Mike Davidson is more than confident in his team’s ability to meet the giant expectations they have ahead of them.
“Our (goals) year in and year out are to challenge for championships,” Davidson said. “We ‘ll find a way to be prepared in whatever we compete in, whether it’s county, conference, sectionals, or state.”
That seems like a tall order for any coach to place on his team, but this isn’t an ordinary team.
The variety of talent Davidson has across the board would probably make any coach feel just as confident. The mixture of upperclassmen and underclassmen that have prior experience and success is one of the most encouraging aspects of this track team.
“Last season we had a pretty solid year,” Davidson said. “We were undefeated in dual meets and we won the MIC indoor meet and sectionals. We were runners-up in regionals, but we have guys that have great experience and success. We have a great mix of seniors and a good core group coming back this season.”
Among those seniors is Zubin Coleman. He was all-state in discus in 2012 and is a big part of the foundation of the success that this Ben Davis track and field team expects to have.
“He (Coleman) has tons of experience and I look for him to show the way to these younger guys,” Davidson said. “He has tremendous qualities as a person and he’s one of those guys when you see him you can definitely tell he’s a discus thrower. He has a few schools looking to make an offer for discus, along with being great in the classroom.”
Coleman may be the tip of the sword, but the depth of talent continues past him.
Junior Moussa Conde is a pole vaulter for the Giants and he competed in the Junior Olympics, clearing 14 feet 7 inches, an inch higher than his previous best.
“Moussa’s a very talented pole vaulter and he’s been getting better and better ever since his freshman year,” Davidson said. “He’s a very fast individual and he’ll contribute in other events for us this season as well.”
On the track, Davidson has a sprinter and a distance runner that set the bar for the Giants. Seniors James Compton and Jack Sharkey will add their experience and leadership to Ben Davis’ journey to the state finals.
“Jack is our number one distance guy and James was a state runner-up as a sophomore in the 4x100 relay,” Davidson said. “Jack had a personal best this winter at his first indoor meet so that’s a nice place to start off. He’ll be our guy in the 800 and the mile. James placed sixth this summer while he was at the New Balance High School Nationals, so he got some great experience from that. He’ll be our guy in the 100, 200, as well as contribute to the 4x100 relay.”
In a conference that has traditionally set the standard for success in almost every high school sport, the MIC will be the measuring stick for the Giants this season. On paper, it can be intimidating, but for Davidson and his Giants it’s motivation to improve at every meet.
“Most of the teams in the MIC have high expectations to compete for state titles in every sport,” Davidson said. “Traditionally, look at who has won state during the 2000s. A lot of them have come from the MIC. So we take pride in our conference and have a great respect for the teams that are a part of it and that motivates us to get better. Because of the higher level of talent, it allows you to develop a greater sense of confidence while knowing how to prepare yourself.”