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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Expectations high for Sikeston track team

Sunday, March 16, 2003

(Photo)
Sikeston track coach Jerry Dement shows off this year's track team.
SIKESTON - In Sikeston High School's athletic program, no sport generates more participation than track and field.

With 18 different events, track and field is a sport that athletes of all different types can participate and find success.

With 165 participants out for the team this year in junior and senior high combined, head coach Jerry Dement has high expectations for his squad.

"We're real pleased with the numbers," said Dement. "We usually have a few more than that. But other sports are part of the reason for that. Girls soccer cuts into our numbers a little bit. But we still feel really good about our numbers."

Dement has led Sikeston to back-to-back district championships in Class 3A and they've placed in the top 10 in the state the last three years, including a seventh place finish last year.

"We expect to be very strong, especially on the boys side," said Dement.

"We're aiming for a state title. I don't say that very often, but I think we've got a shot at it. The girls will be very competitive but we have some question marks with some events."

While track and field doesn't generate the fan support or the media interest as the more popular sports like football and basketball, Dement is happy as long as his kids have fun with it.

"Track offers something for any kind of athlete," said Dement.

"We don't care who you are. If you want to come out and work hard and wear the red and the black, we'll welcome you to track and field."