Current Sports: 04/09/14 (Click HERE for Archived Sports):
Drummond ready to break out in senior track season
WESCLIN SENIOR RONNIE DRUMMOND signs his letter of intent to run track next season at McKendree University. In back are Wesclin coach Brian Arentsen and Ronnie's parents, Barb and Don Drummond.
After running in the shadow of 2013 300-meter hurdles champ Jason Bliven for most of his high school career, Wesclin senior Ronnie Drummond is ready for his time in the sunlight.
The New Baden native recently signed to continue his track career next season at McKendree College, but before that Drummond has some goals in mind for his final high school season. Ronnie has his sights set on school records in the 110 meter high hurdles, and in the 300 meter intermediate race.
Drummond has already posted the second-fastest time in school history at 15.2 (hand-timed), which is just four-tenths off the school mark. He has a bit further to go in the 300-meter race, which relies more on maintaining form and speed over the longer distance. Bliven holds the 300-meter record at 39.21, and Ronnie's best is 41.9 so far. He points out, however, that "Bliven ran a 41.8 his first meet last year, so I'm not that far off where he was at the same time."
Ronnie is the captain of this year's squad, a sign of his leadership abilities, according to Wesclin coach Brian Arentsen. "He'll run the 400, the 4x400 relay, and occasionally the 4x100 relay in addition to the hurdle races," said Arentsen. "He's an exceptionally hard worker and very goal-oriented, so I expect him to have a great year."
For his part, Drummond said he relishes the role of captain and looks forward to urging his teammates to reach their potential. "It would be a memorable season for the team to win a conference and sectional title," he said. "Whether that happens or not, I have faith in the potential of each and every athlete on the team. If things go our way, we can win those titles."
Drummond also has his sights on competing at the state meet later this spring, and winning the hurdles titles.
As he prepares for college track, Ronnie has a number of specific parts of his training he wants to improve. "The most important is the the physical aspect. I need to lift in order to get stronger, and that will be the main focus of my offseason training. I need to work on my hurdle form, staying lower in the 110s and keeping my arms tight to the body. Starts are also really important in the 110s. In the 300s, I need to work on my first six hurdles. If I want to be prepared for running 400 meter hurdles at McKendree, and for the state track meet in May, I need to have every single hurdle perfect."
If it seems that Ronnie's track goals are ambitious, his academic objectives are equally admirable. He plans to major in pre-professional biology at McKendree, with the hope of becoming a sports medicine doctor. McKendree appealed to Drummond because of its close proximity and its academic reputation. "McKendree is a great place for me to further my education," he said. "If I'm going to reach my career goals, I have to go through a lot more school. The track program is growing and that is something I want to be a part of." Former Wesclin football and track coach (and current physical education teacher) Brandon Murphy is the sprinter/hurdler coach at McKendree, and the comfort level appeals to Ronnie. "He knows a lot about track, and I am confident he will help me become a better athlete. And (McKendree head coach) Coach Mendez will push me to reach goals I thought were unreachable."
Ronnie's track season was short-circuited last season when he injured his hamstring on May 8, and although it was a disappointment, it allowed him to forge a close relationship with Mike Cotten, who worked with Wesclin's sprinters and hurdlers last season. "He told me I could either give up because of my injury or look past it and become bigger, faster, and stronger than I have ever been." Cotten isn't affiliated with the Wesclin track program this year, but he has continued to coach Drummond privately. "He rehabilitated me throughout the summer, and he pushes me hard. I thank him for that."
Ronnie and Jason Bliven, who graduated last year, developed a special relationship over the years. "Ever since I was a freshman, we always wanted to compete against each other. We made each other work harder and never quit. I beat his 110 time already; now I want to beat his 300 time and record."
Wesclin coach Brian Arentsen first recognized Drummond's potential in the hurdles. "He put all his faith in me, even though there were several senior hurdlers that year. He never doubted my abilities. He's a huge reason why I am who I am today. I can't thank him enough for sticking with me through my best and worst races," said Drummond. "Last year, Coach Arentsen came up to me and told me that another team's coach said he never noticed Wesclin had another hurdler besides Bliven. This year, I plan to make myself well-known around this area. This is my year to reveal myself and exceed my abilities."
Wesclin grad Emig named GMAC player of week
Wesclin graduate (class of 2011) Kyle Emig was named the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) offensive athlete of the week for his diamond performance for the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers. Emig, an outfielder for the Panthers, led the way at the plate for Kentucky Wesleyan as they crafted a 5-1 week in conference action to improve to 8-4 overall in the GMAC and moved into second place in the standings. Emig hit .529 over the six-game span, collecting nine hits and eight runs batted in while scoring five times. He led the conference with a 1.118 slugging percentage that included three home runs and a .667 on-base percentage.
In a pair of games against Cedarville, Emig went three for five in a doubleheader sweep, scoring a run in each game and belting a solo home run in the opener. In a twinbill against Alderson Broaddus, Emig went four-for-seven, driving in three runs and pounding two home runs in the nightcap.
For the season, Emig is second on the team in batting average, hitting at a .425 clip. He is the son of Jerry and Diane Emig of Trenton.
This Week in Wesclin Sports
10 Baseball vs. Carlyle
10 Softball vs. Carlyle
10 B/G Track at Central
11 Soccer vs. Columbia
12 Baseball at Wood River (DH)
12 JV Baseball v. Red Bud, Central
12 Track at Belleville West Inv.
14 Softball at Okawville
14 JV Baseball at Okawville
15 Baseball at Central
15 Softball at Central
15 Boys Track Highland F/S Relays
15 Soccer vs. Metro East Lutheran
16 JV Baseball at Belleville East
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