Christopher Helmke took the helm of the J. Taylor Finley Middle School boys’ track and field program determined to build them team in size and strength. The new head coach and longtime science teacher at the school was pleased with his first season and proud of how the seventh and eighth graders on the roster performed.
“The team numbers for boys’ track improved greatly as we worked our way back to more normal activities this season since the pandemic began,” Helmke said. “Thanks to our coaches, dedicated athletes and supportive parents, we had a successful season that allowed our boys to improve at their events.”
Finley was led by seventh graders Eric Heinze (400m, 800m, 1500m, high jump), Greyson Henderson (200m, 800m, shot put), Townsel Henry (55m, high jump) and Jostin Ramirez (55m, 100m, 200m, shot put) and eighth grader Jeremyah Leiva (55m, 100m, shot put).
“Eric Heinz excels at distance running and is an excellent high jumper,” Helmke said. “Greyson Henderson is hardworking and determined to improve as a distance runner. Townsel Henry excelled in high jump, improving with each meet. Jostin Ramirez is also a hard worker who always shows up to practice and is an excellent sprinter, too. Jeremyah Leiva is a dedicated athlete who excelled at shot put and sprinting this season.”
Personal best times improved throughout the spring. “The boys showed excellent sportsmanship as they supported each other during events as well as cheering for the opposing athletes,” Helmke said.
The coach said the goals for next spring are to “attract motivated athletes to our team and maintain a high level of dedication, sportsmanship and teamwork. We will continue to recruit new team members. We expect our returning athletes to continue to advance and improve upon their speed. I’m looking forward to next year.”