The Destin Middle School Marlins are off and running — and doing quite well thus far.
On Wednesday, the Marlins will play host to the Davidson Panthers of Crestview and the Rams of Ruckel Middle in their first home track meet of the season. Games begin at 4 p.m.
Last week, the Marlins in their first meet battled with Liza Jackson and Pryor Middle School, with the girl Marlins winning while the boys tied for second.
"We have one of our better sprinters in the boys and girls this year," said Destin Coach Ben Kackley.
Sixth grader Georgia Bright is the top sprinter for the girls, while Deonte Sheffield, an eighth grader, sets the standard for the boys.
"Deonte is really good at shot put and long jump as well," Kackley said.
The boys team as a whole "has a chance to do a lot by the end of the season," Kackley added.
The Marlins have a few returnees in the field events such as Ivan Ramos, Drew Bachmann and Jackson Cooper.
"Our distance is pretty good," Kackley said, noting that the track team is an almost identical makeup to the cross country team.
As for the girls, "they should have one of their better seasons. They are very balanced in their field events."
However, Kackley did say he has a few that are brand new at throwing the disc and shot put — "but they can compete," he says.
He mentioned that Erin Eubanks, a sixth grader, ran a good mile event last week in Fort Walton Beach. He is also looking for Lindley Hill and Kacie Daugherty to do well at long jump.
Although their goal is to do well at every meet, the ultimate goal is to get to the regional competition and qualify for state.
ON THE SCHEDULE
March 20 - home against Davidson and Ruckel.
April 3 - at Fort Walton Beach High School, against Liza Jackson and Bruner.
April 10 - home against Lewis and Meigs.
April 24 - home against Pryor and Shoal River.
(All meets start at 4 p.m.)