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HIGH SCHOOL TRACK NOTEPAD: Davis optimistic on ’Cats’ chances

It’s too early in the winter track and field season for Mountain View coach Dave Davis to know exactly how he feels about his team.

There was the traditional two-week holiday layoff, but there has also been missed practice time because of inclement weather.

So while Davis doesn’t have a firm grasp of the Wildcats’ prospects, he said there is potential for the boys and girls teams to have banner seasons.

“If we can ever get some of the guys’ distance runners from cross country healthy, we’ll be good, and we’ve got a lot of young sprint guys,” Davis said.

“Girls-wise, we’re OK. We just don’t have a lot of numbers. But we’ve got Meshala [Morton] and some pole vaulters. We have the potential to be pretty good.”

Davis said distance runners Alex Bukovich and Curtis Mussen still have injuries lingering from the cross country season.

However, he’s expecting a boost from a group of new sprinters, including senior Quinton Gray. Gray was an All-Area wide receiver for the Wildcats’ football team, but has been an “on and off” track performer, Davis said.

“He’s going to be pretty good,” Davis said. “We’re getting a couple more football guys out, too. It’s hard to tell where they are because I’ve only seen them run once or twice.”

On the girls’ side, Morton is a workhorse. The four-year standout was an all-state performer in the 300 meters in 2013. Morton dealt with a shin injury much of last season, but is now completely healthy.

“She’s right there now on the short sprints,” Davis said. “We’re working to get on the next level for the longer sprints.”

Davis said he’s seeking a boost from gymnast Lauren Graves in the pole vault. Graves cleared 10 feet, 6 inches last season. Davis is aiming for Graves to qualify for the postseason soon, so she can refocus on gymnastics before returning for the Conference 15 track meet.

“We’re just trying to get as many kids involved as we can,” Davis said.

Most of the Wildcats will be back in action on Saturday in the Liberty Flames High School Invitational at Liberty University. Five girls will compete in a separate meet at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md.