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Senior spotlight – Senior quartet has seen West Lincoln track grow

Senior quartet has seen West Lincoln track and field grow

In six years, the West Lincoln track and field program has gone from one distance runner to a 40-member team in 2020.

The Bears had two returning state champions this season and plans to make another strong showing in the MHSAA south state and state meets before Covid-19 ended their season.

Longtime WL coach Greg Allen has built the program over the years as the Bears cross-country program he also leads has mirrored the growth of the track and field team.

“With no track facilities for practice we just have to be creative and find ways to make it work,” said Allen.

Allen — who has been retired from teaching since 2016 — will now go into full retirement as he gives up the coaching duties associated with cross-country and track.

“I hope the track team will continue to grow and improve for many years to come,” said Allen.

West Lincoln football coach Brad Bland will take over as head track coach next year.

The four track and field seniors that are 2020 graduates all were standouts in other sports while at West Lincoln. That’s the way things have to be for a 2A track and field team, athletes from across the other sports have to be involved for the team to build depth.

Depth was something the Bears had in 2020 as they were able to send competitors to 14 of the 18 events that make up a track and field meet.

Distance running is where the team excels as Chase Spring was the 2A state champion last year in the 1,600-meter race as a freshman and Tiler Castillo won the 3,200-meter race at state as a sophomore.

“The distance runners, short distance relay teams and field events were looking strong this year,” said Allen. “These four seniors will be greatly missed. I’ve enjoyed coaching each of them and wish them the best in the future.”

Michael Brothern

The son of Tambria Brothern, Michael plans to attend college at a local community college next year. Brothern was a sprinter and a relay runner for West Lincoln who participated in track for two years. A Daily Leader All-Area selection in football, Brothern ran for over 1,500 yards his senior football season and also played basketball for the Bears.

Keshon Byrd

The son of Kizzy Byrd and Fred Thomas, Keshon plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College in the fall. A field event standout who finished fifth overall in the 2A shotput at the state meet, Byrd was also a Daily Leader All-Area selection in basketball. The 6-foot-5 Byrd will suit up for the Co-Lin hoops team next year after signing with the Wolves in December.

Ashtin Castillo

The son of Kyla and Trent Smith, Ashtin plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College next year. A member of the track team for four seasons, Castillo ran in a variety of middle-distance relay races for the Bears. As a senior Castillo was also a starting member of the West Lincoln soccer team that made the state playoffs in only their third season of existence.

Thomas White III

The son of Valerie and Thomas White Jr., Thomas plans to attend a local community college next year. White began as a manager for the team before taking up the discuss as a senior. A strong student in the classroom, White was also a starting member of the Bear football team as a defensive tackle.