Broncos adapting to compressed season

By Tim Wester


With less practice time and multiple meets per week, the Union Grove track and field coach Mike Mikula summed up the current season as goofy.

A goofy season has forced Mikula to take an unconventional approach to competition. The Broncos have elected to concentrate less on relays and focus on open races.

Mikula is also managing a demanding schedule that saw the Broncos compete May 15 and then turn around and compete 48 hours later.

“I keep telling myself that every coach is going through the same thing,” Mikula said. “Our meet on Saturday was the same day as the high school prom so we had a meet, prom, and one day of rest before we had to compete again. We’ve had to pull in the reigns a little bit this year and its really trial and error at this point.”

Despite the grueling schedule, the Broncos have managed to minimize injuries thus far.

“We have been really cautious with the team with a reduced schedule to compensate and so far, we haven’t had many injuries,” MIkula said.

Mikula’s approach could pay dividend on the boy’s side.

Senior distance runner Marcus Johnson is looking to finally make a deep run in the postseason after failing to get out of regionals in previous seasons.

“I have run Marcus anywhere between the 800 and the two mile,” Mikula said. “He was the Racine Country runner of the year in Cross Country last fall and hasn’t missed a beat in track. We’d like to see him get beyond regionals and even get to state this season.”

For the girls, three-sport junior athlete Payton Calouette returns to the team as a distance runner.

“Payton’s primary focus is basketball but running is a gift for her,” Mikula said. “Although she says she doesn’t like the two mile, she does well running that event.

Calouette is one of the familiar faces on a girl’s team that has lost experienced runners to injuries this year.