Bullpups continue to improve each week

After finishing first in the McPherson Invitational last Thursday from both the boys' and girls' side, the McPherson High School track and field team earned the Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week, presented by the McPherson Sentinel.

"We are honored to win team of the week this week. It was a heck of a performance from both the boys and the girls," Bullpups Head Coach Jace Pavlovich said. "We're talking about kids from freshman all the way to seniors that competed their tails off. I was really proud of them last week."

The Bullpups had a total of 11 first-place finishes and 10 that were runner-ups during the Invitational. The boys scored 148.5 points, while the girls tallied 174.5 points, beating out teams such as Salina South, Salina Central and Valley Center. With the postseason being around the corner, the Bullpups are starting to peak at the right time with one more meet to go before the AVTCL D-III league tournament next week.

"These guys are just getting better and better all season long," Pavlovich said. "We started out setting a baseline from the first meet in Andale. They have been PR'ing dang near every week. I've been really proud of them. They seem to be at their best toward the end of the season, which is exactly what we want."

This year's team might be the largest group Pavlovich has coached. There is depth in almost every group in each event. The Bullpups have the advantage of finishing in the top five because of it.

"One thing from top to bottom where we stand out from both the boys and girls team is that we have a lot of depth," Pavlovich said. "Our fourth and fifth best runners would be varsity material on a lot of teams. So, if we have an unfortunate injury or have an issue, then we have people who can step right in, and we won't skip a beat. The overall depth is something that we never had in a long time."

It is no question that the sprinters and the jump teams have been the Bullpups' biggest strength.

However, Pavlovich has been impressed by his throwers this season, in which they have been finishing in the top three all year.

"Our throwers have done a great job in terms of being able to score points," Pavlovich said. On the front ends, we have some top end kids that are getting first and second place in a lot of their meets. We are also scoring points in fourth, fifth and sixth that if we can steal some points here and there, it can really help us overall. I feel like our throwers have been improving throughout the course of the year.

Also our distance squad, there's not a lot them. We do lack a lot of depth in that event group. With that being said, they're scoring a lot of points for us. We have always been pretty strong in jumps and distance, but our distance runners and throwsers have been coming along too."

The Bullpups will compete in Salina on Friday, which will be their final meet before their league tournament, which will be in Butler County Community College. On Wednesday, it has been announced that the Class 5A regionals will be in Wichita Northwest High School on May 17. As a team, Pavlovich wants his Bullpups to win their league before focusing on his state qualifiers.

"That's our ultimate team goal. That's how I judge how we've done as a coaching staff throughout the course of the season," Pavlovich said. "We want to win that as a team. Right after that meet, as soon as the last person crosses the finish line in the 4x4 in our league meet, we will transition into individuals."

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports