There's no question that Kalil Slaughter and other members of the Sheffield boys track & field team have aspirations of qualifying for the PIAA Class AA Track & Field Championships scheduled for May 25-26 at Shippensburg University.
Before they can even think about that, they must first excel at the District 9 Class AA Track & Field Championships scheduled for Friday at Brookville Area High School.
Action gets underway at 3 p.m. with only the District 9 champion and those meeting state qualifying times and distances advancing to next weekend's PIAA meet.
Slaughter, a senior, has been here before.
He will enter Friday looking to be the district's 100 and 200 champion for the third straight year after winning both events in 2010 and 2011. Slaughter also part of the Wolverines' district champion 4X100 relay team last season with Dylan Reynolds, Eric Allen and Michael Torres.
His success carried over to the PIAA meet in 2011 where he was the PIAA runner-up in the 100 and eighth in the 200.
If seeding is any indication, Slaughter will see multiple championships once more on Friday.
Slaughter is seeded first individually in the 100, 200 and long jump as well as in the 4X100 relay with Reynolds, Kwante Johnson and Deonte Clay. He is the top seed by six-tenths of a second in the 100, nine-tenths of a second in the 200 and by eight inches in the long jump. The 4X100 relay team is first by well over a second and boasts a Warren County record time of 43.78 seconds.
"Kalil's goal first and foremost is to perform well at the district meet," said Sheffield boys track coach Bryan Gould. "He's not really concerned with states right now. One thing we did talk about this week was the importance of putting together a good time in each event. If he is able to advance to states, the times he runs at districts will determine which heat he participates in at states. That's a very important thing when you get to that level."
While Slaughter is understandably the favorite in his individual events, he will have to overcome the rest of the competition - including teammates - to add to his D-9 championship haul.
Johnson and Clay will join Slaughter in the 100 with Johnson seeded 15th and Clay 17th. The 200 is even more crowded with Wolverines with four of the top seven seeds from Sheffield. In addition to Slaughter, Johnson is seeded fourth, Clay fifth and Reynolds seventh. Reynolds also has a great shot at medaling in the long jump where he is seeded third overall.
Keon VonHendricks is an eight seed in the boys 400-meter run and is also included in the list of six possible runners to fill the four spots in the team's fourth-seeded 4X400 relay. Other names eligible to run are Reynolds, Evan Jamison, Marc Nadal and Steve Dendy. Nadal is the team's final participant on the track, entering districts as a 17 seed in the 400.
Sheffield will also have plenty of talent in the field events as both Jamison and George Fitch were two-time qualifiers. Fitch is seeded eighth in the discus and 12th in the javelin while Jamison is ninth in the high jump and 19th in the long jump. Shaquille Cousins is seeded ninth in the shot put.
"We're probably underdogs in the field events, but those guys have been working hard and are looking to put together a banner day on Friday," said Gould. "For any member of our team to place at districts would be a huge honor. We're pretty excited about the chances we have at this meet."
One season after taking just one athlete to districts, the Lady Wolverines will have four athletes in the lineup on Friday. Freshman Jen Isenberg leads the group with district qualification in two events - the high jump and the javelin.
Isenberg has Sheffield's highesr girls seed in the javelin where she is eighth and she is also seeded among the top 10 in the high jump in 10th.
Also participating for the Lady Wolverines in Brookville will be Jade Moore who is 13th in the long jump, Ashley Davidson who is 15th in the high jump and Morgan Leichtenberger who is 19th in the 110 hurdles.