By Evan Mohl

The Cove Herald

The Copperas Cove track team officially gets its season underway Saturday with the Bulldawg Relays.

All events in both the boys and girls competition take place at Bulldawg Stadium.

Participating schools include: Harker Heights, Shoemaker, Cedar Park and Belton. Belton, Heights and Shoemaker will compete against the Dawgs in District 12-5A.

"It's a good way to start the season," Cove boys coach Tracy Ranes said. "We're looking forward to see where we stand."

The Relays open with field events at 9 a.m. while the running finals start at noon, or an hour after the completion of field events.

Dawgs host and compete

in tri-meet scrimmage

It might not be spring yet, but that didn't stop three area boys track teams from kicking off the season last Thursday.

Belton, Copperas Cove and Killeen all shook off the wintry rust and warmed up with a tri-meet at Bulldawg Stadium. No official scores were kept in an event designed to get athletes back in the groove against quality competition.

"It's a good way to get going. It's kind of a track scrimmage," Ranes said. "The goal is to get guys used to meets and out of practice situations. It especially helps those relay guys get their timing down in a crowded field."

The Roos defeated Cove last year at the District 16-4A meet to claim their third title in four years. The Dawgs ended Killeen's streak of district titles in 2007 en route to Cove's state championship.

This season, however, Cove and Killeen won't see each other in late April. The Bulldawgs are back in District 12-5A.

But the separation of rivals didn't bother Roos boys track coach Greg Russell. He wants his team to face the best to prepare for the 25-4A meet, when everything counts.

"It's good for us, running against Cove going into our district," he said. "Cove's tough and Belton's tough, too, because they field so many good athletes."

Players were happy to return to competition mode again, especially against friends and acquaintances just a few miles down U.S. Highway 190. A relaxed atmosphere surrounded the meet, as most athletes joked and laughed after

completing events.

"It's good to be out here again," Cove discus thrower A.J. Mackey said. "I'm working for my third straight district title in discus, so it's time to get started."

Each coach kept his own results to see where their athletes stood early in the season. But that wasn't necessarily the goal in this season-opening meet.

"It's just a good practice meet," Russell said. "It's good varsity-wise to run against some fast competition. It's a good starting point."

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