CULVER — After winning consecutive sectional championships, Scott Johnson is stepping down as head coach of the Culver Military Academy track and field team. Johnson, who also serves as the director of marketing and communications at Culver Academies, will remain as an assistant coach.
Taking over for Johnson is Paul Patrick. Patrick is in his seventh year at Culver, and teaches physics, chemistry, and biology.
He has been an assistant coach for the CMA track and field team since 2017. His resume also includes 22 years as coach of the Plymouth High School boys and girls track teams (1995-2016), 26 years coaching football (six seasons at CMA), and five years coaching cross country (2012-2016).
“My goals for our boys program is to maintain the level of competitiveness that we’ve shown the last several years under Coach Johnson and Coach Chastain,” said Patrick. “I’d like to see more of our boys participate and to use track and field to help condition and strengthen themselves for the sports that they compete in during fall and winter seasons.
“I believe track and field to be a sport that develops overall fitness and not just a sport for runners,” he said. “I think it is the goal of all of our coaches and athletes to win our sectional each year and to advance as many athletes to the regional and state meets as possible. I look forward to working with the staff we have in place and the athletes that make up our team.”
There are several notable athletes on this year’s team that the coaches are excited to mentor.
Michael Patipe, a second-classman from San Antonio, Texas, is one of those athletes. Patipe was a sprinter and jumper all last season.
However, at the sectional meet, Patipe ran hurdles for the first time and finished with impressive times of 16.62 in the 110 meter hurdles, and 42.34 in the 300 meter hurdles.
Patipe will likely participate in hurdles again, as well as jumps, and be a key member of the team.
There are also several distance runners that coaches are also excited about.
Hunter Miller and Will Ruszkowski have improved dramatically during their careers at Culver. Miller and Ruszkowski also run cross country and had tremendous seasons in the fall.
Miller advanced to semi-state, while Ruszkowski ran his way to state finals. Other notable cross county-turned-track runners include Peter Wang and Dionte Obertein.
Andrew Galas leads the way for sprints and relays.
The multi-event athlete runs the 100 meter dash, 4×100 meter relay, 200 meter dash, and the 4×400 meter relay. CMA will be leaning on Galas for his skill and experience.
Patrick will start his tenure as head coach on March 3 at the 2023 Culver Academies Indoor Meet.
Story and photos courtesy culverathletics.com