Symbria Bell is no stranger to the New Town track and field program.

In her career as a runner, she was a six time all-state cross country athlete, finishing in second place at state in 2009 and 2012 before signing with the University of Jamestown.

“I’ve always loved her. I looked up to her when I grew up running, because she was the only girl in cross country, so I watched her when I was little and I always wanted to be as a fast as her,” Senior Distance Runner Emma Wheeling said.

But now Bell trades her running shoes for a whistle in her first season as head coach of the Eagles.

“One thing I can say right away with our New Town team is that it’s been awesome just having this group of kids,” Bell said.

“All I could ask for was positive attitudes coming into this season and that’s what they’ve been giving me and they’ve been working hard,” Bell added.

The start to Bell’s coaching tenure got off to a flying, with the boys team finishing third place at the Fargo State Indoor meet despite only about seven runners making the trip to NDSU.

“We didn’t have any field event guys or anything, so team see them place third, it was awesome. It felt like I’m doing something right as a first time coach. I’m proud of those guys, they work really hard and they deserve it,” Bell said.

“I’m excited for this season. I think we could do really good. I think we did get a good start this season at the Fargo State Indoor. I think we just need to keep working and getting better every day,” Lander Lahtinen said.

The team expects those top finishes to continue.

“I think between our distance guys and our girls, a lot of people are surprised by how well they perform each time they get out there,” Bell said.

“I expect us to do pretty well in the distance events. The boys always have a good program so they’re obviously going to rock it this year. For the girls, I think we’ll have a good 4×8 team this year,” Wheeling said.