The weather hasn’t been very cooperative to open the 2019 spring prep sports season, but luckily, track and field teams can compete in the rain.
At Urbana, the Hillclimbers opened the season at the Tecumseh Invitational.
The boys finished 7th, with the girls 14th.
Shelby Stoops finished 4th in the 100-meter dash for the girls, while the 4×200 team of Jaiden Byrd, Anna Rogan, Hailey Johnson and Stoops was 6th.
For the boys, the 4×400 team of Nick Agerter, Noah Booze, Jackson James and Trey Williams finished 2nd.
Nic Dorsey was 5th in the 100, with the 4×200 team of Booze, Agerter, Dalton Sexton and Williams also 5th. The 4×100 team of Dorsey, Jacob Quisenberry, James and Kellen Thomas was also 5th. Austin Fisher was 6th in discus.
“We are very excited about both teams. We are still a work in progress as we are missing workout time due to the school musical, but when we are at full strength we are going to be very good. Our goal is to compete for a CBC championship this year,” UHS Coach Carleton Cotner said.
Graham features a fair contingent of returners, including Jason Howard, Ryan Turner, Matt Flora, Tylar Bailey and Tim Hughes in the boys’ sprints, Tyler Callicoat in distance, Riley Fritts and Jason Howard in jumps, Leon Stevenson in vault and Avery Crall in throws. Chloe Crabtree and Makayla Whaley return in girls’ sprints, with Kirstin Cottrell, Holly Kamper, Randi Nichols, Brooke Ohnmeiss and Nadia Ritter in distance. Elise Kemp and Bailee Magnuson return to throws.
“Our team is very focused on daily improvement. We preach the idea of focusing on how to put ourselves in position to be successful. We all have a common goal, which is to improve and to compete. The key is choosing to respond to situations by choosing an active, disciplined mindset. In other words, the kids realize that to compete, they have to choose to make themselves better everyday,” GHS Coach John Tullis said, “in their drills, in their effort and attitude in the meets, and in the classroom. Track is a great sport in that you get out of it what you put into it. And to be successful, that means actively choosing to be a disciplined athlete and student rather than simply acting on impulse and default. Most people want to be a winner, but few actually bother to do what it takes to be successful. The kids buy into that philosophy and it has resulted in some very competitive athletes who have a lot of fun running track.”
Newcomers include Zac VanScoy, Ryan St. Myers, Roegan Hines, Kalen Tullis, Aiden Kaster, Logan Brown, Payton McKellop, Dalton Hannahs, Zach Blosser, AJ Zavada, Adrian Dooley, Gavin Adams, Whalan Moore, Hailey Holloway, Aspen Karnhem, Grace Nash, Amber Robeson, Lauren Bailey and Kayla Smith.
West Liberty-Salem returns a lot of top-tier experience and mixes in some youth in several events on both the boys’ and girls’ sides.
Still, both should be forces in the conference.
“This team has the potential to win the OHC North. I think we have the talent to do it, but we are slightly inexperienced in a few areas and also it can be a challenge to get to May without injury,” WL-S Coach Joe Taylor said. “I like our returning experience. They are already setting the tone in practice and talking to the younger guys about the bigger meets at the end of the year.”
The Tigers opened the year at the Versailles Invitational and did not disappoint, with the boys earning 2nd and the girls 3rd.
Junior Ian Wolfe led the Tigers with a pair of first-place finishes. Wolfe won the 100 (12.04) and 200 (24.41). Wolfe was also on the 4×100 team and 4×400 teams that placed. Ethan Cole also was a first-place finisher in the 300 hurdles and was on the 4×100 and 4×200 teams.
Other notable performances included sophomore Jace Wade scoring in four events in his first high school meet (100, 200, 4×100, 4×200), freshman Tate Yoder finishing second in the 3,200 and junior Noah Wilcoxon earning second in discus in his first meet as a Tiger.
For the girls, Katelyn Stapleton won the 800 (2:29.13) and Lydia Moell won the long jump (14-01). The 4×200 team of Kaylee LeVan, Moell, Mandy Weaver and Alex Burton won, as did the 4×100 team of LeVan, Moell, Megan Dillon and Burton.
Burton was 2nd in the 100 and 200, Stapleton was 2nd in the 1,600, Moell was 2nd in the 300 hurdles and LeVan was 2nd in the long jump. The 4×400 team of Madison Bahan, Selena Weaver, Hannah Bowman and Stapleton also finished runners-up.
LeVan was 3rd in the 100.
At Triad, the Cardinals have several athletes who were competitive at the district and regional meets last season. Returning letterwinners include Riley Louck (throws), Dominick McFarland (sprints, hurdles), Eli O’Brien (sprints), Andrew O’Neal (distance), Chris Roy (distance), Dylan Van Tassell (sprints) and Ashley Cave (sprints).
Incoming athletes expected to make an impact include Mason Harper (jumps, sprints), Dimitri Hollingsworth (sprints), Hayden Simpson (hurdles, jumps, sprints), Tavin Yorgason (distance), Kayleigh Boldman (sprints, jumps, throws) and Anna Delaunay (distance).
“Our goal is to support each other and be competitive as a team this year. We have some strong athletes returning from last year as well as several newcomers who will add to the overall strength of the team. We look forward to a challenging and rewarding season,” Triad Coach Martha Lehman said.
And at Mechanicsburg, the Indians have another very young squad, with a couple of seniors mixed into a group of talented sophomores.
Returners include Joey Mascadri (pole vault, relays), Frank Magyar (pole vault), Chayse Propst (sprints), Keith Bebout (sprints, jumps), Kaylee Warfield (hurdles), Ava Mayo (jumps), Caleb Spinner (throws) and Mady Rugh (throws, sprints).
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.