Share
August 18 • 07:48 PM
Email/Username:
Password:

Area squads get ready for openers


Boys', girls' track teams look to approach last season's success


S_areagirls
shadow
Lindsey Manning, Melissa Sawicki, Ashley Callewaert and Kylie Miller run the halls during a Capac track practice last week. photo by Kevin Kissane.

March 19, 2008
TRI-CITY AREA — Let's hope that Punxsutawney Phil was wrong.

As for now, though, his prediction of a longer winter looks to be on the money.

That means that many of our sports teams will be forced to practice inside, at least a bit longer, or venture outside and brave the bonechilling elements.

But that is Michigan weather for you, hit or miss at best.

shadow
shadow
Here is a look at the athletes our Tri-City boys' and girls' track teams lost to graduation, who they have coming back and their prospects for the upcoming season:

Boys' Track

Imlay City Spartans

Coach and Assistants: Steve Lestage is the Imlay City Boys' track coach. He is assisted by Bob Beebe.

Top losses: Stan Francis (pole vault) and John Duke (sprints and sprint relays) all competed for Imlay City for the final time a year ago.

Top returnees: Mike Guerrero (800-meter run along with the 1600 and 3200 relays), Kevin Shene (pole vault along with the 1600 and 3200-meter relays), David Sears (1600 relay) along with D.J. Salet (400 and 800-meter relays) are Imlay City's top returnees.

League Meet Showing: Imlay City collected a sixth at the Richmond High School-based Blue Water Area Conference League Meet.

Regional Showing: The Spartans pulled up second at a Division 3 regional hosted by New Haven High School.

Team State Finals: Imlay City wound up 10th at the Division 3 Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association State Meet.

Kent City High School is where the action unfolded.

League favorite: Lestage lists Cros-Lex, along with Algonac, as the favorites to win the BWAC championship.

Season outlook: "Our turnout has been decent and the team has worked hard in practice," Coach Lestage said. "It is still too early to tell how well we might do," he noted.

Capac Chiefs

Coach and Assistants: Capac is coached by Ben Miller. He is assisted by Gloria Polzin and Fred Rousseau.

Top losses: Josh Murphy (distance), Jake Rawlins (relays) and Matt Walker (sprints and sprint relays) are the top Capac losses due to graduation.

Top returnees: Tino Siewert (shot put and discus), Brian Kulman (pole vault and 1600 relay) and Brendan Pfeifer (800, 1600 and 3200-meter runs and 3200 relay) are Capac's top returnees.

League Meet Showing: Capac ranked fifth at the Blue Water Area Conference League Meet hosted by Richmond High School.

Regional Showing: The Chiefs registered a third at a New Haven High School-based Division 3 regional.

League favorites: Miller projects Cros-Lex as the team who should be in the running for BWAC honors this spring.

Season outlook: "We lost some key performers due to graduation," Coach Miller said. "We will have to see what we have and make the most of that," he noted.

"Our team will be looking to improve on our finishes of a year ago."

Almont Raiders

Coach and Assistants: Chuck Bristol is the Almont boys' track coach.

Top losses: San Kyte (pole vault and hurdles), Shane DeMeere (high jump, pole vault and hurdles), Marcus LaPonse (sprints) and Chris Reske (middle distance) all competed for Almont for the final time a year ago.

Top returnees: Andy Grant (shot put and discus), Ben Strouse (shot put and discus), Dillon Melly (shot put and discus), Sean Cooper (hurdles), Kyle Podolan (pole vault), Garrett Savage (sprint and sprint relays) and Eric Jacobs (1600 and 3200-meter relays) are Almont's top returnees.

League Meet Showing: Almont generated an eighth at the Richmond High School-based Blue Water Area Conference League Meet.

Regional Showing: The Raiders pulled up fifth at a Division 3 regional hosted by New Haven High School.

League favorites: Bristol pegs Cros-Lex, Richmond and Yale as the likely BWAC title favorites.

Season Outlook: "We have a good turnout for the team so far," Coach Bristol said. "So far we have 28 out for the team and I expect that number to grow in the weeks ahead," he noted.

"There is more depth here than a year ago in almost every event. We should have a good season."

Dryden Cardinals

Coach and Assistants: Shelley Litkovitz is the Dryden boys' track coach.

Top losses: Mario Volante (shot put and discus), Mike Warnars (hurdles along with the 1600 and 3200-meter relays), Mark VanHaverbeck (400 dash, 800 and 1600-meter runs, along with the 1600 and 3200 relays), Ben Orzel (shot put and discus), Jason Jones (pole vault) and Joe Vicari (shot put and discus) are the top Dryden losses due to graduation.

Top returnees: Al Clark (shot put and discus) Travis Litkovitz (shot put and discus), Chad Butler (pole vault, sprint relays and long jump), Joe Drexler (sprints and sprint relays), Eric Tietz (sprints and sprint relays), Matt Lynch (high jump, 400 dash and 1600 relay) and Doug Ladner (110 and 300-meter hurdles along with the 1600 relay) and Brandon Gierman (800-meter run and 1600 relay) are Dryden's top returnees.

League Meet Showing: Dryden ranked second at the North Central Thumb League Meet hosted by Peck High School.

Regional Showing: The Cardinals tied Royal Oak Shrine for honors at the Brown City High School-based Division 4 regional.

Team State Finals: Dryden pulled up eighth at the Division 4 Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association State Finals.

Gobles High School is where the action unfolded.

League favorite: Litkovitz lists Peck, Kingston and Dryden as the teams who should be in contention for NCTL honors this spring.

Season Outlook: "We lost some key runners off of last year's team which tied for regional championship," Coach Litkovitz said. "We still have some top-notch talent returning and that should help us battle it out for the league's top spot," she noted.

Girls' Track

Almont Raiders

Coach and Assistants: Jamey Wade is the Almont girls' track coach.

Top losses: Lindsey Benoit (long jump along with the 100 and 200-meter dashes), Lauren Rogers (pole vault, 800 run and 3200-meter relay) and Melissa McGarey (shot put and discus) are the top Almont losses due to graduation.

Top returnees: Chelsea Bijansky (long jump, pole vault and sprints), Jolie Wycinski (400-meter dash and 1600 relay), Ellen Glinski (discus) Jenny Murphy (shot put and discus), Marie Burkland (1600 and 3200-meter run along with the 3200 relay) and Lauren Deneweth (800 run plus the 1600 and 3200-meter relays) are Almont's top returnees.

League Meet Showing: Almont took sixth at the Richmond High School-based Blue Water Area Conference League Meet.

Regional Showing: The Raiders pulled up fourth at a Division 3 regional hosted by New Haven High School.

League favorites: Cros-Lex and Richmond should be at the top of the Blue Water Area Conference standings, according to Wade. He thinks his team should wind up in the middle of the pack, likely finishing either fourth or fifth.

Season Outlook: Our main concern right now is numbers," Coach Wade said. "We will have lower numbers due to the change in the sports seasons," he noted.

He continued, "We have a good shot at sending athletes to the state finals based on our regional. Two of the top-four teams from last year's regional are either in another division or another regional."

Capac Chiefs

Coach and Assistants: Arnie Vandemark Jr. is the Capac girls' track coach. He is assisted by Gloria Polzin and Fred Rousseau.

Top losses: Jessica Medrano (400 dash along with the 800, 1600 and 3200 relays) was Capac's top loss due to graduation.

Top returnees: Melissa Sawicki (800, 1600 and 3200-meter runs along with 1600 and 3200-meter relays), Lindsey Manning (1600 and 3200-meter run and 3200 relay), Marissa Moore (100 and 200-meter dashes along with the 400 and 800 relays), Kayla Weber (100 and 200-meter dashes along with the 400 and 1600-meter relays), Danielle Nieman (1600 and 3200-meter relays) and Brandy Bly (shot put and discus) are Capac's top returnees.

League Meet Showing: Capac ranked fifth at the Blue Water Area Conference League Meet hosted by Richmond High School.

Regional Showing: The Chiefs furnished a third at a New Haven High School-based Division 3 regional.

League favorites: Vandemark pegs Cros-Lex as the likely Blue Water Area Conference frontrunner.

Season Outlook: "We have a lot of good athletes back from last year," Coach Vandemark said. "Our squad also includes some promising newcomers," he noted.

"We have a larger turnout this season. It looks good for the future."

Imlay City Spartans:

Coach and Assistants: Imlay City is coached by Jim Reinke.

Top losses: Christine Hillman (hurdles, sprints, long jump and sprint relays) and Ashley Roth (hurdles and sprint relays) are the top Imlay City losses due to graduation.

Top returnees: Becky Hummel (100 and 200 dashes along with the sprint relays), Brittany Price (800, 1600 and 3200-meter runs), Sarah Bennett (1600 and 3200 runs along with the 3200-meter relay), Mandy Lacertosa (1600 and 3200 runs along with the 3200-meter relay), Allison Gass (shot put and discus), Krissy Swejkowski (high jump), Denise Soulliere (shot put), Taelor Webb (200 and 400-meter dashes along with the sprint relays) Nicole Wilcox (100 dash along with the 400 and 800-meter relays) and Ashton Tripp (800 run and 3200-meter relay) are Imlay City's top returnees.

League Meet Showing: Imlay City took seventh at the Richmond High School-based Blue Water Area Conference League Meet.

Regional Showing: The Spartans pulled up fifth at a Division 3 regional hosted by New Haven High School.

League favorites: Reinke thinks that Cros-Lex and Algonac are the teams to beat as far as the BWAC title race is concerned.

Season Outlook: "Our numbers are up, which leads me to be optimistic," Coach Reinke said. "It still means we need to be tough, though, as we participate in a highly-competitive league," he emphasized.

Dryden Cardinals

Coach and Assistant: Bill Boswell is the Dryden girls' track coach.

Top losses: Lindsey Lynch (sprints and sprint relays) is Dryden's top loss due to graduation.

Top returnees: Selina Paupert (800 and 1600-meter runs) and Hillary Mason (3200 run) are Dryden's top returnees.

League Meet Showing: Dryden ranked fourth at the Peck High School-based North Central Thumb League Meet.

Regional showing: The Cardinals pulled up eighth at a Division 4 regional hosted by Brown City High School.

League favorites: Boswell lists North Huron and Akron-Fairgrove as the teams with the best shots of bringing home league honors at season's end.

Season Outlook: "Our numbers are down from years past," Coach Boswell said. "However, the people we do have coming back are quality competitors," he noted.

"I am expecting the athletes that we do have out for the team give a good account of themselves."

Castle Creek
Van Dyke Gas
08 - 18 - 17
07:48
Site Search


August
arrow
S M T W T F S
12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031
Almont DDA
IC Chamber
IC DDA
Thanks for visiting Tri City Times