Despite graduation losses, Center Grove High School girls track and field coach Wes Dodson is optimistic about the 2016 season.
“We will again be shooting for a county and sectional championship as well as placing as high as possible in the state meet,” Dodson said.
The Trojans, who are defending sectional champions, return junior sprinter Olivia Rassel and sophomore sprinter/hurdler Haley Goines, who both qualified for the state meet in four events last year.
Another key returner is senior Taylor Hickey, who qualified for state in the 800 meters in the state meet last year.
Also back is junior distance runner Valerie Clark, state meet cross country qualifier last season.
Adding depth in the field events are Alysha Cheek, who recently won the indoor Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference in shot put, and Kylie Falcone, who was second in the pole vault at the MIC indoors.
Alexa Kovacs, a distance runner, is seeking her fourth varsity letter, and junior Rachel Chan qualified for the regional last year in the 3,200.
Dodson said freshmen Julia Riley, Tori Sykes and Nina Fujii are promising newcomers.
Sprinting and middle distance should be the strength for the Lancers.First-year coach Derrick Ball said junior sprinter Blythe Carmen and sophomore middle distance runner Katelyn Bivens will be looking to improve on last year’s sectional showings.
Freshman sprinter Taylor Tatlock, whose speciality is the 400, is a promising newcomer.
Sophomore distance runner Emily Dixon is another top returner.
The Grizzly Cubs’ top returners are sophomore Kloie Doublin and senior Kinsley CastroDoublin was sectional champion in long jump and was fourth in the 100 meters.
Castro is the defending sectional discus champion and was a state qualifier last season. She was third in the shot put at sectional.
Veteran coach Tim Leonard expects Doublin and Castro to build on last year’s success.
Senior Brittany Hammond gives Franklin another experience thrower. She was third in the discus at the sectional last year.
Sophomores Emma Beavins and Morgan Hoy will provide depth in the running events. Beavins also competes in the hurdles, and Hoy is a long jumper.
Other returners are senior McKinley Purdy, who was second in the high jump and third in 400 meters at the sectional, and junior hurdler Ally Parramore, who was third in the 300 hurdles at the sectional.
Among the distance group are seniors Blaec Kunze and Sydney Fears, sophomore Emma Treibic
The Woodmen have a wealth of experience returning.“(We) have a solid foundation of returning depth in almost every event and eager newcomers who will nicely fill in some of the gaps,” coach Blaine Williams said. “We had only two seniors last year on a team that was second in the county and conference and third at the sectional.”
Williams said the top returner is sophomore sprinter Hanna Anderson, who qualified for the state meet in the 100 last year.
The Woodmen also return senior hurdler Tori Harper, who came back from a knee injury at last year’s county meet to qualify for the regional in the 100 hurdles.
Other top returners are junior Taylor Neely and senior Maddy Renfro, who were part of a county, conference, sectional and regional championship 3,200 meter relay team that finished eighth at the state meet last year.
Also returning is sophomore high jumper Olivia Weston and senior pole vaulter Katy Allen, the school-record holder in that event.
“We expect big contributions from freshmen McKenzie McClarney in the sprints and Emily Bonser in the throws, and senior Jae Taft in the sprints,” Williams said.
The Woodmen will be without sophomore hurdler and high jumper Leah Moore, who suffered a knee injury during basketball season.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how our young talent fits in with the established veterans on our team, and I’m especially interested to see who steps up to fill in for some of those lost points from a year ago,” Williams said.
Coach Jim Slater said he is excited about the prospects for this season.The Cougars medley relay team qualified for the indoor state meet with the eigtht-fastest time in the state.
The group consists of freshman Anna Subris, sophomore Anna Simons, and sisters Lauren and Allie Dalton. They will comprise the 3,200 relay for the varsity season.
“I think they could compete for advancement to the regional and even state meet in the 3,200,” Slater said.
The Cougars have eight girls on the roster.
The Braves top returner is junior distance runner Isabel Dawson, who was an individual qualifier for the semistate in cross country.But the first-year coach Steve Fleenor also expects the Braves to be competitive in a host of other events.
“Some of the jumpers and sprinters should be the strength of the team,” first-year coach Steve Fleenor said.
Senior Emma DeHart is a returning sprinter and long jumper. Other top returners are seniors Mikayla Baugh, thrower; Sydney Sutton, sprints/long jump; and sophomore Hope Nelson, hurdles/pole vault.
Fleenor said junior high jumper Hunter Fields and sophomore thrower Auna Holbert should also be consistent scores.
Coach Brandon Bangel expects the Warriors to be much improved from last season.Top returners include Taylor Coffman in the hurdles; Kaley Brewer in the distance events; Kerrigan Miller in the sprints; and Kathleen Schlenz in the long jump and sprints.
Bangel said key newcomers include Chloe Sanders in the pole vault; Sidney Crowe in the hurdles; and Kelsey Ross in the distance events.
“We are hoping to finish in the top three in the county and conference and increase the number of regional qualifiers from last season,” Bangel said.