With solid numbers, especially at the lower levels, the Geneseo boys’ track and field team is trying to put all the pieces together as they prepare for championship meet season.
“We are off to a real good start, and we will have a decent team before it is all said and done,” said head coach Don Fredericks. “We are figuring out all the pieces and experimenting with different lineups.
“Our freshmen/sophomore team won conference last year and that was a great experience for the whole team, and now they move forward with that experience. We took a few hits with losing kids, but we also have some new faces and talent.”
This season, the Leafs return senior All-Stater Joe Huffman, who is leading the charge in the shot put and discus.
“It is a great situation to have him back, and he is looking great,” said Fredericks.
Other seniors joining Huffman in their final season are: Josh DuBois, Jakob Gradert, Landon Hoon, Sean Lillis, Jesse Mohr, Oliver Newton, Kyle Reiling, Tyler Rusk, Chuck?Springer and Zach?Taber.
The juniors looking to make an impact are: Shane Dixon, Daulton Johnson, Dugan Kuffel, Luke Larson, Mitchell Lawson, Jacob Miller, Tyler Milroy, Chris Olson, Alex Platz, Jacob Rahn, Jordan Reschke, Asa Shackelford, Jordan Starkey, Jay Wilson, Cam Yeater and Seth?Young.
This year’s sophomore class includes:?Chaise Blakley, Chase Cahalan, Jacob Eaker, Tony Gatter, Kaleb Haxby, Ethan Hultman, Josh King, Mitchell?Lamb, A.J.?Marmion, Jared Matthews, Jeremy Mendoza, Aaron Metcalf, Jordan?Mielke, Ryan?Petschke, Justin Seeley, Robert Smith, Luke Snyder, Nick Verbeck, Ryan Webster, Seth?Wilson, Bailey Weber, and Griffin Welfer.
The newcomers include freshmen: Sam Arndt, Chris Bagley, Jon?Barry, Josh Beard, David Chenoweth, Josiah Cropp, Nolan Fassett, Ryan Ganson, Jeremy?Harper, Asher Johnson, Carson?Krause, Dylan Lyon, Joey Medina, Caleb Norville, Grant Pritchard, Ian Ramsey, Ryan Pitra, Gage Sears, Adam?Smith and Caleb Talbot.
“I am real impressed with the work ethic of the freshmen,” said Fredericks. “They are working hard and it is going to be interesting to see how many can crack the varsity lineup.”
Coach Fredericks said his expectations for this year’s team are to just be as good as they can be.
“I want each athlete and coach to have a great experience,” said Fredericks.?“The journey is the most important aspect of this whole thing because that is what they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
Coach Fredericks said he believes the Leafs’ strengths will be in their throwers, which he said has the potential to score points. He also said not far behind the throwers are the Leaf hurdlers, who are looking really good. Again, Geneseo’s distance runners will be strong, especially in the middle distance.
“It will be fun to see how the whole thing shakes out, but there is good potential,” said Fredericks.
Coach Fredericks views this year’s team as a young team, but the Leafs are a team with some young veterans that are ready to step up to the varsity level.
“It will be exciting to see how much success they can have,” said Fredericks. “This also is the third straight freshman group that is really strong, which provides a lot of depth for the team.”
Like every year, the Leafs’ main goal is to peak at championship meet season and keep improving everyday.
“I don’t want us to be at our best during the first meet,” said Fredericks. “We just need to work hard and keep getting better.”
Last season, the Leafs’ Joe Huffman placed sixth at state in the shot put with a throw of 52-4 1/4 and ninth in the discus at 144-08.
Geneseo as a team placed eighth in the conference, while the freshmen/sophomore team captured the conference title. At the varsity conference meet, Huffman won the discus and took third in the shot put.
Geneseo at Knox Invite
The Geneseo boys’ track and field team opened the 2012 season with five second-place finishes at the Feb. 24 Knox Invite.
Huffman nabbed second place in the shot put with a throw of 51-1, while Platz came in second in pole vault as he cleared 12-0.
Geneseo’s 4x800-meter relay of Reiling, Welfer, Lawson and Rahn also took second with a time of 9 minutes and 5.40 seconds, while Seeley and Kuffel both came in second in the 55-m hurdles in 8.30.
Taking third place were Wilson in the pole vault at 11-6 and the 4x400-m relay of Kuffel, Welfer, Pitra and Seeley with a time of 3:44.30.
Additional Track Results
4x800-m relay- Lamb, Lillis, Miller and Blakley, seventh, 9:36.90. 55-m hurdles- Yeater, fifth, 8.70; Jay Wilson, 11th, 10.00; and Lyon, 12th, 10.30. 55-m dash- Johnson and Seeley, ninth, 6.80; Rusk and Cahalan, 12th, 6.90; Pitra, 17th, 7.00; Harper, Taber, Ramsey and Arndt, 22nd, 7.10; Milroy and Yeater, 26th, 7.20; Metcalf and Matthews, 29th, 7.30; Seth?Wilson and Kuffel, 33rd, 7.40; Haxby, 36th, 7.50; Weber, 37th, 7.60; Mendoza, 38th, 7.80; Sears, 39th, 7.90; and Olson, 8.30. 800-m run- Rahn, 10th, 2:20.0 and Lillis, 16th, 2:29.30. 4x200-m relay- Milroy, Cahalan, Johnson and Harper, fourth, 1:44.40. 400-m dash- Beard, 13th, 58.80; Arndt, 16th, 1:02.20; Miller, 17th, 1:02.80; Krause, 18th, 1:03.20; Young, 21st, 1:04.20; Olson, 22nd, 1:08.10; and Petsche, 23rd, 1:09.50. 1600-m run- Lawson, 10th, 5:11.10; Fassett, 16th, 5:22.90; Lamb, 18th, 5:26.70; and Mohr, 25th, 6:05.10. 200-m dash- Platz, 10th, 25.80; Ramsey, 11th, 25.90; Harper, 12th, 26.00; Weber, 19th, 26.80; Jay Wilson, 23rd, 26.80; Seth?Wilson, 25th, 27.90; Young, 26th, 28.00; Haxby, 27th, 28.20; Mendoza, 28th, 28.50; Gradert, 30th, 29.00; and Sears, 31st, 29.20.
Additional Field Results
Shot put- Marmion, fifth, 46-1 1/2; Verbeck, seventh, 41-4 3/4; Dixon, 17th, 36-2 1/2; Smith, 21st, 34-1 and Pritchard, 31st, 26-9. High jump- Platz, fourth, 5-6; Seth Wilson, fifth, 5-4; DuBois, seventh, 5-2; Ramsey, eighth, 5-2; Lyon, 10th, 5-0; Sears and Haxby, 11th, 4-10. Long jump- Cahalan, fourth, 19-1 3/4; Rusk, sixth, 18-4 1/4; Taber, 10th, 18-1 1/2; Pitra, 14th, 17-6; and Metcalf, 17th, 15-7. Pole vault- Mohr, fourth, 10-6 and Gradert, eighth, 8-6. Triple jump- Beard, fourth, 37-9 and Johnson, sixth, 36-2 1/2.
The Leafs will be back in action in the Sterling Gold Medal Invite at 9 a.m. March 3 in Sterling.