Field/distance events key for girls track

Amy Boldt
The senior members of the girls’ track and field team are front row, from left: Stephanie Kennett, Arianna Magana, Stefanie Sandoval and Adrianne Viane. Back row, from left: Veronica Juchcinski, Sarah?Ward, Jessie DeFauw and Megan Wyffels.

As the Lady Leaf track and field team prepares to vie for a conference championship, the squad’s field and distance events will be its tickets to success.

“I think unlike last year where we got the bulk of our points from the weight throws, this year it will be more evenly spread between jumps, throws, pole vault and distance areas,” said head coach Phil Paulson. “We are shooting for a conference championship.”

Coach Paulson commented the strengths of this year’s squad will be similar to last year with some slight variations.

“Our throw areas are not as dominant, but pretty close and our distance areas are strong again,” said Paulson. “And then Megan Wyffels in the pole vault. We will have senior leadership in the jumps, along with some new senior faces.”

A weakness that faces the girls’ track team is their sport has to vie with soccer and softball for better athletes, said Paulson.

“Then the challenge becomes coming up with strong relays in the sprints, but that just goes with the territory,” said Paulson.

Coach Paulson stated the number of girls out for the team this year are approximately the same as last year with 36.

“We are pretty evenly spread in the events,” said Paulson. “We were senior dominated with point getters last year and now we are more evenly spread. I see some of the underclassmen scoring some points.”

This year’s seniors looking to lead the Lady Leafs are Jessie DeFauw, Veronica Juchcinski, Stephanie Kennett, Arianna Magana, Stefanie Sandoval, Adrianne Viane, Sarah Ward and Megan Wyffels.

“I think they all have goals set for themselves that they want a conference title in their event or even a state qualifying mark,” said Paulson.

The junior members of the squad include: Nicole Adams, Joann Chenoweth, Amy Cosgrove, Kaitlin DeGrave, Danielle Dewey, Jena Rice, Carli Talbott and Betsy Winberry.

Those looking to make an impact as sophomores are Jade Collins, Amanda Egan, Tiffani Green, Sally Hamer, Tess Hamer, Andrea Kastorff, Hilary Lohman, Christine Slocum and Alexis Wade.

“Tess?Hamer we are going to be able to count on and we are going to expect good things from her on the track,” said Paulson. “She is a multi-talented girl.

“Tess Hamer, Sally Hamer, Andrea Kastorff and Amanda Egan will all get some varsity points somewhere.”

Joining the high school track team for the first year are freshmen McKenzie Carey, Britta Conrad, Jacque DeFauw, Paige Gatter, Darrian Hartman, Hannah Lohman, Bethany Storm, Kaci Storm and Pearl Viane.

“My hope for the freshmen is to get some experience,” said Paulson. “There is one standout freshman, Kaci Storm, who has proven to be how Tess Hamer was last year. She is talented in a lot of areas and has a lot of potential.”

The outlook of the conference this year again looks like a battle for the NCIC crown between Sterling and Geneseo.

“We are right in the thick of things,” said Paulson. “We are in the same position as last year. My thinking is it will be tight between Sterling and us again and I don’t see any others really challenging us.”

Last season, Alyx Dykema and Andrea Egan competed at state in the discus. Neither placed. Dykema took second at sectionals in 124-01 and Egan took third in 117-07. The team placed second in NCIC.

Geneseo at Knox Indoor

The Lady Leaf track and field team kicked off the season Feb. 27 at the Knox College Indoor Invitational.

Geneseo had several athletes place in the top five to get the year started on the right foot.

“It was a test to see how we are doing,” said Paulson. “And Megan Wyffels put out a state qualifying height in pole vault at 9-6.”

In the 400-meter dash, Tess Hamer won the event, taking the tape in 1 minute and 9.80 seconds, followed by Kaci Storm in third at 1:10.80 and Talbott, fifth at 1:12.90.

Slocum placed third in the 800-m run with a time of 2:47.90, while the Lady Leafs grabbed the top 4 spots in the 1600-m run.  Chenoweth nabbed the top honors with a first-place finish in 5:56.40, followed by  Dewey, second in 5:58.30;  Kennett, third in 5:58.50; and Cosgrove, fourth in 5:59.10.

Wyffels and Tess Hamer went one-two in the 55-m hurdles — Wyffels in first with a time of 9.50 and Hamer, second in 9.70. Kaci Storm finished fourth in 10.20.

The 4x200-m relay of Sally Hamer, Magana, Jacque DeFauw and Hartman placed fourth with a time of 2:03.90.

In the 4x800-m relay, the Lady Leafs took second and fourth in the event. Finishing second were Kennett, Cosgrove, Dewey and Chenoweth in 10:47.40, while Conrad, Hannah Lohman, Gatter and Winberry came in fourth in 11:36.10.

In the field events, Kaci Storm captured first place in the high jump with a leap of 4-8 1/2, while Wyffels took first in the pole vault at 9-6 and Hartman, third at 7-0.

Kastorff finished fifth for Geneseo in the long jump with a mark of 14-1 1/2 and fourth in the triple jump at 27-1. Juchcinski came in second in the triple jump at 29-8 1/2, while Jacque DeFauw placed fifth at 26-8. Egan ended the meet in the fourth place in the shot put with a throw of 33-3.

Additional Track Results

55-m dash- Tess Hamer, sixth, 7.70; Sally Hamer, sixth, 7.70; Bethany Storm, 11th, 8.10; Adrianne Viane, 17th, 8.30; Magana, 23rd, 8.50; Pearl Viane, 23rd, 8.50; Carey, 28th, 9.10.

400-m dash- Pearl Viane, eighth, 1:18.30; Bethany Storm, ninth, 1:18.40; and Carey, 11th, 1:21.70.

800-m run- Hannah Lohman, sixth, 2:52.20; Hilary Lohman, seventh, 2:53.90; Gatter, eighth, 2:54.50; Conrad, ninth, 2:55.30; and Winberry, 11th, 2:59.50.

1600-m run- Hilary Lohman, ninth, 6:37.30.

55-m hurdles- Carey, 11th, 12.20.

4x200-m relay- Wyffels, Jacque DeFauw, Juchcinski and Kaci Storm, sixth, 2:05.80.

Additional Field Results

High jump- Jacque DeFauw, sixth, 4-4.

Long jump- Juchcinski, sixth, 13-8 3/4; Talbott, seventh, 13-2 1/2; and Bethany Storm, ninth, 12-6.

Shot put- Juchcinski, 17th, 22-7 1/2.

The Lady?Leafs will next compete in the PV Quad Meet at 5:30 p.m. March 10.