LSJ high school girls track and field preview

LSJ high school girls track and field preview


LSJ high school girls track and field preview


KEY: S-sprints (100-200-400), MD-middle distance (400-800-1600), D-distance (1600-3200), H-hurdles, R-relays, LJ-long jump, HJ-high jump, J-jumps (long jump and high jump), PV-pole vault, SP-shot put, DS-discus, T-throws (shot put and discus)


Coaches’ prediction: 1. East Lansing, 2. Okemos, 3. Grand Ledge, 4. Holt, 5. Sexton, 6. Jackson, 7. Everett, 8. Lansing Eastern

Top athletes: Essence Whitaker (EL), Re’Anna Blair (EL), Elizabeth Jones (EL), Ashlynn Schiro (Ok), Daria Richards (Ok), Rachel Spreng (Ok), Krista Magness (GL), Madison Arnouts (GL), Hailey French (GL), Erin Howard (Sext), Dorah Carter (Eastern)


Last year: 1st

Coach: Charles Pollard and Bob Brown (37th season)

Top returning athletes: Essence Whitaker (sr. S), Mado Glew (sr. MD/D), Abby Pendred (sr. T), Hannah Busch (sr. D), Elizabeth Jones (jr. S/R), Kathleen Russell (jr. S/R), Re’Anna Blair (so. S/R), Stephanie Vanis (so. MD/D), Brianna Wells (so. S/HJ)

Other contributors: Gretchen Fata (fr. MD), Aulana Lofton (so. S/R)

Outlook: The Trojans graduated several key members of last season’s league championship squad but have an abundance of talent returning. The team’s strength lies in the sprints and relays with Glew, Jones, Blair and Wells all returning as LSJ Dream Team members. Blair and Jones had the Mid-Michigan area’s second and third best times in the 200 dash (25.4, 25.5) while Whitaker was all-area in the 400 (4×100) relay and posted one of the area’s top times in the 100 dash. Pendred was league champion in the discus. The Trojans will again be one of the teams to beat in the Blue.


Last year: 7th

Coach: Darroll Gatson (1st season)

Top returning athletes: Dorah Carter (sr. SP), Catherine Hinton (so. S/H/J), Ariel Fleming (so. S)

Other contributor: Roberta Glennon-Rule (fr. S)

Outlook: The Quakers will be rebuilding under former Michigan State coach Gatson in the always-tough CAAC Blue. All-area senior Carter had the area’s fourth best toss of 37-0½ in the shot put last spring.


Last year: 8th

Coach: Marcelle Carruthers (6th season)

Top returning athletes: Takiya Crawford (sr. H), Yasmine Washington (so. S), Arionna Thomas (so. S), Shiana Farquhar (so. S), Nakia Drane (so. T), Chaunza White (so. T), Damaria Morton (jr. S), Janaya Terry (sr. S), Lyric White (sr. S), Alexis Morrison (sr. S)

Other contributor: Autumn Couthen (fr. T)

Outlook: The Vikings have a large number of returning athletes, particularly in the sprints and throws. The team has a good mix of veterans and underclassmen.


Last year: 2nd

Coach: Fred Hutchinson (7th season)

Top returning athletes: Krista Magness (sr. D/MD), Olivia Conway (jr. D), Hailey French (jr. LJ/S), Jemelah Travis (sr. S), Madison Arnouts (sr. H/S), Leah Edgett (sr. T), Jordan Mills (sr. T), Veronica Mills (so. H/HJ/MD), Courtney Laudick (sr. S/MD)

Other contributors: Hannah Len (fr. H/S), Kayla Norris (fr. H), Raven Norris (fr. H/S), Brooke Rambo (fr. LJ/S)

Outlook: The Comets lost their first league dual meet in five years when East Lansing topped them last spring. Overall, the team has lost only four duals in the past 17 seasons — a testament to the strength and depth of the program. This year’s squad looks strong again with four returning all-area standouts in Magness (5:15 in the 1600 run), Arnouts (46.3 in the 300 hurdles), French (17-0 in the long jump) and Travis. The Blue looks to be a three-team battle between East Lansing, Grand Ledge and Okemos.


Last year: 4th

Coach: Pam Stafford (9th season)

Top returning athletes: Emily Krueger (sr. various), Taylor Jordan (sr. various), Mariah Borrego (jr. S/MD), Zeynoire Anderson (jr. S), Leanna Wehrle (so. D), Abbey Houser (so. D)

Outlook: The Rams finished in the middle of the Blue standings last season and return a number of veterans including seniors Krueger and Jordan ,who will compete in a variety of events. The team has a good mix of lower and upperclassmen and should be competitive as usual.


Last year: 2nd

Coach: Brian Harrod (6th season)

Top returning athletes: Ayda Alavi (sr. MD), Maya Aronoff (jr. D), Amanda Delekta (jr. D), Miah Nash (so. T), Brooklyn Patterson (sr. S), Daria Richards (so. HJ/H), Jess Richards (sr. S), Ashlynn Schiro (sr. H/LJ), Rachel Spreng (sr. PV/H), Mariah Timmons (sr. S)

Other contributors: Kendall Bubolz (fr. D), Sophia Franklin (fr. H/PV), Kalina Hertafeld (so. H/PV), Sarah Kim (jr. H), Connor LaPres (sr. D), Hayley Mullen (sr. D), Kori Scott (so. S)

Outlook: The Chiefs boast the league’s top performer in LSJ athlete of the year Schiro. The senior finished second at the Division 1 state finals in the 300 hurdles and made all-state in the 100 hurdles and long jump as well. She is joined by all-area relay members Alavi and Aronoff as well as Richards (high jump) and Spreng (100 hurdles). The Chiefs should be one of the top three teams in the Blue.


Last year: 5th

Coach: Dan Boggan (3rd season)

Top returning athletes: Andrea Koenigsknecht (sr. H/R), Lori Lewis (jr. S/R), Alexis Washington (jr. H/R), Nieha Brown (so. H/J), Erin Howard (so. T), Maijuana Williams (so. T), Brittney Morey (so. PV/R), Destiny Battle (so. S), Destiny Davis (jr. MD)

Other contributors: Shante Bonham (jr. H), Natashia Jamison (jr. S), J La Garrett-Bates (sr. S/MD/R), Samaria Tucker (jr. T)

Outlook: It would be a mistake to overlook the Big Reds. The team brings back three legs of its state meet-qualifying sprint relay teams in Lewis, Washington and Koenigsknecht. Howard was also the league champion in the shot put and qualified for state as a freshman. While there may not be enough strength in the middle distance and distance events to reach the top three in the Blue, Sexton should be a dangerous opponent and could fare well in the bigger meets.


Coaches’ prediction: 1. DeWitt, 2. Ionia, 3. St. Johns, 4. Haslett, 5. Owosso, 6. Fowlerville

Top returning players: Josie Yesmunt (DeW), Madison Slater (DeW), Jordan Lee (DeW), Hailey McRoberts (I), Anna VanSyckle (I), Karrigan Smith (SJ), Alison Rich (Has), Taryn King (Has), Dillon McClintock (Ow), Mackenzie Jones (Ow)


Last year: 1st

Coach: Kelly Williams (7th season)

Top returning athletes: Josie Yesmunt (sr. S/R), Emily Murdoch (jr. D), Madison Slater (jr. MD/R), Jordan Lee (jr. MD), Amber Koenigsknecht (jr. H/R), Bailey Slater (so. S/R), Taylor Milns (sr. T)

Other contributors: Shelby Waterson (jr. D), Hannah Stoll (sr. HJ), Audra Kimble (sr. MD)

Outlook: The Panthers return five all-state athletes, including Division 2 100 dash state champion Yesmunt from last year’s squad that finished third overall at the state meet. Slater, Lee, Koenigsknecht and Slater earned all-state while Murdoch made all-league and qualified for states. The team is dominant in the relays (all four relays posted times in the top four in the Mid-Michigan area) and is strong as well in the sprints and middle distance events. DeWitt is the prohibitive favorite to repeat as CAAC Red champions.


Last year: 6th

Coach: Dan Coon and Robert Fuehr (15th season)

Top returning athletes: Olivia Roedel (jr. S), Emma Roedel (so. S), Bridgette Parker (so. D), Molly Bishop (sr. D), Rachel Coon (jr. T)

Other contributors: Julia Wykes (so. MD), Paige Boden (fr. T)

Outlook: The Gladiators are small in numbers and lack depth. However, coaches Coon and Fuehr like the team’s chances in the larger individual meets and see overall improvement as the season progresses.


Last year: 4th

Coach: Kevin Tobe (4th season)

Top returning athletes: Alison Rich (sr. H/LJ), Taryn King (sr. HJ), Kikel Sekoni (jr. S/PV), Marissa Bradley (jr. D), Marina Eddy (sr. S/LJ), Mariah Otlewski (jr. S/H), Sydney Lannon (sr. T), Haley Estrada (jr. MD)

Other contributors: Sarah Schmidt (fr. T), Rachel Hamilton (so. MD)

Outlook: The Vikings appear strongest in the field events, where state qualifiers Rich and King return. Rich earned all-staet with a seventh place at the Division 2 finals in the long jump and her leap of 16-9 was the fourth best in the area last spring. King finished third in the conference in the high jump, and her leap of 5-3 was third best in the area. Sekoni was an all-league sprinter.


Last year: 2nd

Coach: James Merrifield (2nd season)

Top returning athletes: Kaitlyn Rademacher (jr. MD/S), Hailey McRoberts (jr. S/LJ), Larissa Piggott (so. T), Camryn Klein (so. S/MD), Kaylee Shattuck (so. D/PV), Sam McGinnis (jr. S), Serena Lebo (so. D), Anna VanSyckle (jr. HJ/H)

Other contributors: Taryn Hubaker (jr. D), Megan Corey (jr. S), Kiersten Reeves (fr. D/H)

Outlook: If any team can push DeWitt for top honors in the Red, it could be the Bulldogs. McRoberts who made all-state with an eighth at the Division 2 finals in the 100 dash is one of four state qualifiers who return. The others were Rademacher, Klein and VanSyckle while Hubaker transfers in from Grand Ledge after posting one of the area’s top times in the 3200 run at 11:42. The squad is composed of mostly juniors and sophomores so the outlook is promising for the next several seasons.


Last year: 2nd

Coach: Jeff Sawyer (21st season)

Top returning athletes: Mackenzie Jones (sr. S), Dillon McClintock (jr. MD), Katie Lynch (sr. T), Ally Beilfuss (sr. H), Megan Konopacke (sr. S/MD), Erin Konopacke (so. H), Mary Basso (so. PV), Catie Gilbert (jr. PV)

Other contributors: Lilly Ebarra (jr. S/LJ), Jessica Brown (jr. D), Leah Croghan (jr. S), Jasmine Haynes (so. J)

Outlook: The Trojans are well-rounded with strength in most events though lacking in depth. Three state qualifiers return in Jones, Lynch and McClintock (who made all-state in the 800 at the Division 2 finals), while Lynch was regional champ in the discus. Beilfuss, Basso, Gilbert and both Megan and Erin Konopacke made all-league honorable mention. Owosso may be hard-pressed to finish second again in the tough CAAC Red but should be a factor in the larger meets later in the season.


Last year: 5th

Coach: Neil Feldpausch (2nd season)

Top returning athletes: Karrigan Smith (jr. D/MD), Lyndsay Pung (jr. S), Emily Wohlfert (so. S), Ashley Terpening (sr. S/LJ), Kayla Kraft (sr. D), Maddy Slamka (jr. S/HJ), Jen Eaton (so. D), Milah Montle (so. D)

Other contributor: Erika Ballinger (fr. MD)

Outlook: The Redwings are led by LSJ Dream Team and all-state junior Smith, who finished second in both the 800 and 1600 at the Division 2 state finals. Smith’s times in both events as well as in the 3200 were at or near the top of the mid-Michigan area’s honor roll. Joining her are all-league sprinters Pung and Wohlfert as well as all-league distance runners Eaton and Montle. St. Johns could join Ionia as a team capable of pushing DeWitt in the formidable CAAC Red.


Coaches’ prediction: 1. Eaton Rapids, 2. Mason, 3. Charlotte, 4. Waverly, 5. Parma Jackson County Western, 6. Jackson Northwest, 7. Jackson Lumen Christi

Top athletes: Kathryn Mills (ER), Bailey Baker (ER), Mary Hecksel (ER), Meg Darmofal (Mas), Emily Helfrich (Char), Chante’ Roberts (Wav)


Last year: 3rd

Coach: Jay Gowell (3rd season)

Top returning athletes: Emily Helfrich (jr. HJ), Allie Goeman (so. S), Ayren Parrish (sr. S), Mikayla Skowronski (jr. MD), Andrea Garza (sr. MD), Madison Grace (jr. T), Hannah Goin (sr. D), Lucy Sare (sr. D), Kaitlin Stults (sr. D)

Other contributors: Briana Hasler (fr. MD), Allie Telfor (fr. T)

Outlook: LSJ Dream Team member Helfrich had the top leap in the Mid-Michigan area in the high jump with a 5-6, which also happens to be the school record. Goeman, Parrish and Skowronski return as three legs of the Orioles’ 800 (4×200) and 400 (4×100) relay teams which finished fourth and sixth respectively at the Division 2 state finals. Both relays set new school records as well. Garza qualified for state in the 800. The team is thin in numbers and may struggle in the field events but should be a force at the league meet.


Last year: 1st

Coach: Bob Ribby (19th season)

Top returning athletes: Kathryn Mills (sr. J/H), Bailey Baker (sr. T), Molly Dassance (sr. MD), Meghan Dassance (sr. S), Mary Hecksel (jr. T), Tally Ferri (sr. D), Allison Saint Aubin (sr. PV), Kiya Hetzer (sr. S/H), Jenna Beamer (sr. S), Rebecca Lathrop (so. MD/D), Mary Price (so. S/J)

Other contributors: Sheila Babbitt (fr. MD), Erika Spagnuolo (jr. S/MD), Liz Mumma (jr. T), Myia Perkins (jr. S)

Outlook: The Greyhounds are coming off back-to-back regional championships and boast three consecutive CAAC Gold titles as well. The team hasn’t lost a dual meet since 2010, and they look to be the team to beat again. The squad is senior-driven with LSJ Dream Team and all-state Baker leading the way. Baker finished second at the Division 2 state finals in the discus and her throw of 134-7 was 12 feet better than the second best in the area. All-area senior Mills returns in the high jump sporting the area’s second-best leap at 5-4 while junior Hecksel finished seventh in the discus at states. The Greyhounds are deep with a good blend of youth and experience and should battle Mason for the league title.


Last year: 2nd

Coach: David Jones (20th season)

Top returning athletes: Jalysa Bard (jr. S/H), Meg Darmofal (jr. D), Zoe Glass (so. S), Rachel Johnson (jr. T), Abby Johnstone (jr. PV), Dani Jones (so. J/S), Libbey Jones (sr. D), Quincie McCalla (sr. J/S/H), Anna Most (jr. S), Caitlin Niswonger (so. T), Leaha Sinnaeve (jr. D), Sami Strickland (jr. PV/S), Olivia Tarry (jr. S), Valorie Washburn (sr. H)

Other contributors: Miguella Combs (fr. PV/H), Morgan Daily (fr. H), Callie Jones (fr. D), Erin McDermott (so. D), Trudie Mulville (sr. D)

Outlook: LSJ Dream Team junior Darmofal returns as the Division 2 state champion in the 3200. Her winning time of 10:49.49 was nine seconds better than the second place finisher. She also posted the top time in the area in the 1600 run (4:55.2) and the third best in the 800 run (2:16.9). Johnson and Niswonger both qualified for states in the shot put and had throws that placed among the top eight in the area. McCalla adds strength in the jumps, sprints and hurdles and is the team’s most versatile athlete according to coach Jones. The Bulldogs will be right in the mix for top honors in the CAAC Gold.


Last year: 4th

Coach: Robert Lurie (27th season)

Top returning athletes: Chante’ Roberts (sr. S/R), Kelly Patterson (sr. PV/D), Lanea Mays (jr. LJ/S), Erin Pete (jr. S), Anaiyah Brewer (so. S), Ryaira Hester (so. D), Samantha Long (so. D), Raquel Goodwin (so. H)

Other contributors: Taylor Manson (fr. S), Olivia Maxwell (so. S), Maya Bennett (fr. T), Teaghan Thomas (fr. S), Annalise Wilson (fr. D)

Outlook: LSJ Dream Team and all-state sprinter Roberts returns after posting the area’s top times in the 400 dash (58.0) and the 200 dash (25.0) and was second best in the 100 dash (12.3). Roberts finished third at the Division 2 state finals in the 200 and will anchor the three sprint relays for the Warriors. As usual, Waverly will be strong in the sprints and relays but appear thin in distance and the field events. The Warriors will likely finish in the middle of the CAAC Gold but will be dangerous in the larger meets.


Coaches’ prediction: 1. Williamston, 2. Lansing Catholic, 3. Corunna, 4. Lakewood, 5. Stockbridge, 6. Portland

Top athletes: Paige Dutcher (Will), Sarah Schultz (Will), Jessica Lycos (Will), Erin Fields (LC), Rylie Martin (Cor), Mycah Ridder (Lkwd), Samantha Morrison (Lkwd), Lauren Allen (Stock)


Last year: 2nd

Coach: Alan Montgomery (3rd season)

Top returning athletes: Kelsey Quinn (sr. MD), Maddie Turner (sr. MD), Rylie Martin (jr. PV), Brooke Judd (jr. MD), Skylar Napier (so. MD), Emily Mesh (jr. D), Hannah Dean (jr. T), Jessica Cameron (sr. MD)

Other contributors: Meredith Norris (fr. HJ), Bailey Balcom (fr. H), Summer Smith (fr. PV)

Outlook: The Cavaliers bring back three state qualifiers in Quinn (800 run), Turner (800 run) and Martin (pole vault), who was also regional champion and one of the top vaulters in the area. The team’s strength appears to lie with middle distance and the field events.


Last year: 3rd

Coach: Jim Hassett (15th season)

Top returning athletes: Mycah Ridder (sr. S/R), Samantha Morrison (so. H/HJ), Jacqueline O’Gorman (jr. S), Betsy Reynolds (jr. MD), Lindsey Tooker (jr. S/MD), Stevie Sutton (jr. PV/MD)

Other contributors: Brianna Bost (jr. T), Davita Mater (fr. D), Riley Eggers (fr. T), Katelin Senneker (fr. S)

Outlook: The Vikings are led by senior sprinter Ridder, who qualified for state in three events and is the reigning league champ in both the 100 and 200. She has gone to state finals three consecutive seasons. Versatile sophomore Morrison returns after placing seventh at the Division 2 state finals in the 100 hurdles as well as qualifying in the high jump and 400 (4×100) relay. Reynolds also returns as a state qualifier and the third leg of the 400 relay team.


Last year: 4th

Coach: Tim Simpson (14th season)

Top returning athletes: Erin Fields (sr. HJ/S), Jo Brown (jr. D), Amy Hicks (jr. D), Mary Delaney (jr. D), Haley Fischman (sr. T), Jamara Hester (so. S/LJ), Sydney Harvey (so. S), AnnMarie Dunneback (sr. MD/D/LJ), Emily Cissell (jr. S/DS/R)

Other contributors: Reagan Vorce (so. S), Maddy Maloney (so. HJ/S), Tia Fields (so. S), Anna Rentz (jr. D)

Outlook: The Cougars will again be strong in the distance events with two returning state qualifiers in Brown and Hicks as well as all-league Delaney. The team also gets help in distance from their two-time league champion cross country squad. Fields was a state qualifier in the high jump while Fischman was all-league in the throws. The Cougars are balanced though without many seniors and look to gradually improve heading into the regionals and states.


Last year: 5th

Coach: John Novara (2nd season)

Top returning athletes: Danielle Keusch (so. MD), Kaylynn Martin (so. S/R), Amanda Pohl (so. MD), Alayna Gorlitch (so. S/R)

Other contributors: Jessika Grapentein (jr. S), Torie Teachout (fr. T), Meg Gross (so. MD)

Outlook: The Raiders are the league’s youngest squad with a large contingent of sophomores and freshmen. The overall numbers have gone up since coach Novara cited this as the largest squad Portland has had in years. Though success may not be immediate with a team so young, better days lie ahead in the next few seasons.


Last year: 6th

Coach: Jeffrey Trapp (10th season)

Top returning athletes: Kelsey Crockett (sr. S/R), Becca Ensign (jr. S/R), Jamie Cool (jr. S/R/PV), Lauren Allen (sr. R/DS)

Other contributors: Taylor Machette (so. MD), Lauren Shields (fr. S/LJ), Julia Olson (fr. MD)

Outlook: The Panthers are another young team with 20 of their 30 athletes being freshmen and sophomores. But there is talent returning in state qualifiers Crockett (third time), Ensign and Cool as well as all-leaguer Allen, whose throw of 110-4 in the discus was among the area’s leaders. The four of them comprise two of the relay teams, an area of strength according to coach Trapp.


Last year: 1st

Coach: Mitch Lutzke (22nd season)

Top returning athletes: Paige Dutcher (jr. S/LJ), Sarah Schultz (jr. S/HJ), Jessica Lycos (jr. S/HJ), Angela Maurer (sr. MD/D), Helen Rueckert (sr. S), Ashley Strange (sr. PV), Julia Henderson (so. S), Taylor Kotecki (so. S)

Other contributors: Grace Lounsbury (fr. S/H), Emily Coscarelli (jr. D), Alyson Woods (jr. H), Taylor Condit (so. S)

Outlook: With their dominance in the relays — three of the four (400, 800, 1600) were among the area’s best – the Hornets are the clear favorite to repeat as CAAC White champions. The team returns six multiple event state qualifiers in Dutcher, Schultz and Lycos. Rueckert and Kotecki both went to state finals as relay members while all-area selection Strange qualified in the pole vault with a top leap of 10-6 that was second best in the mid-Michigan area. Williamston has a few holes to fill in the hurdles, long jump and throws but is strong everywhere else.


Coaches’ prediction: 1. Pewamo-Westphalia, 2. Fowler, 3. Bath, 4. Saranac, 5. Laingsburg, 6. Potterville, 7. Dansville, 8. Fulton, 9. Portland St. Patrick

Top athletes: Kenzie Wieber (PW), Marissa Wirth (PW), Betsy Arens (PW), Savanah Feldpausch (Fow), Allison Hufnagel (Fow), Monica Buhr (Fow), Annie Fanta (Bath), Sadie Guernsey (Sar), Nicky McAvoy (L), Samantha Stanton (Pott), Hannah Dunham (Dans), Amanda Madden (Ful)


Last year: 4th

Coach: Emily Fritz (3rd season)

Top returning athletes: Annie Fanta (jr. MD), Faith Brown (so. D), Isabelle Fritz (so. S)

Outlook: The Bees graduated some top athletes from the team that finished 11th at the Division 3 state finals last season. However, this young team returns Fanta and Brown from the 3200 (4×800) relay squad that finished third at the state finals and whose top time of 9:56.9 was third best in the Mid-Michigan area. The 1600 relay (4×400) team finished fourth at the finals and was also among the area’s best. Fritz qualified for states in the sprints. Bath should finish in the top three or four in the conference.


Last year: 8th

Coach: Jason Gubeno (9th season)

Top returning athletes: Amanda Arbuckle (sr. D), Sonya Pratt (sr. D), Ellen launstein (sr. D), Hannah Dunham (jr. T), Emily Foster (jr. D)

Outlook: The Aggies return one of the league’s top athletes in Dunham, who is reigning league champion in the shot put plus league and regional runner-up in the discus. Dansville also returns a trio of seniors in the distance events.


Last year: 2nd

Coach: Jill Feldpausch (7th season)

Top returning athletes: Savannah Feldpausch (sr. H/S), Allison Hufnagel (jr. HJ/H/R), Monica Buhr (T/R), Madison Koenigsknecht (so. S), Brianna Feldpausch (sr. MD), McKenzie Boyd (sr. S), Aubrey Snyder (jr. HJ/DS)

Other contributors: Maddie Thelen (fr. H/MD), Brooke VanElls (sr. LJ/S), Clair Schafer (sr. LJ/S)

Outlook: The Eagles return the majority of their athletes from the team that won their regional and finished third at the Division 4 state finals last spring. Savanah Feldpausch is one of the area’s top hurdlers having finished second and third in the 300 and 100 hurdles respectively at the state championships. Her best of 45.7 in the 300 hurdles was second only to LSJ athlete of the year Ashlynn Schiro’s 44.0. Hufnagel made all-state by taking fourth in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the high jump. Buhr was all-area in the shot put while Boyd, Koenigsknecht and Brianna Feldpausch all qualified, along with Buhr in the 3200 (4×800) relay. There are only 21 athletes on board but Fowler will again be a powerhouse in the CMAC as well as at the regional and state levels.


Last year: 7th

Coach: Jeff Bidinger (1st season)

Top returning athletes: Amanda Madden (sr. MD), Taylor Bolinger (sr. MD/D), Brianna Casteel (sr. DS)

Outlook: The Pirates are led by Division 4 all-area selection Madden, who finished third at the state finals in the 400. Other returning athletes of note are Bolinger in the middle distance and distance events as well as Casteel in the discus. Outside of those three, the squad is relatively young.


Last year: 5th

Coach: Brian Borgman (10th season)

Top returning athletes: Erica Halick (jr. H), Kelly Brown (so. HJ/S), Kristen Johnson (sr. HJ/MD), Julia Angst (so. D), Nicky McAvoy (jr. T)

Other contributors: Peyton Flemming (fr. S), Makinna Chant (fr. T)

Outlook: With a squad of just 16 athletes, the Wolfpack could have some issues filling all of their relays. However, there is plenty of talent in the field events and distance. Division 3 all-area McAvoy finished second at the state finals in the discus and her top throw of 116-4 was fourth best in the Mid-Michigan area. Brown and Johnson both qualified for state in the high jump, while Halick returns from a season-long injury to lend strength in the hurdles. She was all-league and a regional champ in 2012. The Wolfpack should finish in the upper half of the league.


Last year: 1st

Coach: Scott Werner (14th season)

Top returning athletes: Kenzie Wieber (sr. PV/S), Jenna Thelen (sr. S), Kelsey Schmitz (sr. H), Betsy Arens (sr. MD), Sasha Platte (sr. S), Marissa Wirth (jr. S), Cammie Noeker (sr. S), Sarah Barrett (jr. S)

Other contributors: Emma Schafer (so. H/T), Brenda Hafner (sr. T), Andrea Spitzley (sr. J), Gabbie Hummel (jr. S), Brenna Wirth (fr. S)

Outlook: It will be difficult to top last season’s success since the Pirates were regional and Division 3 state champions. However, 14 of the 18 athletes that made it to the state finals are back with six of them returning as champions. Wieber won the pole vault, and her top leap of 11-7 was a full foot better than the Mid-Michigan area’s second-best vault. Platte was all-state in the pole vault and Wirth was as well with a sixth in the 400. Thelen, Schmitz, Arens, Noeker and Barrett were all members of the sprint relay teams. Two were state champions (400, 1600) while the third was a runner-up (800). With the possible exception of the distance events, the Pirates are strong everywhere and appear primed for another run at a state title.


Last year: 9th

Coach: George Rutherford (2nd season)

Top returning athletes: Emily Bengel (sr. S), Holly Gunderman (sr. S), Aurora Smith (sr. S/MD), Mary Wernet (sr. MD), Shelby Miller (jr. D), Madi Schrauben (jr. T), Logan Cook (so. MD/LJ), Cammi Schneider (so. S/HJ/H)

Other contributors: Amelia Cook (sr. S), Abrielle Mason (fr. T), Brittany Thelen (fr. S/HJ)

Outlook: The Shamrocks are small in numbers, which makes it difficult to win in a league as strong as the CMAC. Smith returns as a state qualifier in the 800, and second-year coach Rutherford sees the team being competitive in the sprints and middle-to-distance events.


Last year: 6th

Coach: Michael Kuyers (24th season)

Top returning athletes: Roxanna Fronckel (sr. T), Dani Koepke (sr. D), Makayla Mires (jr. S), Justice Britten (so. S/LJ), Sam Stanton (so. H)

Outlook: The Vikings are led by Stanton, who finished third and 4th in the 300 and 100 hurdles, respectively, at the Division 4 state finals as a freshman. She was also all-area in the 200. Another finish in the middle of the league seems likely.


Last year: 3rd

Coach: Erric and Diana Smith (3rd season)

Top returning athletes: Bri Mattix (sr. PV/S), Sadie Guernsey (sr. SP)

Other contributors: Sydney Holtforth (so. H/S), Megan Wolters (sr. D)

Outlook: The Redskins graduated several athletes from last season’s squad that tied Bath for 11th at the Division 3 state finals. Guernsey returns, however, after placing second at the finals in the shot put. She was the only one in the mid-Michigan area to top 40 feet last season. Mattix qualified for states in the pole vault. The team has only 20 athletes and 14 of them are freshmen so things could begin slowly for the Redskins.



Last year: 3rd in TVC Central

Coach: Jamie Puffpaff (4th season)

Top returning athlete: Lexi Morton (sr. SP)

Other contributors: Tayla Guerrero (fr. S), Madison Doolittle (fr. S/H), Mariah Castillo (fr. MD)

Outlook: After finishing third last season, the Panthers field a young squad with numerous freshmen. Several key performers return, including four-year senior shot putter Morton.


Last year: 1st in MSAC

Coach: Marcus LeGrand (4th season)

Top returning athletes: Kaitlin Beyer (jr. MD/D), Elizabeth McCrackin (sr. D), Adeline Hummel (sr. T), Shalie Borton (jr. HJ/MD), Denielle Sanborn (so. H), Lindsay McClintic (sr. MD), Tia Jolls (jr. S), Jaylin Fisher (sr. MD), Taylor Ward (so. MD)

Other contributors: Karen Engen (sr. T), Makayla Baker (fr. H/PV), Julia Fisher (fr. PV), Jenna Scheinder (so. S)

Outlook: The Eagles won the MSAC last season for their first laegue title since 1996, and they return 95 percent of their squad. McCrackin, Sanborn and Beyer earned all-league, and Beyer qualified for states. The team will be strong in the hurdles and distance events, and there is depth in most areas. A repeat of last year’s success is likely.


Last year: 3rd in TVC West

Coach: Gene Lebron (4th season)

Top returning athletes: Brianne Draper (sr. S/LJ), Kurstin Kalisek (so. MD/D), Blaire Showers (so. MD), Claire Reeves (so. MD/HJ), Alyssa Mankey (so. MD/D)

Other contributors: Erica Sheahan (so. S), Courtney Allen (fr. MD/D), Amelia Freestone (fr. MD), Emily Foster (fr. H), Mikayla Fairchild (fr. S), Kara Kindel (fr. S/H)

Outlook: The Yellowjackets return the majority of their team from last spring, including every athlete that qualified for states. Draper earned all-league and advanced to the Division 3 state semifinals. Kalisek qualified in four events and holds the school record in the 1600. Showers and Reeves also went to states while Mankey is part of the school-record 3200 (4×800) relay team. Allen was all-state in cross country last fall as a freshman. With an abundance of incoming talent, Ithaca is primed for a highly successful season.


Last year: independent

Coach: Owen Anderson

Outlook: No information provided


Last year: independent

Coach: Lisa Lutchka (15th season)

Top returning athletes: Kendra Weeks (sr. S), Annie Davis (jr. S/MD), Stephanie Neff (sr. DS)

Other contributors: Haley Dack (so. D), Brittany Pierce (fr. D), Libby Felice (fr. D)

Outlook: The Blackhawks return school record holders Weeks and Davis in the sprints, and fourth-year senior Neff in the discus. Newcomers Dack, Pierce and Felice will add depth in the distance events.


Last year: 4th in KVA

Coach: Trent Harvey (1st season)

Top returning athletes: Hadley Joppie (sr. LJ/S), Jadelyn Stewart (jr. PV)

Other contributors: Rachel Morris (fr. SP), Olivia Ricketts (jr. SP)

Outlook: The Lions finished fourth in the KVA last season and hope to build on that success under first-year coach Harvey. Top returning athletes include Joppie and Stewart.


Last year: 2nd in GAC Blue

Coach: Brad Long (9th season)

Top returning athletes: Lauren Barnes (jr. T), Barbie Broomfield (sr. H/S/PV), Jenna DeLau (sr. HJ/H), Alison Warner (jr. T)

Other contributors: Taylor Hewitt (fr. S), Taylor Driver (fr. S), Sarah Sepka (fr. H/LJ)

Outlook: Despite losing all-staters among 12 seniors who graduated, the Orioles retain plenty of talent. Broomfield finished 10th at the Division 4 state finals and should be one of the top pole vaulters in the area. Barnes returns as one of the league’s’ top throwers while DeLau and Warner add veteran experience in the field events.


Last year: 2nd in KVA

Coach: Gabe Priddy (11th season)

Top returning athletes: Mikayla Austin (sr. H), Katie Francisco (sr. D), Kelsey Walkowski (sr. HJ), Hayley Walkowski (sr. S/LJ), Kiley Ploehn (sr. T), Emily Nelson (sr. T), Renae Morton (sr. H), Caitlyn Hines (sr. D), Alex Dartt (jr. D), Aleena Janousek (jr. S/HJ), Lauren Mcllmurray (so. S), Whitney McGill (so. S), Kelsie Wireman (so. S), Brooke Johnson (so. S)

Other contributors: Noelle Rohde (fr. S/LJ), Gracie Mott (fr. D), Taylor Williams (fr. T), Paige Bird (fr. S/T), Caitlyn Flynn (fr. D), Katelyn Ivey (fr. S), Logan Kyre (fr. H), Morgan Greenman (fr. S), Taylor Sinclair (fr. PV), Leah Amey (fr. S), Teona Feldpausch (fr. D), Maygon Elmer (fr. D), Slone Schultz (fr. H), Kayla Bowerman (fr. S), Emma Dryer (fr. S)

Outlook: The Eagles are led by all-area senior Hayley Walkowski, who finished seventh at the Division 3 state finals in the long jump. Her top leap of 16-8½ was the fifth best in the mid-Michigan area last spring. There is an abundance of senior leadership as well as a large group of incoming freshmen to provide depth in most events. Schoolcraft is likely the team to beat in the KVA, but the Eagles could compete for first as well.


Last year: 5th in TVC Central

Coach: Brian Zalud (8th season)

Top returning athletes: Emily Godfrey (sr. S), Maddie Putnam (sr. T), Cydni Dorn (sr. S/H), Brooke Denovich (jr. S), Clare Sheedlo (so. D), Marrissa McOwen (sr. S), Gabbi Dorn (so. S), Addison Hymer (so. D), Emma Harrow (sr. D)

Other contributors: Hannah Sovis (fr. S), Morgan Martin (so. SP)

Outlook: The Marauders return a large number of athletes that givs them depth in nearly every event. Division 3 all-area Godfrey advanced to the state finals and returns to anchor the sprints and relays. Her 200 time of 26.8 finished just outside the top 10 in the mid-Michigan area.


Last year: 1st in GAC Red

Coach: Steve Bentley (9th season)

Top returning athletes: Alicia Tomlin (sr. MD/D), Samantha Hahn (sr. MD), Taylor Busse (sr. S/J/R), Alex Stuart (sr. S/R), Katie Figueras (so. MD/D), Abby Dollar (so. MD/R)

Other contributors: Abigael Brenke (jr. S/J), Lizzy Finch (so. S/H), Taylor Anderson (jr. D), Justine Konecny (sr. D)

Outlook: The Ramblers return enough talent to repeat as GAC Red champions. Tomlin is the reigning league champ in both the 1600 and 800 as well as a member of the all-state 3200 (4×800) relay squad that finished sixth at the Division 3 state finals. She also holds the school record in the 1600. Hahn made all-league in the 800 and was also a member of the 3200 relay, while Figueras and Dollar earned all-league in multiple events. Top volleyball player Brenke joins the track team for the first time and should lend strength to the jumps.


Last year: 7th in GAC Blue

Coach: Troy Perkins (7th season)

Top returning athletes: Autumn Stowe (so. D), Maria Rubio (sr. D), Taylor Mayville (so. T), Jackie Klein (sr. S)

Other contributors: Kara Kulaga (sr. D), Paige Wilson (so. T), Emily Judd (so. T)

Outlook: The Spartans still field a small squad though those numbers are gradually increasing according to coach Perkins. The team has several dual-sport athletes who will help in the sprints when they aren’t on the softball diamond. Rubio and Stowe both placed in the distance events at the league meet last spring.


More USA TODAY High School Sports