With 10 years of experience at Madeira, coach Natalie Dragovich has more track and field athletes than she’s ever had before. The higher the numbers, the higher the competition and the Mustangs have 34 boys on the roster this year. They’re led by eight or nine returning contributors with junior Nick Cedillo and seniors Michael Christman and Jack Mantkowski helping lead the way.
Cedillo was The Enquirer Division II Athlete of the Year last season after placing fifth at the state meet in the 400 meter dash. Dragovich said they’re “very excited to have (Nick) back for two more years.”
Cedillo, Christman and Mantkowski all help make up a 4×800 relay team that Dragovich is optimistic about this season. Dragovich said it’s only the second year running for Mantkowski, who was impressive last year in his rookie running season. Also watch out for junior Adam Mahler, it’s his first year running track, he came over from cross country so look for him in the distance events.
Dragovich added that with the depth of this team she has a lot of talent to choose from especially lining up her relay teams.
“I’m excited to see how far they can go,” Dragovich said. “They’re very dedicated and they want to accomplish a lot of things.”
The Mustangs haven’t won the Cincinnati Hills League since 2007, Dragovich said that’s one of their goals this year.
Back for year two with the Moeller track team is coach Jason Crockett as the Crusaders try to improve their finish in the Greater Catholic League South.
Moeller is expected to be led by senior distance runners Mitch Poch and Nick Mendel, junior sprinter Isaac Andrews, sophomore sprinter Cam Buford and freshman sprinter Colin Thurman.
“They are excited to compete and motivated to work hard,” Crockett said of his team.
Andrews was part of Moeller’s first team GCL-South 4×200 relay and the second team 4×100 relay. Poch and Mendel were on the second team 4×800 relay with senior Eddy Pappalardo and junior Matt DeWine.
The Crusaders participate in the Middletown Showdown April 2 at Middletown High School.
As they seek to overtake Wyoming in the Cincinnati Hills League, Indian Hill High School’s boys track team will attack the Tomahawk Stadium track with a pair of record holders this spring.
Seniors Wells Coalfleet and Troy Schwab lead the Braves along with junior Trent Geyer and sophomores Ben Warstler and Patrick Giroux.
“Last season Wells broke the 26-year-old 400-meter record and he and Troy made up two legs of the school-breaking, district champion, regional medalist 4×400 relay,” coach Susan Savage said. “They are a strong foundation for a very young and talented boys team.”
Coalfleet made CHL first team in the 800 meter run and second in the 400. His 4×400 relay group was second team and 4×200 group was honorable mention. Schwab had one of the better league times in the 400 and Geyer, Warstler and Giroux are distance specialists. Warstler had the team’s best times in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs.
Senior C.J. Chin is also a reliable sprinter for the Braves.
Indian Hill hosts a meet with Cincinnati Country Day April 2 and participates in the Madeira Invitational April 7.
The new boys track coach at Deer Park is Andy Endress.
The Wildcats return senior distance specialist Adam Petry and seniors Ryan Phillips and Jarrett Mcetchen.
Petry was a state qualifier in cross country in the fall and was Cincinnati Hills League second team in the 3,200 as a junior. He is closing in on school records in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs.
Phillips is also a distance runner, while Mcetchen high jumps.
“We have very few upperclassmen, but the seniors we do have are great leaders and hard workers,” Endress said. “Additionally, we have a strong core of underclassmen that ensure our success in the future.”
Deer Park participated in the La Salle Legends meet March 28 and at McNicholas March 31-April 1. The Wildcats are at the Madeira Invitational April 7-8.
Although this is head coach Michael Coleman’s first year at the helm of the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy’s track and field team, he brings an extensive track background to the table.
In addition to bringing that experience, he said this first year is about learning about the kids on the team.
“It’s kind of a fresh start for everybody,” Coleman said. “We have some pieces; I’m anxious to see how it comes together.”
The Eagles return sophomore Adam Baker, who specializes in the long jump. Baker jumped 19.9 at the district meet as a freshman last season.
Coleman said he was going to be a stud this season and “Has a lot of ceiling left.”
Another athlete CHCA will count on is sophomore Ben Collado, whose dad ran in college and brothers also ran at CHCA. Collado was part of the district-qualifying 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams.
“We’re trying to build a solid program, have the right kids come out and put them in the right events,” Coleman said.
Head coach Steve Conner has been a coach for 28 years but he enters his second year of coaching Cincinnati Country Day’s boys team and the first year he’s coaching both the boys’ and girls’ teams.
It’s been an adjustment, but the team has handled it well.
“I am excited with how the athletes have adjusted to the change and adopted the program we are running,” he said. “The athletes have picked up their workouts and are doing a great job of preparing for the season.”
The Indians return juniors Darryn Jordan and Cooper Ebersbach and seniors Mantero Moreno-Cheek, Connor Wiley and Alex Warner as individuals to watch.
Jordan, a sprinter, finished sixth in the state in the 100 meter dash last year. Moreno-Cheek, a thrower, was a regional qualifier in the shot put.
Ebersbach and Wiley run middle distance and distance races, respectively. Warner is back for pole vault.
“With one of the larger teams the school has had, we will be able to fill all of the events and hopefully give Summit and North College Hill a good run at the MVC title,” the coach said. “There are quite a few strong returners that have a very good chance to qualify for regionals, and then hopefully get a few to state.”
ATHLETES TO WATCH
Moeller senior Mitch Poch: Reliable distance runner for the Crusaders.
Madeira junior Nick Cedillo: District champion and fifth-place finisher at state in the 400 last season.
Deer Park senior Adam Petry: State-meet-caliber distance runner for the Wildcats.
Indian Hill seniors Wells Coalfleet and Troy Schwab: Both broke school records and are versatile runners.
Indian Hill distance runners Trent Geyer, Ben Warstler and Patrick Giroux: All have been consistent top finishers during their careers.