It’s too early (and cold) to predict how successful this season’s Livonia Churchill boys track-and-field team can be, but judging by the depth of the Chargers’ returning talent, its potential is sky-high.
“Pride in our program continues to run deep,” said head coach Rick Austin, who is marking his 20th year as the Chargers’ mentor. “The weather has kept us indoors training, so it’s difficult to know how talented we will be this season. I know the athletes in our program are working hard and improving, which is awesome considering the weather circumstances.”
Churchill placed second in the KLAA South Division in 2014 with a 4-1 dual-meet record. The Chargers were consistently among the top finishers in big events, taking fourth in the Kensington Conference Meet and fourth in the MHSAA Region 4 competition.
The Chargers’ solid crew of field-events athletes – who are coached by Jordan McClellan (pole vault), John Filiatraut and Dave Simpson (throwers) – should be able to build strong foundations in dual meets. Churchill’s trio of experienced vaulters – Ethan Burke, Caleb Guthard and Kyle Reppenhagen – are primed to be point machines, while Demarco McKinney will spearhead a corps of young throwers, including Austin Simpson, Ben Dietrich and Michael Grabda.
Churchill’s distance fortunes are in good hands thanks to the return of Matt Cohan and Jonathan Allesandrini, the arrival of emerging new-comers Dash Dobar, Frank LaFave and Brendan Meakin, and the coaching of John McGreevy.
Senior Paul Romain will be in fast company in the sprint events as he forges with teammates Jamal Allen, Shakur Lockett, Carrington Smith and Lee Yetts to make the Chargers formidable in every meet they’re in.
Last but not least, Churchill’s experienced hurdling crew includes Ryan Bragiel, Tim Dulin, Joel Sankey, Josh Gyrmek and Taji Chappel.