staff photo by rowena plett
Brendon Bina, Max Svoboda, and Cody Svoboda warm up inside Monday during the first day of track practice at Centre High School.
A group of eight incoming freshmen has boosted Centre’s track team from 19 last year to 23 this year. Most of the others are returning, as just three seniors were lost to graduation.
Three seniors — Shelby Makovec, Conner Montgomery, and Brenna Shields — have qualified for the state tournament in their previous three seasons.
Shields is a highly competitive field athlete. She will try to repeat her performance as a medalist in javelin. She hopes to compete in long jump at state for the third straight year. She also may compete in other events yet to be decided.
Makovec likely will compete again in long distance, along with Nellie Kassebaum. They both qualified for state in the 3,200-meter run in 2013, and Makovec qualified again in 2014 but did not place.
Montgomery is a sprinter and a member of a relay team.
The other senior letter-winners — Cassidy Hill, Callie Riffel, and Kailyn Riffel — are likely to compete again in discus and javelin.
Coach Alan Stahlecker said he will assign other players to events as practice progresses.
Juniors on the squad include Lotti Benning, Carissa Shields, and Barrett Smith. Shields and Smith are letter-winners.
Sophomores are Alexa Ammann, Brendon Bina, Summer Espinoza, Katie Marler, and Amanda R.M. Salamone. Espinoza is a letter-winner.
Kate Basore, Jacob Bittle, Janel Dones, Maddy Millspaugh, Devon Pacheco, Tanner Peterson, Cody Svoboda, and Max Svoboda are freshmen.
Stahlecker is in his 14th year as head track coach. He is assisted by sixth-year assistant coach Kelly Steiner.