Track returns 15 athletes
The Centre High School track squad has few new members, but at least 15 of the 18 participants are returning from last year, including three seniors, nine juniors, and three sophomores.
Juniors Shelby Makovec and Nellie Kassebaum will compete again in long distance. They both qualified for the state tournament last year in the 3,200-meter run but did not place.
Junior Brenna Shields was the leading scorer for Centre last year. She competed in the 100-meter dash and long jump. Coach Allen Stahlecker said she is a “multi-talented” player, and which events she will compete in this year has yet to be decided.
Senior Grant Srajer and junior Conner Montgomery were members of the 4x100 relay team that qualified for state last year. They will be joined by two new members this year.
High jump was senior Cacey Simon’s best event last year. She competed in triple jump toward the end of the season. Stahlecker expects her to do well in both events this year.
Stahlecker said junior Dakota Stimpson is “a good all-around athlete” and is the only hurdler on the team this year. He will be participating in other events, as well.
Junior Cassidy Hill has shown good development at discus and javelin, Stahlecker said. She will be joined by five other throwers — juniors Callie Riffel, Kailyn Riffel, and Justin Bina, sophomore Carissa Shields, and freshman Brendon Bina.
Stahlecker expects Conner Montgomery to be much more competitive in the sprints this year.
All but one member of the 4x100 girls’ relay team are returning. They are Cacey Simons, Abigail Svoboda, and Brenna Shields. They placed fifth at the regional meet last year, just missing a trip to state. Stahlecker is hopeful that, with the addition of a new member, they will do well again this year.
Junior Justin Bina is rejoining the team after a one-year absence. Other members are juniors Amber Holub and exchange student Marie Miklus, sophomore Barrett Smith, and senior Nick Salamone.
Stahlecker is in his 13th year as head track coach. He is assisted by fifth-year assistant coach Kelly Steiner and student assistant Timothy Vinduska.