The Evergreen track and field team has high hopes for the 2019 season.
Head coach Jared Walker is especially excited about his boys squad that returns a bevy of letter winners.
“We’ll have a very competitive team this year,” said Walker of the boys’ squad. “Our overall depth is strong losing just two seniors last year. We have some invitationals that we are going to where I believe we can be in the top three for all of them.”
Their most notable returnees are Hunter Vanwert, Reece Serna, and Drew Donnald, all of whom were members of the 4×100 meter relay team that advanced to state in 2018. Vanwert was also league champion in the 100 meter dash at the Northwest Ohio Athletic League Championships, while Serna brought home a league title in the 200 meter dash.
Other returning letter winners for the Vikings are Jack Worline, Colten Pawlaczyk, Chandler Ruetz, Alex Majewski, Will Smithmyer, Shane Ruetz, Tristan Cordray, Will Dumas, Colin Smith, Levi Moore, Auggie Tipping and Jacob Ruggs.
They will also have newcomers Lane Schoendorf, Austin Pennington, Jack Etue, Mason Loeffler and Anthony Sanders.
The Vikings will have to replace Grant Donnald, the fourth leg of last year’s 4x100m relay, along with Nick Hassan.
Strengths for the Vikes are with their sprinting events, relays, and throws. A weakness Walker notes is in the long jump.
With a few teams competing for the top spot in the NWOAL, the league meet should be exciting.
“Liberty Center should be the favorite,” said Walker. “They return a lot of depth. Wauseon is always tough because they have a lot of depth and score in many areas. Overall, for us I believe a top four finish is very possible. The overall depth is strong and should make for a great league meet this year.”
On the girls side Evergreen will be lacking depth but should field a competitive group.
“We’re a smaller team, but will be competitive in many events,” explained Walker. “We have girls in every single event, but unfortunately not a lot of depth. We have a lot of freshmen we will be counting on to score along with the returning lettermen we have. We will be able to compete in the invitationals and have the capability to place in the top three in many.”
Back for the Viking girls are Asia Gensch (all-league), Savannah VanOstrand (all-league), Morgan Foster, Kyiah Harris, Jordan Lumbrezer and Emily Herr. They only lose Courtney Krieger.
Newcomers looking to add depth will be Andrea Vanwert, Lindsey Wade, Casandra McCullough, Brianna Sintobin, Jenna Mossing, Mackenzie Mitchey, Kayla Gleckler, Gracie Boger, Alivia Eisel and Amy Ruetz.
From that group of returning letter winners and added newcomers, the Vikings will be strong in hurdle events, distance, and the high jump. The main weakness for them is depth.
Coach Walker hopes his girls improve enough throughout the season for a nice finish at the league meet and beyond.
“Liberty Center, Archbold and Swanton have a lot returning so they should be up there at (the league meet),” he said. “As for us, a top five finish would be great, especially heading into postseason.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010