A bevy of returnees from last year’s third place team has the Swanton girls track and field squad aiming high in 2018.
“This is the strongest girls team that we have had in years. Our team should be able to go deep into the state tournament this year,” said coach Gary Moore. “They are a very hungry bunch of athletes that also realize that they have a chance to be extremely successful this year. The coaching staff is very excited to see how this season plays out.”
Leading the returning letter winners are a pair of senior athletes – Julia Smith and Haley Nelson.
Smith finished third at the state meet in the high jump after winning league and district titles. She is the school record holder in the event.
Nelson won league and district championships in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes. She was also part of the district champion 400 meter relay team.
Also returning from that relay team, which also won the league meet, are Ally Hendricks, Bobbie Oberle and Bridget Harlett.
Sidney Taylor is also back for Swanton after winning the NWOAL title in the discus last season.
Other returnees for the Bulldogs include Abby Arnold, Allyssa Westfall, Ashlynn Waddell, Grace Oakes, Hannah Grabke, and Mikayla Rochelle.
Moore said the strengths for the team include their determination, depth with sprinters and field events and the number of runners. It is the largest team in years, he added.
However, the Bulldogs will be very thin on distance runners, according to the 22-year coach.
Promising newcomers for Swanton include Brooke Oberle, Kailey Brownfield, Aricka Lutz, Briona Davis, Averie Lutz, Avril Roberts, Sammi Taylor, Jasmin Kenzie, Bailey Arnold, Natalie Newman, Maicie Rochelle, Alexis Sarvo, Gabe Sieja, Serena King, and Anastasiya Kravchenko.
As for the NWOAL race, he said, “Archbold girls team is always tough and always loaded with talent. The Liberty Center girls will also be tough with a good sprinting core returning, as well as their distance crew. Should be a fun league meet to watch for this year and the winner may be determined on the final race.”
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010