While winning the Northwest Ohio Athletic League may be difficult, the Evergreen track and field teams have much to look forward to this coming season.
Their boys team returns a total of 12 letter winners, losing only one letter winner from last season, Jon Milliken.
“We have a lot of returners coming back,” said head coach Jared Walker. “Sprints will be strong along with the relays. Our distance group is small, but working very hard. Our throwers have some returning lettermen who should score high for us in meets.”
Leading the group of returnees is Hunter Vanwert, a state qualifier in the 100 meter dash a year ago.
They also get back Hunter Svoboda, Colten Pawlaczyk, Jace Jenkins, Jack Worline, Alex Majewski, Nick Hassen, Auggie Tipping, Chandler Ruetz, Reece Serna, William Smithmyer and Shane Ruetz.
Newcomers for the Vikings are Colin Smith, Jacob Riggs, Will Dumas, Isaac Yunker, Trent Coopshaw and Brandon Taylor.
The Vikings’ strengths will lie within their sprinters and relay teams. However, a weakness for the squad is depth.
“Archbold and Liberty Center look to be the two deepest teams in the league,” said Walker on the league race. “For us, finishing in the top half would be very good before moving onto districts.”
On the girls side in the NWOAL, coach Walker also sees two teams at the top.
“Archbold and Swanton look to be the teams to beat,” he said. “They return a bunch of league placers. Wauseon and Liberty Center should also score very high. I believe we can compete to be in the top half of the league, giving us momentum heading into districts.”
The Viking girls have just eight returning letter winners, but among those are some key pieces.
Back are Bailie Sutter (regional finalist), Asia Gensch (regional finalist), Savannah VanOstrand (regional finalist), Courtney Krieger, Emily Kerekes, Alex Gillen, Alexis McCormick and Trinity Welch.
Gensch, Sutter and VanOstrand all were a part of various relay teams at the Tiffin Regional last season, while Sutter nearly qualified for state with a fifth place finish in the 300 meter hurdles.
Departing from the team were Alyssa Noe and Amelia Kennedy.
“We have a very young team with low numbers,” said Walker. “There are a number of events we will be competitive in with the returners we do have. We have much more depth in field events this year, so hopefully we can score a lot of points in meets.”
The girls should be competitive in hurdle events, mid-distance, and the high jump. A weakness, outside of having low numbers, is in sprints.
Looking to add depth to the team this season are newcomers McKenna Babcock, Emily Herr, Jordan Lumbrezer, Kyiah Harris and Morgan Foster.
Evergreen is at Wauseon Tuesday for a meet that also includes Tinora. Action begins at 4:30 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010