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Coach Stigler will look to veterans to lead track team

(Dec. 5, 2014) Approximately 90 athletes are competing for Stephen Decatur during the 2014-15 indoor track season.

A majority of the Seahawks have experience, participating in indoor track, outdoor track and/or cross country. A number of new athletes have also joined the squads, and Decatur Coach Jody Stigler will rely on some of them this year as several key contributors from last season graduated.

“We will look to our veteran runners to help lead the team this year,” Stigler said. “I think the teams look pretty good so far. We have a few really good athletes on both sides that I think will have some strong showings this upcoming season.”

Stigler will count on senior veterans Parker Harrington (mid-distance/distance) and Jackson Mumford (distance), and newcomer Evan Haas, a junior pole vaulter, to help lead the boys’ team.

“Everybody’s working hard so we should have a pretty good squad,” Mumford said. The four-year track athlete said he may participate in the 300- and 500-meter races as well as 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays.

“I guess I’ll lead with my competitiveness,” Mumford said. “Hopefully other people will push to be like me and I’ll push them. Hopefully [teammates] will help make me better also.”

Harrington, who ran cross country in the fall, will most likely participate in the 500- and 800-meter races as well as the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay events for indoor track.

“I have a goal this year to go to states in cross country, indoor and outdoor track so I want to hold to the promise I made to myself,” said Harrington, a two-year indoor track participant. “We have such a strong team, if we push ourselves hard there’s nothing that’s going to hold us back.”

The third-year coach will count on sophomores Christina Romano (mid-distance/high jump) and Jillian Mitrecic (pole vault), as well as newcomer Jenna Reimer (distance), a senior transfer from North Penn High School in Pennsylvania, to help lead the girls’ squad.

Reimer was the top female runner for Decatur during the fall cross country season. She may participate in the 1,600, 3,200 and some relays this season.

“I’m hoping to lead by example by working a little harder in workouts. I’ve really been pushing myself by trying to stick up with the guys so hopefully they’ll follow my lead and try to beat the guys with me,” Reimer said. “I’m really excited for the season. I think we definitely have a lot of talent.”

Romano was a member of the first-place 1,600-meter relay team during the Bayside Conference championship last year with Layla Fowler (graduated), junior Katie Hofman and senior Lauren Bodolus.

“I think we have a lot of room to improve, but we’re coming along,” Romano said. This is her second year competing in indoor track. “We have to work hard at practice and practice how we’re going to perform in meets.”

“It looks like both teams will rely mainly on distance and mid-distance events as well as field events to score the majority of our points,” Stigler said. “The goal is to get better every day. If we continuously get better each day, I think we will have good showings at our invitational and championships meets, which are the emphasis.”

Last season, the girls’ team finished third in the Bayside Conference championship meet and the boys took fourth. The Lady Seahawks also placed third at the 3A East Regional meet, the highest they have finished in several years. The boys’ squad earned seventh place.

Stephen Decatur runners take off from the starting line during Monday’s training session at the Berlin school.

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