(March 20, 2015) Approximately 40 girls and 55 boys are participating in outdoor track this spring. Some Stephen Decatur athletes competed in indoor track this winter and/or cross country in the fall, while a number of Seahawks are new to the program.
Fourth-year Coach Jody Stigler said both teams will be strongest in the mid-distance and distance races. The squads should score points in the field events as well, Stigler said.
Snow and rain hampered the Seahawks when pre-season practices began at the beginning of March, but now with the weather finally breaking, the athletes are hard at work.
“The times we’ve been outside, we got some good things accomplished,” Stigler said.
Leading the girls’ team will be senior Jenna Reimer, who competed in both cross country and indoor track for Decatur. She transferred to the Berlin school from North Penn High School in Pennsylvania at the beginning of the year.
Reimer was the top female Decatur runner during the fall cross country season. During indoor track, Reimer captured Bayside Conference titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races.
Stigler said Reimer and senior Parker Harrington were two of the most consistent this year in both cross country and indoor track. They are also two of the veterans whom younger athletes look up to, Stigler said.
Reimer will participate in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter events and run in relay races. She has also been practicing the 300-meter hurdles.
“I’m definitely having a lot of fun so far and I’m just going to make it a fun season for everyone,” Reimer said.
It is her last season and she wants to go out with a bang, she said, which means qualifying for the state championship.
Senior Hannah Wilson was the 3A South Region high jump and pole vault champion for outdoor track last year. She is back to compete this season.
Also returning are hurdlers, senior Emily Kolarik and junior Emily Cook, the 55-meter hurdles indoor track Bayside titleholder.
“We definitely have a lot of strength in distance and hurdles and the jumps. We have people out here [at practice] working hard in the field events and pretty much our whole cross country team [is competing] outdoors,” Reimer said. “We have a lot of new girls and I’m excited to see who steps up…I think we’ll have a good all-around team this year.”
Also helping Parker–the 800-meter indoor track Bayside champion, who will most likely compete in the 400, 800, relay races and possibly the 1,600 outdoors–lead the boys’ team will be hurdler Sean Velazquez-Alvino and sprinter/hurdler Tripp Ortega, both seniors, and junior pole vaulter Evan Haas. Haas is the 2014 outdoor track 3A South Region pole vault champion.
Senior Jake Gaddis is also returning. The four-year cross country and outdoor track athlete plans to compete in the mile and two mile races. He has also been attempting the triple jump.
“I think the boys’ team is progressing well. We’ve got a really young team this year, a lot of new and returning sophomores and some new freshmen,” Gaddis said. “I’m looking forward to my last outdoor track season. We’ve got a really nice group this year and I’m excited to be one of the leaders on the team.”
There are newcomers on both teams who have shown some potential, Stigler said. He is waiting to see how they develop, but is confident some of them will contribute and score points for the Seahawks.
Stigler said the goal is for the athletes to be better at the end of the season than they were at the beginning.
“If we can put it all together, I think we can have a successful season,” he said. “We’ve got to get points in the events we typically don’t score points in, in the events we struggle with.”
TRACK AND FIELD:
Home meets: March 25, April 7, 21 at 4 p.m.; Away meets: March 31 (North Caroline), April 15 (Kent Island) and April 28 (North Caroline), 4 p.m.; May 1, Bayside Conference championship, 2 p.m. at Cambridge-SD