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For the Shamrocks track and field squad, second-year coach Dylan Rogers, expects to be a more rounded team this year, while first-year coach Emily Carpenter has a strong core of upperclass participants for the Lady Rocks.
Carpenter returns seven letterwinners including members of the regional qualifying 4x100 team along with sophomore Lina Partridge who qualified for the regional in both the 1600 and 3200 events.
Lost to graduation are Jennifer Clouse, a member of that regional relay squad and a long jumper and Julia Ramsey in the shot and discus.
We are going to miss the seniors from last year, Carpenter said. But I am excited to see what our team is going to bring this season. We have a strong, athletic upperclass group of girls that are very dedicated. We were hampered with injuries last year, but hopefully, we will stay healthy and be able to fill all events.
Senior letterwinners are: Tiffany Gallagher (100, 4x100, 4x200), Sam Jefferis (100, 4x100, long jump), Erica Kessel (4x100, 4x200, 100, 200, high jump), Alisha Skonecy (4x100, 4x200, 4x400, 300 hurdles) and Allison Healey (4x800, 800, 1600, 3200). The other senior candidates are: Breanna Skinner (400, 800), Kierstin Lucas (throws) and Sadie Reinacher (throws).
Members of the 4x100 regional qualifying relay team last year were Clouse, Shalenna Lucas, Jefferis and Skonecy and Carpenter believes the sprints and relays will again be a strong area for the Lady Shamrocks this spring.
Kessell, Jefferis, Gallagher and freshman Myka Gordon are some of the top performers in the sprints and some combination will make up the relay teams.
Skonecy will be the leader in the 300 hurdles with the sophomore Partridge and Healey pacing the distance runners.
Amy Wahl is the lone returning junior letterwinner and she cleared 4-10 in the high jump last year, but also runs the 400 and 4x400 relay. The seventh monogram winner last year was Partridge in the distance events (4x800, 800, 1600, 3200). Other juniors re: Victoria Clark (throws, long jump), Hanna Lucas (throws) and Gabby Fulst (100, 200, relays) and the remaining sophomores include: Devon Sleeth (100, 200, long jump), Kaylee Callihan (100, 200, long jump) and Morgan Dodd in the 100 and 200 sprints.
Three freshmen, Jennifer Steel (pole vault), Emma Castello (400, 800, 4x800) and Gordon (100, 200, 4x100, 4x200), round out the roster.
Kierstin Lucas and Reinacher are expected to be the top performers in the throws with Wahl and Kessell in the high jump, Jefferis in the long jump and Steel in the pole vault.
I am glad to see the returning athletes along with the freshmen and others that have joined the program, Carpenter said. I hope to see both the relays and individuals go far this year in their competition. This group is very dedicated and works hard and I have hopes of getting several to the regional or state meets.
Rogers has nine returning lettermen from a team that finished second in the OVAC and third in the Division III district meet. Last year a lot of the team points came from distance events led by a pair of graduated seniors,
Brennan DeLaney and Wesley Lewis, who were members of the 4x800 relay team that was second in the D-III regional and finished fourth in the state for all-Ohio honors. Lewis won the OVAC 3200 race and finished second in the 1600 and qualified for the state meet finishing eighth for all-Ohio honors.
The 3200 relay team of Kyle McIntire, Delaney, Brandon Stephens and Lewis won the OVAC race, while Delaney was the OVAC champion in the 800 (2:01) and Stephens finished second in the 800 at the OVAC meet.
We lost two key runners from last years team and they contributed for a lot of the team points, Rogers stated. Last years teams seemed to rely heavily on the distance program to score points, however, this year I think we are going to be a more rounded team. We have a good quality of sprinters, hurdlers and throwers that are really going to contribute to the teams success, but we are weak in the jumps unless some freshmen step up.
Returning senior lettermen are: Jesse Stoudt (100, 200, 400), Chris Baldridge (throws) and Josh Baldridge (throws), a transfer from Beallsville where he lettered last year. Returning junior award winners include:
Stephens (400, 800, 1600), Jacob Anderson (110, 300 hurdles), Katlin Grimes (800, 1600) and Abel Broomhall (800, 1600, 3200).
Stoudt was a regional qualifier in the 100 last spring and Stephens is expected to do well in the 400-meter event as well as the 800, 1600 and as a returning member of the 4x800 relay team out from under the shadow of Lewis and DeLaney. Anderson and Jeff Hart are expected to be strong in the hurdles while McIntire will be a contributor in the 800, 1600 and is also a returning member of the 4x800 relay team. Grimes and Broomhall are alsostrong distance runners, while both Baldridges are expected to do well in the throwing events.
A strong contingent of sophomores led by returning lettermen McIntire (400, 800, 1600) and Hart (hurdles) also includes Ryan Myers (throws), Kody Zack (throws), Kyle Devine (throws), Eric Flowers (100, 200, 300-hurdles),
Brandon Collins (throws) and Josh Schnegg in the 100 and 200 sprints.
Four freshmen, Michael Thomas (110 and 300 hurdles, long jump), Mason Moore
(800, 1600, 3200), Tim Skinner (800, 1600) and Brandon Davidson (800, 1600), complete the roster.
The distance events have always been a strength at Barnesville, Rogers said, but we are young this year with no seniors in those events. Our team points could come from every area this year, but we need to find some people in the jumps.
Both teams open the season Saturday, March 31 at the Doan Ford Invitational at Union Local.