Top returners: Aron Serna, sr.; Charles Medrow, sr.; Matt Haerle, sr.; Henry Alexander, sr.; Connor Vedder, jr.; Hayden Swett, jr.; Oliver Ruvalcaba, jr.; Miguel Rodriguez, jr.; Colby Mortenson, jr.; Michael Mills, jr.; Nate Kaminski, jr.; Lucas Goetz, jr.; Sean Farrell, jr.; Weston Averkamp, so.; Hector Valdez, so.; Allen Trumbo, so.; Jack Thomas, so.; Xavier Telford, so.; Adrian Schaefer, so.; Quentin Olney, so.; Daniel Marini, so.; Logan Hennick, so.; Aiden Hardee, so.; Miles Frederickson, so.; Corwion Diaz, so; Christian Mealey, so.
Top newcomers: Charlie Woodyer, fr.; Andrew Vercolio, fr.; Mason Posey, fr.; Jack Pongracz, fr.; Luke Passwater, fr.; Mark Munson, fr.; Logan Mills, fr.; Diego Martinez, fr.; Caden Lage, fr.; Kaleb Nimke, fr.; Derek Hoffman, fr.; Kaden Geiger, fr.; Evan Fallmaier, fr.; Evan Ristau, fr.; Hunter Easton, fr.; Duane Duncan, fr.; Alexander Contreras, fr.; Acher Cechowicz, fr.; Dylan Butler, fr.; Bryar Baxter, fr.
Worth noting: Haerle is off to a solid start in the jumps for the Pirates, who placed fifth at the Interstate 8 Conference meet last spring. “All events are well covered, but we are always on the lookout for boys that are interested in pole vault and distance running,” Swords said. “This year’s team has a lot of freshmen and sophomores, which we are excited about, but of course that makes us a young, untested team going into the season. We have good leaders that have learned from the previous years and are excited to pass on the tradition and excellence that is Ottawa Pirates track. We are really excited about the upcoming season.”
Top newcomers: D.J. White, sprints/relays, sr.; Gabe Gutierrez, distance; Chase Lane, distance, fr.; Cian Reed, distance, so.; Thyberius Hallam, distance, fr.; Jon Davis, sprints/jumps, fr; Sam Seaton, sprints/jumps, fr.; Garritt Benstine, sprints/jumps, fr.; Cooper Sharisky, sprints/jumps, fr.; Andrew Warwick, sprints/jumps, fr.
Worth noting: The Bulldogs, whose numbers have jumped from 20 a year ago to 38, have a bonafide state championship contender in Ford, the reigning Times Boys Track Athlete of the Year after finishing fourth in the 2A 100 meters with a clocking of 10.82 seconds, just .12 off that of the state champ, Herrin’s Chris Nelson. Ford also anchored the 4x100 relay that boasted Jeffries and Goforth, going 16th at state. Danko, an all-stater in cross country, is also a medal contender in the distances. Look for Legeralde and Kearfott to shine in the hurdles. “Aneefy is our top returning sprinter, and our 4x1 relays should be solid with three returners. Our other sprint relays should be solid as well,” Carlson said. “Kody is our top distance guy. He had a great indoor season. … We have a solid group of freshmen sprinters and jumpers. We’re really looking forward to their development this year.”
Coach: Terry Maxwell
Top returners: David Bergeson, sprints, sr.; Colin Collet, distance, sr.; Collin Wright, sprints/jumps, sr.; Alex Bogner, throws, jr.; Sam Churchill, vault/sprints, jr.; Drew Danek, jumps/distance, jr.; Josh Doloski, sprints, jr.; Nathan Grant, sprints/jumps, jr.; AJ Keedy, sprints, jr.; Chris Peura, throws, jr.; Carter Thomas, throws, jr.; John Farcus, sprints/jumps, so.
Top newcomers: Ryan Flynn, sprints, so.; Kellen Arnold, throws, so.; Aiden Burton, throws, so.; Sebastian Deering, distance, so.; Memphis Echeverria, sprints, so.; Sam Finch, sprints, so.; Tynan Justice, distance, so.; Conor Pabian, distance, so.; Colton Pumphrey, sprints, so.; Matthew Sherdon, sprints, so.; Nate Sprinkel sprints, so.; Matt Stack, sprints/jumps, fr.; Colton Angeloff, sprints/throws, fr.
Worth noting: The experience the Irish gained as youngsters a year ago gives them a depth of talent that has dwindled in recent seasons. According to Maxwell, the sprint and short relay times are “way better than last year.” Poyner is back to lead the distances, Bogner (ranked top 10 in 1A in the shot put) and Thomas (state qualifier in discus) the throws and Farcus, Wright and the finally-healthy Grant, a state qualifier as a freshman, lead the sprinters and jumpers. The Irish have budding stars in the speedy Flynn and Stack, who is already the group’s best in the 400. “We have a lot more experienced depth this year on our boys team,” Maxwell said. “We had a younger squad last year, and now a lot of the guys have got a year of track under their belt and are starting to make some good progress. We should be a lot stronger in the sprints this year combined with a solid throws crew and an improved jump crew. I’m looking forward to watching this group of guys compete.”
Top newcomers: Luis Baez, sr.; Bryce Decker, sr.; Cesar Garcia, throws, sr.; Brian Loss, jumps, sr.; Sy Smith, distance, jr; Hudson Wills, sr.; Travis Kellogg, distance, jr.; Khari Moore, jumps, fr.; AJ Parkinson, distance, fr.; Alex Walsh, distance, fr.
Worth noting: In Miller, Schaefers and Cryer, the Indians return three of the four 4x800 runners that finished 13th at state last spring. With Beatty added, that relay already this spring has a second in the 4x800 and third in the 4x400 at Sycamore, with Miller second in the 800, one spot ahead of Beatty. “Our distance runners and their 4x800 team are well-seasoned and ready to compete,” Lee said. “We have a handful of sprinters that we can combine to put together a strong relay team for the 4x100 and 4x200, and we have the ability to have these individuals earn points in any individual event we put them in. Hurdles and jumps will be very competitive as a strong senior and junior group return and set the bar for the incoming lowerclassmen competing. … Our sophomore class has returned stronger than ever, making a dominant force in the short distance relays. With the help of some very athletic freshmen, both can score with some of the best on the track or out in the field.”
Top newcomers: Michael Beckett, distances, fr. ; Adan Aldana, sprints, fr.; Hunter Cain, jumps/sprints, fr.
Worth noting: The loss to graduation of all-state distance man Mason Stoeger leaves some pretty big shoes to fill, but according to Bauer, Caleb Krischel “has stepped into them, and they fit,” posting faster times than Stoeger at the same stage and is currently ranked 13th by Top Times for the 3,200. Add to him Buchanan and Wright, who have posted 800 PRs indoor this spring, and Maierhofer, the Knights have the makings for a solid 4x800 relay. “Caleb has the advantage of not having lost varsity time to COVID and to training with Mason to see first-hand what it takes to compete at that level,” Bauer said. “He’s running at a high level now, so we’ll see if he can maintain that. … After that, we’re super young, and numbers are low, so our main focus will be on individual success.”
Coach: Abbey Akre
Top returners: Logan Pasakarnis, mid-distance, jr.; Connor Morgan, sprints, jr.
Worth noting: Pacing the Norsemen this spring, literally and figuratively, is Logan Pasakarnis, who was 30th in the 800-meter run at state a year ago. The remainder of those back are setting a good work ethic for the four freshmen. “We have a great group of student-athletes out for this track season. They have been putting in the work on and off the track, and we are excited to see what this season holds for them,” Akre said. “The returning athletes have been setting a great example for our newcomers. … The guys have some incredible athletes with a lot of potential. We are excited to see what they are all capable of.”
Coach: Jill Harp
Top returner: Matt Kuter, sprints/hurdles, sr.
Top newcomer: Isaac Vazquez, distances, fr.
Worth noting: Needless to say with the numbers so low, the Red Raiders will be concentrating on individual achievements. For Kuter, he will be active again in the long jump, 200 and 400, plus he will take part in the 300 hurdles for the first time. Vazquez is a budding standout, coming off IESA State championships in the 800 and 1,600. “We are a small team, but we have a lot of heart, and the kids certainly give it their all,” Harp said. “I am looking forward to this season and expecting some great things from all of our athletes.”
Coach: Wyatt Hettel
Top returners: Caden Eller, jumps/sprints, sr.; Jimmy Lawsha, distance, so.
Top newcomers: Leo Leskanich, so.; Andrew De Oliveira, fr.; Frankie Reynolds, fr.; Joe Amicon, distances, fr.
Worth noting: Hettel, a 2019 alum and DePaul graduate who was on former coach Jeff Cook’s first team at Marquette and returned to assist him in cross country last fall, has a small squad led by Eller, who placed 19th at state in the long jump last spring. The senior is also a solid 400 runner who finished first in those events and fourth in the 200 at the Reed-Custer Invite last Saturday. Lawsha skipped cross country last fall to try football, but is back running in the distances. “Caden is looking to repeat in the long jump, but we’d love to have him go in the 400 and 200 as well,” Hettel said. “Health is a big thing for him. If he can stay right, he should be back in Charleston. … We’re looking strong in the sprints right now. Not sure about the relays. This is a smaller squad than we’ve had the last few years, but it’s still a solid group with good team chemistry, and we’re excited to see what this season has in store.”