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"I think we can finish in the top four of the conference," stated Adams Central girls track coach Bart Lehman, on his outlook for the coming track campaign.
Well, either Lehman knows a lot more than anyone else about his girls track team, or he's counting on a bunch of varsity-unknowns to step in, fit right in, and score big time.
Maybe it's both.
Adams Central not only lost standout high jumper/hurdler Felicia Lehman, top point-scorer (136.5) and a sectional champ last year, but, 275 total points, and only 80 points scored last year returns.
"I feel we can be competitive with the girls we have," said Lehman.
"Our biggest strength is that the girls don't like to lose, and they find a way to win," he added.
Now, all Lehman has to do is translate desire, hard work, determination and competitiveness into track points. Maybe it's not so much of a stretch!
"Of course, our weakness is that we are very young."
Also graduated from a team that went 11-34 last year are: throwers Tiffani Tonner and Madison Bailey, distance runner and co-captain Sarah Sipe, hurdler Becca Roe, and middle distance specialist Olivia Dynes.
Back for the Jets are key runners Ashley Faurote and Leah Spangler. Faurote is the top point-scorer back with 47.25 points,, which was second on the team a year ago. Her top event is the 400. Spangler scored nine points last year.
Lehman lists some newcomers who will step right in and score points. Summer Harvey will be in the high jump and 400 while Briona Case will be in sprints and long jump. McKenna Macklin will be in hurdles and long jump. Karly Prichard and Kayla Isch will head the distance team while Erica Bluhm will be in hurdles and Sydnee Reinhard in the throws.
The Jets will get a boost from veteran cross country-track runner Jessica Dunn, who is still improving on her surgically repaired knee. There is only one senior listed in Anna-Lena Vogel. Faurote, Macy Mudd and Spangler are the juniors on the roster while Sami Holley, Jennifer Kim and Yuleeza McCullough, an outstanding swimmer, are the sophomores.
The rest of the squad will be freshmen, and Lehman lists 10 of the newcomers.
Assistant coaches will be Jill Roughia and Anita Lehman.