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WVHS Track: Thinclads Have Championship Hopes

The weather for pre-season workouts may have been less than ideal, but Wyalusing Valley track coach Jim Schools believes his squad is rounding into shape for the scheduled season opener at Hughesville on March 29.

After losing almost the entire first week of practice to inclement weather, Schools reported good progress during the second week of preparation.

"I'm pleased," he said. "We had a pretty good second week. We got some skill work in as well as continuing our conditioning training."

Even if the dire weather forecasts for the next few days come to fruition, Schools has one advantage over his other spring coaches—time.

The Northern Tier League Large School track titles won't be decided May 14 when Wyalusing hosts the league meet. Until then, the entire point of the regular season is to build for the league meet and get individuals or relay teams qualified for the District Four meet, slated for May 21.



Boys' Team

Schools feels he has the manpower to contend for the NTL boys' title. He pointed out that graduation decimated the rosters for Towanda and Athens, opening the door for the rest of the league.

"Towanda and Athens each lost around 100 points from last year's NTL meet," he said. "We'll have to see what happens in the league during the season, but I think we can compete.

"Other teams might get more first-place finishes, but who can get more second and thirds will decide it."

The jumps, where Athens' Jarred Gambrell is expected to reign in the long and triple jumps, may prove to be a microcosm for the entire season.

Led by Tucker Allyn, who was a state qualifier in the high jump, the Rams should be solid and deep in all the jumping events. Newcomer Aaron Johnson and Chris McDonald add depth.

Tim Kuntz and James Zionkowski could do well in the pole vault, an event weakened with the graduation loss of several NTL state qualifiers from last year.

Stephan Tewksbury, a state medalist in cross country, leads a group of distance and middle distance runners that Schools described as having good depth.

"He's had a good winter of training and he's looked good early in the season," Schools said of Tewksbury.

Certainly, Tyler Sutton, who has just missed reaching the state cross country meet the last two seasons, will be counted on to help get points for the Rams.

In the throws, Anthony Benninger and Tracey LaFrance are the top returners to the shot put and discus.

Ryan Miller should be a big contributor in the javelin.

Sprinter Lewis Adams and hurdler Dan Frankenfield are the top returners in those disciplines. Schools is hoping to develop depth behind them before the crucial May meets roll around.

"There are a couple of youngsters with potential," Schools said of his sprint and hurdle crew. "It will take awhile to get them comfortable."

Schools is also looking to see if a couple of his more versatile veterans such as Allyn and Miller will be able to fill needed gaps throughout the competitions.



Ten returning letter winners will anchor Wyalusing Valley's girls' track team in the 2011 season. The returnees include, kneeling, from left, Lindsay Schulze, Jordan Armitage, Erika Huffman, Liz Keeney and Elesha Schulze. Standing: Kaitlyn Faulkner, Erin Dean-Swank, Claire Howard, Savannah Schools and Abby Fogel.

Girls' Team

While the NTL boys' teams look to rebuild, the battle for girls' supremacy might already be settled.

Wellsboro, according to Schools, is the team to beat with a large number of returners from last year's league championship squad.

"I'm not giving up by any means," he said, "but I'm being realistic."

In fact, the entire league lost very few premier athletes to graduation, meaning the Lady Rams will have their hands full just to improve on the third-place finish they had in last year's league meet.

Schools noted that the top 10 runners in the league from the 100, 200 and 400 dashes are all back from last year.

But Wyalusing isn't without some bullets to fire.

"We're good up front, but not as deep as the boys are," Schools said.

Erika Huffman, who won the NTL 800 title last year, returns to lead what should be a "solid" corps of distance and middle distance runners, including Abby Fogel and newcomers Kayleen Sutton and Kaci Woznicki.

Kaitlyn Faulkner, the school record holder in the 100 hurdles, returns. She had Wyalusing's top 300 hurdle time last year.

Schools admits that, even with Faulkner, the sprints and jumps are short of proven depth.

Jessica Hotaling and JoAnna McGee are both versatile runners and could provide some answers. Both are capable of running any event from the 100 to the 800.

Lindsay Schulze and Elesha Schulze, both of whom should contribute in the jumps, will help out in the sprints and hurdles, respectively.

Lindsay Schulze is also a long and triple jumper, while Elesha Schulze will help out in the high jump. Claire Howard and Savannah Schools, who could also help the mid-distance runners, are also triple jump and high jump candidates.

The pole vaulters show promise with Jessica Carr, Taylor Newton, Jordan Armitage and Josie Mapes pushing each other.

In the throws, Erin Dean-Swank and Jordan Preston are the top returners. Several of the younger girls—Morgan Doerner, Bailey Smith, Kailee Norton, Courtney Norman and Jaine Cantale—could contribute.

Schools also thinks youngsters such as Sara Huffman, Emily Edwards, Sydney Snyder and Katie Prichard can contribute points in various events.



Roster

Seniors: Girls: Denae Boyanowski, Kaitlyn Faulkner, Abby Fogel, Jessica Hotaling, Sarah Kramer, Jordan Preston, Lindsay Schulze. Boys: Lewis Adams, Tucker Allyn, Tyler Brown, Eric Fenton, Jordan Knapp, Ryan Miller, Stefan Poost, Stephan Tewksbury.

Juniors: Girls: Jordan Armitage, Alexis Daly, Erin Dean-Swank, Bethany Hulsizer, Liz Keeney, Amber Kinney, Courtney Larson, Brittany Lent, Taylor Newton, Elesha Schulze, Sydney Snyder. Boys: Anthony Benninger, Adam Brigham, Dan Frankenfield, Ryan Hart, Brandon Harvey, J.P. Jankowsky, Aaron Johnson, Tim Kuntz, Tracey LaFrance, Chris McDonald, Brian Sanger, Jon Shoemaker, Tyler Sutton, James Zionkowski.

Sophomores: Girls: Kirstyn Ballard, Abby Borel, Elizabeth Brookens, Keegan Carpenter, Jessica Carr, Savanna Cobb, Morgan Doerner, Emily Edwards, Claire Howard, Erika Huffman, Sara Huffman, JoAnna McGee, Katie Prichard, Savannah Schools. Boys: Tim Ace, Dan Edsell, Kevin Garcia, Brenten Gerould, Ben Haefka, Mark Kusmierz, Jesse O'Conner, Ash Sollick, Lawton Spencer, Aaron Woodruff.

Freshmen: Girls: Alyssa Alaniz, Casey Anderson, Casey Butler, Jaine Cantale, Danielle Clark, Connor Dietz, Ashten Johnson, Sarah LaFrance, Briane LaRue, McKenzi Millard, Courtney Norman, Kailee Norton, Bailey Smith, Kayleen Sutton, Brionica Tatem, Alicia Tewksbury, Deborah Walker, Kaci Woznicki. Boys: Dustin Bahl, Dylan Bulick, Jeremiah Curley, Ryan Davis, Devin Fassett, Justin Griffith, Quentin Hugo, Dustin Kaufmann, Tim Kelley, Troy Kinner, Galen Kithcart, Tristan Knapp, Dalton McCullough, Jake Minturn, Cody Sharts, Eric Shaw, Troy Stone, Dyllan Tinna.

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