Wauseon boys track will likely rely on its depth in order to have success this spring after losing 10 contributors from last year’s team.
“This years’ team has excellent depth again this year,” said head coach Joe Allen. “Our depth will help us in dual meets and relay meets. It will also be a key in keeping athletes healthy as the season rolls along.”
There is a lot to like about this team, according to the coach.
“We have a number of athletes that are competing at about the same level,” said Allen. “We have several sprinters that have been varsity letter winners in the past and have qualified to the regional meet on relays. Our distance should be really strong as we currently have 15 kids working with that group, and several are returning letter winners. We should be pretty good in the jumps as well with state qualifier Austin Bachman returning.”
Gone from last year’s squad are Noah Castle (state placer), Tabb Gype, Zach Johnson, Quintin Reiser (state placer), Leo Rendon, Derek Rupp, Grant Sauber, Noah Stickley (regional placer), Anthony Werder and Joe Richer.
Castle, who placed 10th in the discus after finishing as state runner-up in 2014, currently is a thrower at the University of Kentucky. Reiser placed fourth in the 1600m at state last season, and now runs at Mississippi State.
“Our biggest weakness is finding our go-to athletes,” explained Allen. “We don’t need athletes to become (Castle and Reiser), but we do need a group of athletes to step up and take their place. The other area we are unproven in is the throws. We graduated all three of our throwers who threw at the league meet, district meet, and regional meet. We have several young men (Desmond Rapp, Austin Rotroff, and Ethan Baker) who I believe can take those spots. However, they are not proven yet and have to get big-meet experience.”
Back for the Indians are Austin Bachman (state qualifier), Mason Creager (regional placer), Chase Reynolds (regional placer), Caleb Blanchong, Travis Adkins, Troy Brink, Gage Campbell, Spencer Clausen, Danny Hench, Ty Leininger, Desmond Rapp, Chase Starkweather, Tyler Wilson, Aaron Beck, Seth Hutchison, Christian Suarez, Colton Blanton, Owen Newlove, Austin Rotroff, Dawson Rupp, and Kyle Vernot.
Promising newcomers are Ethan Baker, Andres Blanco, Zach Fink, Angel Juarez, Brendan Wilson, Junior Martinez, Nick Dilworth, Lukas Dominique, Jacob Barone, Zac Carroll, Michael Cheezen, Nolan Flint, Josh Lowry, Aaron Newland, Ryan Scherer, Zeb Smith, and Levi Whitman.
The Indians enter this season as the defending NWOAL champions, as well as district and regional runners-up. However, coach Allen views the league as being a three-team race this season.
“I foresee that Liberty Center, Bryan, and Archbold will be battling to win the league this year,” he said. “We will see as the season progresses if we will also be in the hunt for a league title. Swanton, Delta, Patrick Henry, and Montpelier also have some talented athletes that will win individual league titles and relay titles.”
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010