Wauseon boys track will look to improve upon last year’s runner-up finish at the NWOAL meet and third place finish in the district.
“I believe that, as a team, we will have a good season again this year,” said longtime head coach Joe Allen. “We have a few very outstanding athletes, and we as a coaching staff need to develop the depth behind those stand-outs. Another factor into our success this year will be how many basketball players and wrestlers we are able to get out for the team. Both teams had enormous amounts of success which extended their season. Traditionally when that happens, fewer of those athletes do track as the athlete is worn out. However, if we are able to get those athletes out for the team, they will really help to provide us the depth we need to be competitive.”
The quality of athletes returning is the main strength for the Indian boys.
“I believe the strength for our season will be in the distance events and throws,” said Allen. “We are returning several distance runners (Kyle Vernot, Josh Lowry, Michael Cheezan and Owen Newlove) who have run at the state and regional meet. We are also returning Kyle Zirkle in the throws, and he was a regional qualifier last year.”
Other returnees for the Indians include Lukas Dominique, Junior Martinez, Dawson Rupp, Aaron Newland, J.T. Hutchinson, Wyatt Lane, and Noah Tester.
However, they lose Aaron Beck, Zach Fink, Luke Grime, Seth Hutchison, Angel Juarez, Chase Reynolds, and Brendan Wilson.
“We need to continue to develop our sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers,” said Allen of weaknesses heading into the season. “In the jumps we lack depth that we need to develop, in the sprints we have a high number of sprinters, and we need to figure out how to fit all the puzzle pieces together.”
Looking to provide depth for the Indians are newcomers Michael Aguilar, Jaden Banister, Jackson Bauer, Ethan Kessler, Owen King, Andrew Perez, Jimmy Villarreal, Braden Vernot, Layton Willson, Caden Case, Andrew Figgins, Jacob Hageman, Braden Hernandez, Greg Moore, Logan Richer, Noah Sauber, Xavier Torres, and Benicio Vielma.
There is a clear favorite to win the NWOAL on the boys side according to Allen.
“In the league race, Archbold looks like the team to beat this year,” he said. “They have a lot of talent returning from last year’s team. Bryan and Liberty Center could also provide a challenge for the team championship. We are hoping to be in that mix somewhere too.”
Wauseon hosts Evergreen and Tinora in a tri-meet this coming Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010