The Pettisville track and field team, most notably their girls, are expecting to do well this season.
The Blackbirds return a multitude of athletes on the girls side that helped them finish as Regional Co-Champions with Archbold in 2017.
“We should be very strong against teams our size this year,” said head coach Tom Wagner.
However, the Birds will be without Alexa Leppelmeier, who was runner-up at state in the 1600 meter run and was a state qualifier in the 3200 meter run. She was also a part of the state runner-up 4×800 meter relay team and the 4×400 team that qualified for state.
But, they do return three of the four members from those relay teams. Those girls are Elizabeth Sauder, Nichole Foor, and Morgan Leppelmeier.
Other girl returnees include Katie Hauter (throws), Kendal Pursel (PV/sprint relays), and Sarah Herring (PV/sprint relays).
“We have good numbers,” said Wagner on the strengths of the girls team. “Our distance crew is very strong again this year, with a great deal of experience at the state level. We are very solid at the pole vault and the shot and discus. We have some very talented freshmen this year that will help the team.”
To have more postseason success this year, Wagner knows his girls must stay hungry.
“We have to stay focused and keep our eye on the ball and not let up,” he said. “We have to improve each meet and get our talented freshmen the experience they need for the end of the year run.”
He sees potential for his team to win a Buckeye Border Conference title.
“I look for us to be strong and competing for the league title,” said Wagner on the BBC race. “Montpelier and Edon will be very tough, as always.”
The boys lose just two letter winners from last year.
“We should be pretty competitive with other schools our size,” said Wagner.
Returning for the boys team are Jaret Rychener (HJ/relays), Caleb Nolander (mid-distance/relays), Noah Rocha (mid-distance/relays), Calvin Nofziger (hurdles/sprint relays), Zach Morrison (PV/sprint relays), Garrett Young (sprint relays), Evan Warner (distance/relays), Graeme Jacoby (throws) and Wyatt Cerda (throws).
They only lose Ben Gray and Gabe Beck.
“We seem to have some good numbers this year,” explained Wagner. “We look to be strong in the discus and shot put. Our pole vault will be very tough as well. We have some talented young freshmen this year.”
Youth will be the main weakness for the Blackbird boys this season.
By the end of the season, Wagner is hopeful they can make a run at a league title.
“Montpelier and Edon will be very strong again,” he said. “As we gain in experience, we hope to make some noise by the league meet.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010