The Delta track and field program has much upside as they enter a new season. The Panther boys finished as district runners-up in 2021 and fifth in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League.
“Boys squad is coming off our most successful season since 2006/2007 (league championship seasons). We are looking to build on that success this year,” said head coach Mary Reighard.
The Delta boys have six returning letter winners this season. Back for the Panthers are Austin Kohlhofer (regional qualifier, throws), DJ Davis (regional qualifier, sprints), Bryar Knapp (regional qualifier, sprints), James Ruple (regional qualifier, sprints), Justin Ruple (regional qualifier, hurdles) and Ronnie Wyse (regional qualifier, hurdles).
Newcomers added to the boys team will be Walt Hallett (throws), Hunter St. John (pole vault), and Eli Mora (hurdles).
“Boys squad have more numbers this year and we return six letter winners with a taste of regional experience. That, with a strong group of freshmen sprinters battling for varsity spots, will help keep everyone working hard and on their toes,” said Reighard on strengths for the boys.
Gone from the boys team are Kai Fox (NWOAL champ and regional qualifier, shot put), Blake Schauwecker (regional qualifier, sprints), Kaleb Barnes (regional qualifier, hurdles), Todd Sackschewsky (mid-distance), Mike Eckenrode (mid-distance) and Nick Sherick (distance).
Depth in distance events is a weakness for the boys this season, according to Reighard. As for the NWOAL, they will be shooting for a top three finish at the league meet.
Delta has eight girls returning and also some newcomers who could make an immediate impact.
“We have some individuals (who) will be very competitive for us. Hoping their success will help generate overall team success,” Reighard said.
Returning for the girls are Grace Armstrong (hurdles/relays), Ashlyn Lamb (sprints), Hannah Barnes (hurdles/relays), Danica Ford (mid-distance), Gaby Ford (mid-distance), Olivia Smith (throws), Jessica Galliers (throws) and Justice Reckner (throws).
They will then be adding newcomers Josilyn Welch (distance), Trinity Nation (pole vault), Kalleigh Mignin (mid-distance), Grace Munger (mid-distance), Skylar Bolton (sprints), Kennedy Mull (sprints) and Ella Demaline (sprints).
“Girls welcome in a talented group of freshmen who we are looking to make an impact our team,” said Reighard on strengths for her girls.
However, they will have to replace Brooklyn Wymer who was a regional qualifier in the long jump, plus Jenna Hallett (distance), Ella Ford (high jump) and Keirsten Culler (pole vault).
“Numbers on the girls squad (is) limiting our ability to have competitors in all events,” said Reighard of their main weakness.
The Panther girls tied for sixth at the NWOAL meet a season ago. According to their coach, they hope to move more towards the middle of the league standings at this year’s meet.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.