Strong focus, improvement vital for Pettisville track


By Max Householder - [email protected]



The Pettisville track and field team looks to be competitive this season with many returnees for both the boys and girls.

For the boys, they hope to make steady improvements throughout the season and be at their best at the end of it.

“The team is looking forward to the continued development of our team at every level. We are expecting to be competitive and put forth great efforts throughout the season,” said co-coaches Gabe Jaramillo and Marty Rupp in a statement about the boys.

“The overall depth we have will allow us to compete on all levels,” the two coaches added on strengths for the boys. “The young core we have is very competitive and willing to put in the work to progress throughout the season.”

Returning for the Blackbird boys are Griffin Eash, Sam Haley, Jonah Harmon, Cayden Jacoby, Zach McWatters, Joey Ripke, Zach Morris, Pete Rupp, Alec Rychener and Dane Waidelich.

They will have to replace Heath Waidelich and Dominic Heising.

“We need to be able to look past the short term and focus on improvement as a whole towards the end of the season. Our continued maturity is a big determining factor as to how the season will unfold,” said Jaramillo and Rupp on the boys’ weaknesses.

The boys finished third in the Buckeye Border Conference in 2021. The Blackbirds will shoot to improve their standing this season.

“We are challenging ourselves to be among the top point scorers in the BBC,” said the coaches.

The Pettisville girls have eight letter winners returning for the 2022 campaign.

“We have an experienced group that knows how to compete at a high level,” said Jaramillo and Rupp on strengths for the girls squad. “This team offers a great mix of athletes that can cover all events with competitive efforts.

“Our overall outlook is to remain healthy and focused, and if we can do that, we look forward to having a competitive team that will have great individual efforts.”

Returning on the girls side are Clara Damman, Meleah Plank, Karsen Pursel, Elise Hoylman, Renee Hoylman, Elisabeth Rochefort, Bella Strauss and Lily Wiemken.

They will have to replace Mayzie Clark, Grace Schnitkey, and Ellie Wixom, who was BBC champion in the pole vault.

“We need to allow ourselves to focus on our team goals and (learn) how to remain engaged wherever we are needed. We have to be willing to allow ourselves to fail before we can make progress to succeed,” said the coaches on weaknesses for the girls.

The girls were runner-up as a team at the BBC meet a season ago and hope to finish high again this year against an even more competitive field.

“With the addition of Holgate this year, the league will look to become stronger at the top. We are looking towards the challenge of competing with the best the league has to offer,” Rupp and Jaramillo said of the BBC race.

Pettisville starts the season Tuesday, April 5 with a tri-meet at North Central that also features Archbold.

By Max Householder

[email protected]

Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.

Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.