The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 1, 2013

2013 Star Beacon High School Girls Track Preview: Girls appear set for big seasons

Several area squads could vie for league titles this spring

(Continued)

Grand Valley

The Mustangs and coach Kurtis Fisher will have a young, inexperienced squad for the 2013 season.

But, that doesn’t mean it won’t be successful.

Back are seniors Brady Nye (throws), Kelly Preske (sprints) and Melissa Slusher.

Fisher considers the sprints the strength of his team featuring juniors Callie Forrest, Chelsea Stehlik and sophomore Kayla Novello. Also returning are junior distance runners Holly Nye and Tylor Whitely.

“Again, we are very young and success will depend on how well the young kids develop,” Fisher said. “We have core leadership back and that will help. I look forward to a great season.

“Our strength will be in the sprints again this year.”

As far as the Northeastern Athletic Conference is concerned, Fisher just wants to contend with the top teams.

“I see Maplewood, PV, Mathews and Bristol to be strong again,” he said. “I hope to be competitive with them and see where we end up.”

Jefferson

The Falcons and coach Steve Locy return a large group of athletes who lettered last year, particularly in the sophomore class.

Jefferson has seven returning sophomores — Shannon Bertone (sprints), Hannah Cole (middle distance), Haley Allen (high jump), Shannon Perkins (middle distance), Delaney Gianantonio (distance), Jessica Stranman (distance) and Morgan Titus (sprints).

Locy knows his team needs to stay healthy to be successful.

“As always staying healthy (is a key),” he said, “and having the girls believe and work up to their potential.

“We have a nice mixture of veterans and new comers which should provide for some excitement.”

Also back for the Falcons are seniors Sara Jeppenson (sprints), Leanne Farr (throws), Telsa Stone (sprints) and juniors Kaydee Divivo (pole vault), Taylor Johnston (middle distance), Colleen O’Connor (distance) and Sara Brook (throws).

After a sixth place finish in the challenging All-American Conference, Locy hopes his team will improve upon that finish this season.

“Girard and Lakeview are always very tough,” he said. “(We’re) looking to move up from sixth place finish from last year. Running great competition in the league will hopefully help us in postseason events.”

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