Scott Kaye returns for his seventh season as Piqua boys track and field coach.
Gradating off last year’s team were Trent Yeomans, Tate Honeycutt, Jalen Hudgins and Brendan Fries.
Top returners include junior Andy Mayse (regional qualifier), distance; senior Isaiah Garber, middle distance; junior Tristen Cox, shot put/discus; and sophomore Jacob Bushnell, sprints.
We have some experienced scorers returning and a large number of motivated underclassmen who have been working hard to get ready for our first event,” Kaye said. “We’re looking to be prepared and hungry for competition at our first meet and will work towards building strength and experience in order to be our best in May.”
The Bradford Railroaders may be young, but their numbers are growing — and they’re looking to make a name for themselves.
“We look for our young talent to make strides this year,” Bradford coach Brian Schwieterman said. “We have set some pretty lofty goals for some young individuals this year in the hopes that in three years they will be known names in the area.”
That begins in the distance events, where Johnny Fike, Kurt Hoover and Shane Bryan, and also in the sprints with a group of young runners led by senior Zach Miller and Rhyan Turner, as well as underclassmen Kyle Mills and Hunter Penkal. And Mills will also look to make noise in the field events in the high jump.
“Our team goals include continuing to build our numbers and have every athlete improve their personal bests at every meet,” Schwieterman said. “Overall, it would be nice to see several Bradford athletes competing at the regional meet this year and possibly beyond.”
Kyle Moore returns for his fifth season as coach.
The Buccs have a strong group returning, including three-fourths of the 400 relay team that finished seventh at state in senior Brandon Magee and Shane Straw and sophomore Ethan Herron.
“All three have already shown a lot of quickness this year and we hope they can have another outstanding season in the sprint relays, as well as the 100 and 200,” Moore said. “We also have some other guys who should be able to step in, guys like Jett Murphy, Jayce Pond and Casey Waag. Zane Barnes will lead our 400 runners after a breakout season last year.”
The Buccs lost two strong distance runners in Alex Schilling and Nate Dunn to graduation.
“They will be really tough to replace,” Moore said. “But, the cross country team has provided us with a lot of willing and able guys. Nathan Lyle had an outstanding freshman year in the 400 and 800, so he will lead the distance crew. Dylan Kelly and Mark Barga also got some experience last year and have looked good to start this season.”
Moore also feels good about the field events.
“Zach Parrett is committed to being a great high jumper and after a freshman season where he cleared 5-10, we are confident he can go higher this year — as can Zane Barnes. Jett Murphy is back to pole vault this year and he has been working hard on his technique.
“His speed is back after a knee injury last year, so we are hoping for big things. Our throwers will be comprised entirely of freshmen, but they have great attitudes to start the year and I’m excited for them.”
Moore has hopes for the team this spring.
“We are pretty young this year, but we also have a good group of seniors,” he said. “And we have the biggest team we have had since I have been here, with almost 35 guys. So the goals are the same — to win the Covington Invitational and the Cross Country Conference meet — where we were second last year.
“We lost a lot of points in Ben Miller, (Alex) Schilling and (Nate) Dunn, so we will have to do it a different way. While I know Twin Valley South and Miami East will be there, I think we can do very well.”
Ron Boeke is back for his 30th season as coach.
The Wildcats were 54-31 last year and finished third in the SCL.
Graduating off that team were Nick Jones, state qualifier Devon Jester (Heidelberg College) and Gavon Anderson (Wright State).
Returning letterwinners include seniors Zach Freytag (sprints), Zach McKee (sprints, long jump), Cody Meyer (sprints, jumps), Malachai Wissman (shot, discus), Dereck Mayse (hurdles), Troy Riley (distance) and Azen Reier (distance); juniors Devon Ostanders (mid-distance), Seth Stoodt (hurdles), Quinton Cox (sprints); and sophomore Tristin Stangel (pole vault).
“We hope to finish in the top three or four in the league,” Boeke said. “Anna, Russia, Fort Loramie and Botkins will be tough to beat. Fairlawn and Jackson Center have a lot of good individuals. Our goal is to work hard and stay away from injuries.
Dwane Rowley returns for his seventh season as coach.
The Cavaliers finished third in the NWCC last year.
Graduating off that team were state qualifiers Ben Montgomery and Teddy Jackson, along with Mitch Slater and Erik Jackson.
Returning letterwinners include juniors Wyatt Long, Isaiah Winhoven and Jacob Schmiesing; and sophomores Kameron Lee, Joe Schimmel, Alvarro Barrera and Aldo Barrera.
“We have a young, inexperienced team that will be tested early and often,” Rowley said. “I look for them to be competitive and get better each week.”
Rowley hopes to be in the top four in the conference.
Even though the Vikings graduated a number of quality athletes in the offseason, Miami East coach Steve Karnehm — who is back for his eighth season with the Vikings — knows that his squad still has plenty coming back.
“We have 40 athletes out this season, and though we graduated several talented young men, we should do very well this season,” he said.
Devyn Carson returns in the long jump after winning a Cross County Conference title in the event last year and placing second at the state indoor tournament this past winter, and he will also be a key part of the sprinting corps along with Logan May, Jordan Crawford and Colton Weldy. May is also a high jumper that can clear the 6-foot mark, and Daniel Everett, Jack Runner and Brendan Dalton will look to score in the throws.
Trey Rush will lead a group of pole vaulters that also includes Blaine Brockschmidt, Graham Shore and Colton Kowalak. And in the distance events, freshman Gavin Horn led a solid group of cross country runners in the fall and will be joined by Brice Redick, Luke Mengos, Justin Deweese, Taton Bersch and Hunter Sharp.
And with all the talent across the board, the Vikings are setting their sights on a conference title and beyond.
“We would like to win the CCC and should compete well with Twin Valley South and Covington,” Karnehm said. “Our schedule is competitive, and I have no doubt that at the close of the season, the Vikings will be well represented among the best in our district and regional — with several athletes making a trip to Columbus.”
Nick Rhoades returns for his eighth season as coach.
The Indians will be led by distance runner Brady McBride, a two-time state qualifier in cross country.
“He has high expectations of getting to Columbus (state),” Rhoades said.
Sprinters/mid-distance runners include Jack Yoder, Moustafa Simpson, Nick Hoover and Treyton Lavy, while Yoder will also compete in the long jump.
“Boys numbers are down, but quality is in a good place,” Rhoades said. “With this number of boys, if we can place in the top half of the league (CCC), it will be a good year.”
Dan Schafer returns as Russia boys track and field coach.
The Raiders finished second at the SCAL meet last year.
Returning letterwinners include seniors Andrew Ball, Caleb Ball, Westin Lavy and Trevor Monnin; and juniors Ethan Monnier, Trent Monnin, Jack Moorman, Drew Poling, Alex Seger and Cole Tebbe.
“We look to very competitive this year we have a strong core of runners returning from last year,” Schafer said. “We should be strong in the pole vault and high jump we are looking for some underclassmen to help in the throwing events. The relays and middle distance should be the strength of our team we have the new school record team of the 4×400 back, and our 400 and 800 runners.
“Trevor Monnin and Caleb Ball who both just missed making it to state. This year should be very exciting as we move some kids into additional events to improve the team we are hoping for a great track season, as long as the kids stay healthy its going to be an exciting year.”
Schafer expects the SCAL competition to be tough.
“As I look at the county teams of course it looks like Anna will once again be the team to beat, but the rest of the county schools also have improved there is a lot of talent in the the Shelby County League which will make for an exciting track season,” Schafer said. “If we can keep the boys healthy they can be competitive with the other schools.”
The Tigers are moving up from D-III to D-II this year, but will be led by four state qualifiers returning from last year.
Sophomore Josh Steinbrunner finishing 10th in the semifinals in the 100 hurdles at the D-III state meet last year and is also strong in the 300 hurdles and high jump.
Trevor Noggle, Mitchell Paulus and Noah Pleiman all return from the 3,200-meter relay team that finished 13th at state last year.