Girl's Track & Field: Preview

James Wood

Coach:Matt Stegmaier, 6th year

Last year:4th in Northwestern meet

Key losses:Rachel Carson, Kelsey Van Sickler, Caitlin Lee

Top returning athletes:Morgan Craig, So., hurdles; Taylor Hall, So., jumps; Shannan Thorne, Sr. jumps/sprints; Samantha Ratcliffe, Jr., distance

Key newcomers:Amber Hawkins, So., distance; Laura Seymour, Fr., hurdles/jumps; Molly Farinholt, Fr., distance; Julia Putprush, Fr., throws; Loralee Tyler, Fr., throws

Outlook:Though Craig is one of the youngest girls on the Colonels' roster, Stegmaier hopes to lean on her experience as the largest team he's ever had develops.

James Wood began the year with more than 25 girls after never fielding more than 20 previously in his tenure.

"She's kind of the old veteran on the team, even though she's only a sophomore," Stegmaier said of Craig, the second-best 300 hurdler in the district last year behind Meneau. "She's our only returning state qualifier. She got a little nervous at the state meet and didn't have her best race, but just the fact she made it there should give her a lot of confidence for this year."

The distance team will be hurt by the loss of Carson, but Stegmaier thinks Hawkins, a transfer from Central, should provide a big boost.

"She looks good in practice, and she's got a strong work ethic," Stegmaier said.

Overall, Stegmaier thinks his team has a lot of potential, and he thinks Thorne and Seymour are the other likely candidates to score the most points.


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