On the Track Less Travelled

The 4x100 meter relay team is seeking vengeance after narrowly missing a return trip to states last year.

The 4×100 meter relay team is seeking vengeance after narrowly missing a return trip to states last year.

Jake Heinauer, Editor-In-Chief

The outdoor Track and Field season kicks off on March 28th for the Indians at the Knoch Relays. The meet has been described as a tune up meet for the team by new head coach Doug Sundo.

Just a few days later, on April 2nd, the team will have its first section meet of the season at home on April 2nd against the Shaler Area Titans and the Mars Area Planets, and after some growing pains last season the teams should look to do at least as well as they did last season, if not better. The first meet could go many ways for the boys, two wins, two losses, or one for one. However, it seems as though the girls will have their hands full with both the Planets and Titans.

The girls will be lead by both their Sprinting and Distance Squads. Senior Lauren Wiles returns after a successful junior outing, and state berth in the indoor 60 meter dash. She will be joined by senior Nicole Polaski, and juniors Shaniece Blackburn and Taylor Horsley, all of whom make up the girls’ 4×100 meter relay. The Indians will also expect them to put up points individually in the sprinting events.

On the distance side of things, the girls should have a strong front runner in Ava Pietryzk. After a successful indoor season, and an appearance in the WPIAL finals she looks to excel in the 800m, 1600m, and the 3200m runs. Pietryzk said she mainly plans to improve and build upon her accomplishments from last year, and said, “I will especially look forward to running the 3200 meters under the lights at the Butler and Baldwin Invitationals”. If junior Sarah Glatz can return from injury she will be a force to be reckoned with in the 800 meters, after qualifying for WPIAL finals last May. The 4×800 meter relay team will also look to do big things this year, in the capable hands of sophomores Carlie Siebert, Maddie Evans, Emma Bagnato and hopefully Glatz. Although the girls’ will have their hands full all season, there will be some very strong individual performances. And make sure you don’t count out Junior Sierra Ungerman in the Shot Put or Discus events, or Senior Sabrina Palmieri in the 3200m run.

The boys will be lead primarily by their Pole Vaulting and Distance squads. Garrett Heid and Ryan Speicher will be the Indians top pole vaulters. Heid narrowly missed WPIAL finals last may, and will be looking to further his high school career this season. Both Heid and Speicher will be expected to put up points against the Titans an Planets on the Second.

The Distance Squad will look to put up serious points for the team throughout the season, and looks as if they will be the most talented on the team this year. This will come as no surprise as it is comprised mainly of cross country runners, and the Cross Country team finished fourth at WPIALS this fall. The squad will be lead by experienced front runners Michael Burchlaw, Jake Heinauer, and Killian McNally. All of the runners should be successful in every event from the 800m to the 3200m. Although the the boys will rely more on individual performances than relays.

Junior Jumper Tyler Rice said, “I think our team has a chance to perform. It will be completely different from years past where we only focused on individual achievement. Every meet will be close and average days won’t get the job done, but we have a chance and I think we can make the most of it.”

The team has experienced some growing pains, last year the Boys won only one regular season meet, and the girls only placed at invitationals after losing every section meet. But one thing is clear, the Indians Track team is a team to watch, whether for individual achievement or for success as a team.