It may be small in numbers — 16 in all— but the Centre High School track squad has athletes who will participate in most events this year. For that reason, head coach Alan Stahlecker expects them to be competitive in team scoring.
Seniors Casey Kristek and Cole Svoboda are the two returning letter-winners on the boys team. Kristek is competitive in the hurdles. Svoboda just missed qualifying for state in the 400-meter dash last season. He also competes in javelin and long jump.
Stahlecker expects senior Trevor Hageberg to be more competitive this year in the shot put and discus.
Other members of the team are sophomores Justin Deines and Houston Svoboda and freshmen Solomon Brunner, Chad Mueller, Ty Simons, Grant Srajer, and Dallen Thompson.
Stahlecker expects the younger boys to improve in their individual events as the season progresses and to put together some successful relays.
Of the three returning letter-winners on the girls team —Katie Remy, Theo Kassebaum, and Ellie Miller — Kassebaum, a junior, is the strongest, Stahlecker said.
Kassebaum qualified for state in the 100-meter hurdles in 2010. She qualified for the final heat at state but finished in eighth place, just missing earning a medal.
Kassebaum also competes in the 300-meter hurdles and long jump. Remy, a senior, is a distance runner. Sophomore Miller does well in high jump but also is strong in the triple jump. Stahlecker said she also might run the 400-meter dash. Rudolph competes in sprints and high jump.
Cacey Simons, Beka Basore, and Yvonne Calvert are freshmen who have joined the team and are showing some potential, the coach said.
Stahlecker has been involved in Centre’s track program for 10 years. This is his second year as head coach. Kelly Steiner is in his second year as assistant coach.
The first track meet, hosted by Moundridge, will be April 5 at Canton-Galva High School in Canton.