By Ben Murphy
Sixth year boys’ track head coach TJ Staley has seen his team move up the conference standings nearly every year since taking over the job. After winning a co-championship with Clare last year, the Eagles are hoping to stay amongst the elite in the Jack Pine Conference.
“We have another outstanding group,” Staley said. “Year after year our middle school program teaches our kids to love track. I am looking forward to the snow melting so we can get outside.”
Returning from last year’s team are seniors Tanner Touchtone (school record holder in the 400 and 800), Kurt Meister (distance), Joey Bowen (distance), junior Cameron Disbrow (hurdles), sophomores Chris Hernden (mid-distance), Brenden Buccilli (jumps), Lucas Buccilli (sprints), Shane Wiley (throws), Bryce Cutler (sprints) Garrett McQuiston (jumps) and Damien Brown (jumps).
New to the team is sophomore Jeff Rings (sprints) along with incoming freshmen Hayden Ackerman (pole vault, hurdles), Alex Dailey (pole vault, sprints), Marty Fedewa (distance), Trevor Frost (distance), Daylen Garver (distance), Logan Osborn (throws), Isaiah Radke (jumps), Nathan Ringwalt (throws, sprints), Zach Swarthout (distance), Austin Tigner (sprints) and Keegan Tigner (throws).
“(We want to) improve our standing in the conference, region and state,” Staley said. “I think four teams have a legitimate chance of winning the JPC, making it the most exciting season in many years.”
Pre-season information for the Lady Eagles track and field team was not provided at press time.
The Eagles have already competed in three indoor meets this year, the first being March 20 at Central Michigan University.
There Touchtone took third in the high jump, Ackerman was seventh in the pole vault and the 4×400 relay team of Bryce Cutler, Austin Tigner, Chris Hernden and Touchtone won with a tiem of 3:52.34.
The girls were led by Contessa Hammond with a second place finish in the 3200, Bailey Rose took fifth in the shot put, Kasey Staley won the pole vault with a school record height of 9’6″ with Staley also taking fourth in the high jump.
McKenzie Garver placed fourth in the pole vault and sixth in the high jump, Michelle Boyd placed fifth in the long jump and the 4×800 relay team of Becca Howard, Makayla McQuiston, Logan Sprague and Hammond took third.
On March 21, at Grand Valley State University, Touchtone took third in the 400, Radke placed sixth in the long jump and Brenden Buccilli was 12th in the long jump.
Staley improved her school record in the pole vault, taking first with a height of 9’9″.
On March 24, competing at Saginaw Valley State University Meister took sixth in the 1600 and eighth in the 3200, Brenden Buccilli was fourth in the long jump and Wiley was 17th in the shot put.
Staley won the pole vault with a height of 8’8″ and took second in the high jump. Michelle Boyd was third in the long jump, Rebecca Boyd was seventh in the shot put and Hammond placed second in the 3200. The 4×200 relay team of Shay Statler, Staley, Howard and Michelle Boyd placed sixth.
Farwell is scheduled to compete again at SVSU’s outdoor invitational April 11.