Dina Gladieux, Archbold head track coach, welcomes back a host of returning letterwinners for her second year at the helm of the Blue and Gold after 20 years as an assistant.
Both the boys and girls teams won the league meet last year. The boys team won the regional title, while the girls finished second.
Gladieux said her teams’ strengths lie in the “positive leadership” on both sides.
But there is a downside. The AHS boys make the jump from Division III to Div. II this year.
“On the boys side we have lots of returning talent with experience at the big meets,” said Gladieux.
“The same holds true on the girls side. I have a lot of returning talent and they have experience from running in the state track meet.
“An added bonus is the leadership of these girls.”
Twelve letterwinners are back on the boys team:
Danny Young, second place in state in 4×200-meter relay, 300-meter hurdles and 4×400; Hayden Stamm, second in state in 4×400, state qualifier in 4×800;
Dean Herrett, second place in state in 4×200 and 4×400, fourth in pole vault, state qualifier in 4×100; Jacob Reyes and Dylan Lantz, state qualifiers in 4×100; Darin Sauder, seventh in pole vault at regionals.
Tyson Lersch, Jacob Ott, Lincoln Parsley, Alex Hurst, Adrian Ramirez, Clayton Lehman, and Cory Rocha “played key roles in the success of the team throughout the 2011 season,” said Gladieux.
Ten letterwinners return on the girls team:
Tressa Parsley, 4×800 state champion; state qualifi er in 4×200 and 4×400; Kassidy Garrow, 4×800 state champion; state qualifi er in 4×400; Darian Oberlin, 4×800 state champion; Kinsey Smith, state qualifi er in long jump and 4×200; Jesse Fidler, state qualifier in 4×200 and 4×400.
Others who played key roles last year and have returned are Ellie Sonnenberg, Meggie Yoder, Rachel Brader, Rachel Wiemken, Mondesi Walters, and Caroline Vonier.
“I am excited to see when this season takes us with all of the changes, but I am confi dent that our athletes will step up to the challenges and will do well,” said Gladieux about the boys team.
“As with the boys, I am excited to see what the girls will do throughout the season.
“They are hard workers and they are determined to succeed.
“With three of the four runners from the state champion 4×800 team returning, I am thrilled with the returning leadership.
“I am confident that the enthusiasm of these three will encourage the younger athletes and the result will be great.”
The Streaks are scheduled to open their season at the Napoleon Early Bird Invitational, Saturday, March 24.