NORTH ROBINSON — Much like the Colonel Crawford’s cross country teams, the Eagles’ track and field squads also have a rich tradition. Coaches Jody Grove and Preston Foy hope to keep that tradition alive and well in 2017.
Grove is the head coach of the Lady Eagles and is entering season No. 36 at Colonel Crawford. Grove will begin the ‘17 campaign without Callie Ruffener, Kendra Koge and Alyssa Spears due to graduation. Ruffener was a Division III state champion pole vaulter last season. Koge and Spears were both members of the Eagles 4 x 100-meter relay team that finished sixth at the state meet.
Colonel Crawford has won the Northern-10 Athletic Conference two years in a row. Last season, the Lady Eagles won their district and finished team runner-up in their regional meet.
Despite the big shoes that need filled, the Crawford Lady Eagles are returning a lot of talent from last year.
Returning letterwinners are: Claire Ehmann- hurdles; Anna Reffey- distance; Emily Kemper- distance; Courtney Britt- middle distance; Sam Mutchler- high jump and sprints; Kirsten Vehrs- hurdles and springs; Pierce Krassow- throws; Ashley Gwirtz- high jump and middle distance; Jillianne Gregg- throws; Courtney Lyons- distance; Kari Teglovic- middle distance; Reegyn Goyer- hurdles; Sadie Moss- sprints; Kelsea Michner- sprints; and Julia Brewer- sprints.
“We have 40 girls on the roster,” Grove said. “It will be challenging as the coaches will have options in putting together a lineup and everyone seems to be working hard to fill up those spots. We are a young group and will develop as the season progresses.”
On the guys side, Foy will handle the head-coaching responsibilities for the eighth season. Like the girls team, Foy’s group has won two-consecutive N-1o titles and were district champions last spring. Gone to graduation are some key elements from 2016 inOwen Adams, Noah Ferguson and Brandon Long. Adams was an All-Ohioan in the long jump, Feguson was a regional finalist in the shot put and Long was a part of the 4 x 800-meter relay team that was finalist in regionals a year ago.
Much like the girls team, Foy will be returning some quality athletes this spring.
Returning for Crawford are: Chad Johnson- 2016 state runner-up in the 3200-meter run; Brad Bauer- regional finalist in the 1600-meter run; Nick Studer- regional finalist in the 3200-meter run; Harley Shaum- high jump (all-conference), 4 x 200-meter relay member, 4 x 100-meter relay member and the 200-meter dash; and Jaret Tinkey- regional finalist in the discus.
“We are going to be very strong in our distance races again but lack experience in the hurdles,” says Foy. “(We) should be in the mix for a league title with Seneca East and Upper Sandusky. The team is looking to improve every week so that we can have another successful postseason,” the coach finishes.
The regular season will kick-off for the Colonel Crawford track and field teams on Saturday March 25 at the Joe Horn Invite held at Waynesfield-Goshen High School.
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