By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s track team is looking to make up for lost time after not being able to compete a year ago because of the pandemic. Head boys track coach Ryan Hornaday and girls head coach Drew Sterkle will lean on their seniors to show the way but a few underclassmen like junior Alyssa Williams for the girls, sophomore Chris Boyd and freshman Josiah Hortin are looking to make a name for themselves. Sterkle returns to the reins after being gone for a few years.
Williams shined out of the gates for the Lady Warriors. The junior phenom won all three events she entered in dominating fashion. Williams who just wrapped up football season won the 100-meter by a bus length setting a new school record with a 12.62. She was just as far out in front in the 200 taking first with a 26.74 and broke a second school record while winning the long jump with a leap of 17 feet 5 and a quarter inches.
“Junior sprinter and jumper, Alyssa Williams has been very impressive so far,” Sterkle was quoted as saying. “She broke the 21-year old long jump record as well as the 36-year old 100 meter dash record.”
The seniors turning circles for Hornaday and looking to do some damage will be James Boyd and Clayton Hausmann. Classmate Hans Goodman will reside in the rings throwing the shot and the discus. Hausmann took sixth in the 100-meter in a five-team meet at Moroa Forsythe last week with a 12.37. Hausmann was also part of two relays in the first meet leading off for the first place 4×400 team handing off to Logan Wallace, John Hegarty and Boston Broady. The group broke the tape in a very fast 57.41 for the first time out. Conner Lewis joined with Hausmann, Broady, and Wallace for a third place effort in the 4×200 relay clocking in at one minute and 40 seconds. The elder Boyd was a near miss in the open 400 taking second crossing the line in 57.41. Sophomore Tristan Gadomski was a few ticks off top three ending up in fifth.
Hortin came close to medalist honors with a second place finish in the grueling 3200-meter race turning eight laps in 10:46. Fellow Freshman Jackson Barrett was a fifth overall in the 1600 while junior Riley Nolan crossed in eighth. Newcomer Bryce Graves and Will Foltz each took fifth in the 200 and 800 respectively rounding out the open runs.
The Boyd brothers accounted for some points in the field events. James cleared the bar in pole vault to take second overall while Chris took second in both the shot with a toss of 50 feet four inches and disc, throwing it just over 144 feet while Goodman was fourth in both. Goodman had a big week joining classmate and girls track leader Hannah Hornaday as honorees of the CIC scholar athlete award.
“Clayton looks to be leading the way in the sprint races while Josiah will be one of the best distance runners in the area,” stated Hornaday. “In the field events, the Boyd’s look ready to have a great season. Chris threw state qualifying marks in both the shot and the disc at Maroa after only one week of practice and James looked great in the pole vault.”
“It’s going to be a unique year for sure. We had no indoor meets and the training progression is all out of whack. We started workouts in February without the basketball players. Then we practiced in March and early April without the football players. We’ve just now for the first time got the entire team practicing simultaneously.”
Sterkle who was coaching football and track during the entire pre-season and through the first meet reiterated some of Hornaday’s thoughts. “During the Volleyball and Football seasons we had seven girls total training for track,” he said. “After those seasons ended we completed our team. We had our first meet as a full team yesterday. We will rely heavily on the leadership of Hannah Hornaday and newcomer Paige Goad who has been impressive in her meets thus far. Brynn Tabeling is our, Swiss army knife, as she can run anything from the 200-3200. Laney Cummings will be a factor in all relays and mid distance races.”
Hornaday was part of a first place relay team linking up with Cummings, Goad, and Harley Woodard turning four laps in 4:43. Goad backed it up in the open 400 breaking the tape in 1:08 collecting first place points. Mia Hausmann was just a second back taking second in 1:09 while Sydney Moss took fourth with a 1:31. Cummings took home runner up honors in the open 800 with a 2:51. Lauren Woods was just two spots back in fourth.
Carli Seip donated on the track and in the field. The third year runner took third in the 200-meter with a 29.37 and second in the high jump clearing five foot four inches. “Carli will be a very big factor in the jumps,” Sterkle said. “And we will also rely on her in the relays and sprints.” Also lending a hand away from the oval were Tapia Alondra and Woods with a third and fourth place outing in the long jump respectively.