By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys and girls track teams did some damage during the indoor season the past month and a half culminating with five medals at the Indoor State Track Meet before transitioning outdoors this week. Head boys coach Ryan Hornaday and girls coach Drew Sterkel have set high expectations heading into the spring season for the two squads.
As a group the two teams combined to qualify ten athletes for the indoor state meet this past Friday in Bloomington at Illinois Wesleyan. Three-time state champion Alyssa Willams headlined the girls group while junior state placer Chris Boyd was the leader for the boys.
Williams didn’t miss a beat the senior captured two titles winning both the 60-meter and 200-meter dash and took second in the long jump touching the sand at 17 feet 10 and a quarter inches. She broke the tape in the 60 in 7.74 seconds and in the 200 in 25.93. Joining her on the individual podium was freshman Lia Patterson. Patterson, a multiple winner in last year’s IESA Junior High state meet, captured a bronze medal with a third place finish in the 400-meter with a time of one minute flat. She was also a finalist in the 60-meter hurdles after turning in a 9.71 seconds in the prelims. The duo joined with junior Mia Hausmann and freshman Kenna Clodfelder for a fourth place finish in the 4×200-meter relay.
The state’s fourth place team last spring would be considered a contender for the outdoor team title with just Williams returning but with the addition of Patterson and some other young talent there is a realistic chance they could win it all. Patterson is a threat in both hurdle races and after taking third at indoor state in the 400 should be able to add to the team totals.
Williams will join with classmates Victoria Wells and Alondra Tapia in leading the squad. Hausmann will be counted on to help show the way as well fellow junior Harley Woodard. Sophomore Natalie Hastings will be strong for throws coach Stan Wienke in both the shot and the disc while newcomers like Clodfelder and Ryleigh Vanausdoll should donate to the cause out of the gate and be seasoned by the time postseason roll around.
As always Hornaday’s horde is a large one boasting well over forty athletes including nine seniors. Two are state meet qualifiers from last spring Logan Wallace and Riley Nolan. They joined with sophomores Jackson Barrett and Josiah Hortin in the 4×800 relay at the indoor state meet last week. Boyd (shot put) and sophomore Will Foltz (pole vault) represented the Warriors in the field events. Boyd found his way onto the podium taking fourth place in the shot with a toss of 15.62-meters.
The donator’s list for this spring is too large to mention. Some of the names to look for will be Tyson Macaulay, John Claxon, Austin Lewis, Grant Kauffman and Haven Hatfield in the throwing events. The trio will vie for the second spots in both the shot and discus behind Boyd at the big meets.
Conner Lewis and Krish Patel could turn some heads in the jumping events while Bryce Graves, Ben Hornaday, Mason Veach, Tristan Gadomski and Hunter Branca should fill out some of the open runs and relay teams. Newcomer David Hornaday showed promise in the 400 at some of the early season indoor meets and could help out passing the baton by the end of the season.