Western Brown won the American Division meet by 37 points while Williamsburg won the National Division title by 78 points.
With the win, the Broncos ended New Richmond’s two-year run as league champion. The Wildcats have won the National title two straight years.
The Ladycats were fifth in the National Division league meet. Becca Kratzer took first in the 100-meter hurdles while teammate Ainsley Whitaker won the discus. Emma Winemiller finished first in the high jump.
First team all-conference athletes last season, and their current grades, were Becca Kratzer (‘21 grad), Ainsley Whitaker (jr.), Emma Winemiller (sr.) and Savanna Schutte (‘21 grad).
Whitaker was named the National Division field event athlete of the year.
The Clinton-Massie girls track and field team returns eight athletes from last year’s team.
The Falcons finished sixth in the conference meet and did not have a league champion.
Head coach Dean Richardson is in his seventh season as the head coach, but was for 17 years a middle school coach and high school assistant.
Other coaches in the track and field program include Scott Rolf, Jordan Phipps, Forrest Goings, Jim Wagner, Jimmy Brady and Matt Hudson.
Top athletes not returning are Emma Muterspaw (Taylor University), Nora Voisey (regional high jump), Courtney Fisher and Taylor Anderson.
Anna Jones and Bre Pyburn are a couple of new faces Richardson is excited to see in action.
“We are a young team but I really like how hard we are working,” said Richardson. “We just need to continue to work hard in practice and we will see improvements throughout the season.”
Richardson said Wilmington and Western Brown are the American Division favorites this season.
The Astros were a distant second to Williamsburg in the National Division championship meet.
Carah Anteck won the 3,200-meter run at the league meet last season.
Bob Malone is in his second season as head coach and will be assisted by boys head coach Michael Fritz, Bob Henson, Steven Sodini, Bill Hrabak and Davis Boris.
There are 10 returning athletes in all, led by Anteck. She is the school record holder in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs while also earning a berth in the regional meet.
Also returning are Libby Evanshine, Timmi Mahanes, Molly Seabaugh, Kaylyn Deaton, Kenton Deaton, Jozie Jones, Lauren Runyon, Jordan Collom and Kelsi Lilly. Many of those athletes will be getting a late start to their season following the success of the girls basketball team.
Newcomers to note will be Hadlie Clark, Chloe Scott and Makayla Thomason.
Those who graduated last season in Gracie Evanshine and Gracie Boggs. Evanshine was a first-team all-league performer last season.
”Carah, Kenton, Kelsi, Libby, Jozie and Timmi are our upperclass leaders and truly take a strong role in helping our team achieve all of their successes,” Malone said. “Without them and their leadership, we wouldn’t have as strong of a team as we do. We have a lot of great underclassmen that are right up there with them like Jordan, Lauren, Kaylyn and Molly.”
Malone said his team is motivated and “finds ways to perservere even through the most daunting challenges. The majority of these ladies play three sports and are great all-around athletes. The thing that sets these ladies a part is their heart. They work hard at everything they do and have the desire to be the best.”
The coach noted the late start for some who will need time to get in to track shape while the newcomers find the events that suit them best.
Once the team gets in shape and if it is healthy throughout the year, Malone is confident of his team’s ability.
“We are blessed to have so much talent but even last year we ran into some injury problems,” he said. “These ladies train all the time and it takes a toll. We are going to get our ‘aces in their places’ and go for it every time we step on the track. I believe in these ladies and know they will give 100% in every event.”
Wilmington finished third in the American Division conference championship meet. Chris Reynolds takes over the program Clinton County Sports Hall of Famer Roger Ilg.
Reynolds, in his second year at WHS after an 82-7 total record with the boys last season, will be assisted at the high school by Eileen Grosse, also a Clinton County Sports Hall of Famer, JD McIntosh, Karen Heslop, JT Lykins and Josh Andrews, and at the junior high by Connor Rioch, Matthew Iacobucci, Marcus Stewart and Savannah Rhodes.
Taylor Noszka won the 800-meter run and the 1,600-meter run. Kaitlyn Hickey took the top spot in the shot put while Emilee Pham tied for first at 10-6 in the pole vault. Hickey also was ninth in shot at Region 4 meet. Pham qualified for regional in pole vault last season.
First team all-conference athletes last season, and their current grade, were Madilyn Brausch (so.), Hickey (jr.), Noszka (so.), Sylena Baltazar (‘21 grad), Taliah Billingsley (fr.), Olivia Hisco (‘21 grad), Courtney Parker (sr.), Emilee Pham (‘21 grad) and Hannah Scott (so.).
There are 12 total returning athletes with Brynn Bryant (sixth in high jump at Region 4 meet), Hickey, Noszka, Billingsley, Brausch, Parker and Scott leading the way. Others are Lexi McKee-Cole, Makenna Tolliver, Mackenzie Voges Pertuset, Ava Hester, Alice Clair, Liz Allen.
Reynolds said newcomers of note are Sophie Huffman (returning after missing last season with an injury), Sydney McCord, Kennedy Moore, Vicky Missel, Ke’Asia Robinson, Madison Schuster, Chloe Sutton, Aidynne Tippett, Destyne Turner, Reyes Lobato, Banesa Morales, Kensey Parker, Bryn Tippett, Larkyn Johnson, Taija Walker, Emily Bates. Lobato (Spain) and Missel (Germany) are exchange students at WHS.
Among those not returning are 2021 grads, aside from those previously mentioned, Liv Hisco, Maddy Rickman, Izzy Coomer and Mercedes Bowman.
”This senior class started in December conditioning and participating in indoor track meets this winter. They have really shown the potential to the rest of the team through hard work and persistence,” said Reynolds. “The improved depth, work ethic and enthusiasm has created competition to push one another to be the best version of ourselves and over the course of the season that will cultivate confidence and hopefully a lot of success.”