FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- The Greenmen track and field team moves into its 2014 season with a new look to the coaching staff.
John Kudley, who has held the role of head girls coach since 1992, has assumed the role as head boys coach with the resignation of former boys coach Mark Dingman.
Besides taking on the duties of head coach, Kudley will primarily work with the hurdlers and high jumpers. Returning as an assistant is Jay Price, who will continue to work with sprinters, relays and long jump.
Veteran coach Vic Ricketts will handle the throws (shot and discus). Rick Buoncore, who has assisted with the distance runners, will still be in charge of that group and will be assisted by former runner and Aurora High graduate Sean Black.
Corey Houlahan, a former vaulter for the Greenmen, returns as pole vault coach. Sarah Anthony, who had an outstanding sprint career for the Greenmen, will assist with sprinters and relays. Buoncore, Black, Houlahan and Anthony are all Aurora graduates and "are a nice addition to our staff," said Kudley.
Practice began March 10 and the team has been limited to how much time it has spent on the track because of Ohio's continuing wintry weather.
The teams are scheduled to open the season April 5 at the Crestwood Invitationals.
"While our distance runners have braved the cold and snow, our sprinters [up to March 27] had only two practices on the track and two practices running a hill in the Woods of Aurora that parallels West Pioneer Trail.
"Our throwers have been able to throw outdoors, but most of their practices have been indoors. By not scheduling meets during spring break hopefully we will have good weather for our first meet April 5 at Crestwood."
THE LADY GREENMEN
The girls have 63 students on the roster -- seven seniors, 14 juniors, 18 sophomores and 24 freshmen. The ladies will be led by seniors Deanna Calder, Carmen Angus, Rylee Armold, Kendall Trudick and Katie Albrecht.
Calder specializes in the mid-distances (especially 400 and 800) and is a vital part of the 4x800m and 4x400 relays. She received the outstanding distance runner award in 2013.
Coming off a strong track season last year and a great fall cross country season, she has her eyes set on breaking the school's 800 record of 2:21.22 set by Brooke Hradsky in 2010. "With her work ethic and determination, Deanna will seriously threaten that record," said Kudley.
Angus and Armold have been the backbone of the sprint relays (4x100 and 4x200) the last three years. They will continue in that role, in addition to being the leaders of the team. Angus was recognized last year as the outstanding sprinter and received the leadership award. Armold also will try the long jump.
Trudick is entering her second year of track and field as a senior. In her first year , she was a major contributor. While focusing on the 400, she has also excelled in the 800 and 200, and earned the most improved award in 2013. Albrecht will return as a veteran hurdler in the highs and lows.
Junior Karly Mitch, also named most improved runner for 2013, is another athlete who is expected to continue as a primary force on the team. She will run the 100, 200 and sprint relays, also will be called upon to long jump.
Juniors Ally Burns and Carli Wazbinski will play primary roles in the sprints and relays. Junior distance runners Michela Palma, Erin Grohe and Dana Cassidy will be called upon to head a group of talented underclassmen distance runners.
"Sophomore Kelly Hickey should continue to excel in both the sprints and long jump," said Kudley. "As a freshman, Kelly had an outstanding season running the 400 and 4x400m relay, and received the sportsmanship award for her competitive drive and team spirit."
In the long jump, she finished fourth in the CVC and placed sixth in the division I meet at Austintown Fitch. Sarah Holt will lead the team in the shot and discus, while Emily Keller will lead it in the high jump, along with Joyelle Owens and Maria Mims.
Freshmen prospects find the Grohe twins Olivia and Samantha, who both had great cross country seasons, making an impact in distance races. Also showing early potential are the Alder twins Shelby and Halley, as well as Marissa Henderson.
THE GREENMEN BOYS
Among the boys leading the 2014 Greenmen will be junior Brandon Zamary in both the shot and discus. He placed third in the 2013 district meet and went on to place 10th in the regional meet. He was named outstanding field event athlete, and "with his strong work ethic and athleticism will once again be a force not only in the Chagrin Valley Conference but into the postseason," said Kudley.
Senior Romel Pollard will be called upon to play a key role in the sprints and relays, while Ethan Ekstrand will have a dual role as a hurdler and sprinter. Ben Lazor will specialize in the 400 and 800, as well as be a key member of the 4x400 relay.
Juniors Ryan Devine, Joe Dinardo, Yohann Samarasinghe and Nick Settecase will be the core of the sprint crew and have set their eyes on breaking the school's 4x400 relay record. Running the 100, 200 and 400, Devine also will lead the team in the long jump, while Dinardo will high jump and run the 100 and 200.
Brian Kingure returns as the team's leading pole vaulter and will share a role in the sprints. Xavier Medley is joined by Evan Contes to throw the shot and discus. Also throwing will be Adam McCullough and A.J. Suchovsky.
Dan Sovich will run the 110 high hurdles and 300 low hurdles. Leading the team in the distance races will be Andrew Swan and Tristan White. Sophomores Craig Conley in the high jump and Jim Matras in the shot will add to the team's efforts this season.
The boys team consists of 11 seniors, 21 juniors, 13 sophomores and 20 freshmen. Both the girls and boys have a large number of freshmen, "and as the season progresses, there will be athletes who emerge among them that will have an impact on the team's success," said Kudley.