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AURORA -- The Greenmen boys track team is hoping to build on the success of past years with a new coaching staff.
Chris Radtke takes over as head coach, and will also be responsible for the hurdlers. Jenna Schadle will focus on throws, Tom Nalepa and Tyler Hunter on sprints and jumps and Corey Houlahan on the pole vault.
"We are surprised at the large number of athletes -- both boys and girls -- who have decided to participate in track," said Radtke. "From such large numbers we will certainly find some quality athletes.
"We lost some outstanding seniors who were not only super competitive and successful, but worked hard every practice and set a positive example for the underclassmen. I have challenged our seniors this year to be the kind of class the younger runners, throwers and jumpers can look up to.
"We will see how they respond. The strong showing by our distance runners as Suburban League [American Conference] champs bodes well for those events."
Radtke has taught social studies at Auroura High for 13 years. He was assistant track coach the last two years, and prior to that was assistant coach at Walsh Jesuit for five years and girls head coach at Walsh for six years.
Here are some boys to watch this season:
Kyle Delrosa (senior) will anchor the middle distance, contributing in the 4x400m relay and 800.
David Meredith (senior) returns with one of the best times in the 800. "We're expecting him to set a positive example for the other distance runners and compete in several events," said Radtke.
Brandon Howard (senior) is expected to have a very strong year. He returns with the highest marks in long jump, 110 high hurdles and 300 low hurdles.
Harry Rees (junior) ran othe team's best 1600 last year and should contribute in distance events.
Robbie Lamport (junior) is the squad's best returning 400-meter runner and has high expectations.
Zach Gerber (junior) adds depth to a strong hurdle crew, and never misses a workout.
Jake Rogge (junior) had to wait until some talented seniors in the throws graduated. He should step up in the shot and disc this year.
Here are some others for fans to watch:
Robbie Taylor (sophomore) is the top returning 3200 runner, and should score well in the 3200 and 1600.
Michael Kaplan (sophomore) should come on strong in the 1600 and 3200 runs.
Caleb Tinsley (senior) is eyeing his first year throwing shot and disc, and has a lot of potential, according to the coach.