Distance leads MF track
By SETH STASKEY
Times Leader Sports Editor
MARTINS FERRY — As it pertains to the Martins Ferry track team, the longer the race the better.
When Greg Steele looks at his Purple Rider boys and girls track teams this spring, distance contingent is a strength for both squads.
But, they’re not alone. The Purple Riders are strong in the field and have a few pieces in the sprints and hurdles that could make them consistent scorers in many meets.
“Though our numbers are low, I think we have a few young people who will be able to contribute and score at most of our meets,” Steele said. “Our distance will be the strength of this year’s teams.”
The Rider boys will be led by the distance trio of Wyatt Wodarcyk, Eli Smith and senior C.J. Anderson. Add in junior Francis Toohey, senior Kenton McCroskey, junior Chad Love, junior Trent Lewis and freshman Ryan Theaker and the Riders have depth.
In the field, the Riders are counting on versatile senior Evan Carpenter to contribute. He will be entered in the long jump, shot put and run sprints on the track.
Other field event entrants are junior Zak Dobson (throws), Christian Goddard (throws), Peyton Hores (throws) and Carter Bennett will pole vault and run sprints.
Also on the track, the Riders will look to senior Mason Walton (sprints), Cole Sztary (sprints), juniors Mitchell Tickerhoof (sprints), Quentin Temple (sprints), sophomores Johnny McFarland (sprints), Desmond Gerevics (sprints), Isaac Exline (sprints) and Kaden Archer (sprints).
Distance running again is an area to watch for the Riders.
Sophomore Josie Hancock had an impressive cross country season and will be making her high school track debut.
Other distance runners are senior Kayla Theaker, sophomore Gia Starkey, freshmen Faith Smith and Lanee Matz.
In the field, three Riders are expected to compete in the pole vault. They are sophomores Valerie Gasmire, Kenzie Hill and Avery Marchbank. Another sophomore, Audrey Kosky is entered in the long and high jumps.
With Richella Spielvogel competing at Lake Erie College, the throwing area for the Riders will look drastically different. Competing there now are sophomore Haleigh Gildow, Morgan Vargo and Marli Krol.
Set for action in the sprints are junior Malorie Clark, sophomores Megan Buksa, Winnie Luong, Lilly Masters and Alexandra Miller.
“Overall, we’re still learning a lot about this year’s teams, but if we remain injury free and healthy, hopefully we can exceed our own expectations and surprise a couple of other schools, too.”
Steele is being assisted at the high school level by Chrissy Lewis, Ed Liberatore and Paul Matuska.