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BOYS

James Buchanan Rockets

Coach: Jason Cotton, 5th year.

Last season: 1-4 overall (1-4 MPC Colonial).

Returning performers: Chas Shelly (sr., sprints, jumps), Dalton Leab (jr., mid-distance), Clayton Bendell (jr., jumps), Dalton Peterson (jr., throws), Jordon Rife (sr., throws), Dillon Sanders (sr., sprints, jumps).

Other top performers: Cody Arrowood (sr,. mid-distance) Clay Ziemba (sr., hurdles, jumps) Jamal Riley (jr., sprints, jumps).

Outlook: Cotton said, "This is a very young team. We don’t have any one standout, but if this team of guys can be motivated and work together, they will be very good.  We remind them it takes hard work and dedication every day to be great."

Notes: Lost to graduation is Peter Hughey, who placed fourth in the PIAA Class AAA 400 with a time of 49.29 ... The Rockets don't return any district qualifiers, but bring back a few guys who made it to Mid Penns, including Shelly (100, 200), Leab (800) and Bendell (high jump).

Season opener: Saturday, at Cumberland Valley for Bruce Dallas Invitational, 9.

Shippensburg Greyhounds

Coach: Michael Sassin, third year.

Last season: 6-0 (5-0 Mid Penn Colonial).

Returning performers: David Boarts (jr., jumps), Hunter Kent (jr., distance), Tyler Gustafson (sr., throws), Cody Gustafson (jr., jumps), Luke Ashberry (sr., distance), Ethan Bert (so., distance), Sean Braet (sr., distance), Garrett Cavanaugh (sr., throws), Jacob Cox (jr., sprints), Chase Diehl (jr., pole vault), Dylan Rotz (sr., throws), Taha Shamshudin (sr., sprints), Jackson Van Horne (so., sprints), Carter Van Scyoc (so., throws).

Other top performers: Cain Fridinger (so., sprints), Bailey Renfrew (so., pole vault/distance), Denny Santana (jr., throws), Jeremy Crouse (sr., sprints), Cole Frey (fr., throws), Adam Houser (fr., sprints), Dante Lotruglio (fr., distance).

Outlook: Sassin said, "We do not have the depth we have had in recent years, so many of our returning athletes will have to step up and pick up extra events in some dual meets. A nice positive to the lack of depth is that it will give our younger athletes more opportunities to help us win meets. We'd like to be competitive with Greencastle and Boiling Springs, the top teams in our division."

Notes: The Greyhounds lose a couple of big pieces with the graduation of Zach Greenawalt (pole vault) and Jordan Turner (300 hurdles), both school recordholders ... Ship had 50 athletes come out, including 14 returning letterwinners ... Boarts showcased a bit of pop in the high jump when he placed third at Mid Penns with a leap of 6-0. He hit the same height at the D3-AAA meet to secure ninth place ... The Hounds feature a group of seven seniors that has tasted defeat in a dual meet only once in their time at Ship.

Next meet: Tuesday, at Greencastle, 3:30.

Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils 

Coach: Devin McCauley, 11th year.

Last season: 4-1 (4-1 Mid Penn Colonial).

Returning performers: Liam Okal (sr., sprints), Kaleb Hurley (so., distance), Daniel Salazar (sr., distance), Andrew Johnson (jr., distance), Chris Bowman (sr., hurdles), Billy Schemel (jr., distance), Joe Eberhart (jr., mid-distance), Campbell Parker (jr., throws), Jacob Hockman (jr., throws), Danny Wang (sr., jumps), Kyrin Zimmerman (jr., jumps), Tanner Bain (jr., pole vault).

Other top performers: Antwoine Carter (fr., sprint, jump), Darius Carter (jr., hurdles), Tony Fugate (so., Sprint), Ian Gelsinger (so., jumps), Luke Herman (jr., distance), Demetrius Burton (so., sprints).

Outlook: McCauley said, "We have some nice depth this year and will be led by a strong distance crew that won the league championship in cross country. Okal and Parker have had some postseason success and we are looking to build around them. I am confident that we have guys that are ready to compete. The goal is to stay healthy and be competitive at the end of the season during the championships."

Notes: Okal dashed his way to states last spring - he was third at Mid Penns in the 100 (11.07) and fifth in the 200 (22.73), continued at the District 3-AAA meet with a sixth in the 100 (11.38) and fifth in the 200 (22.43) and ended at the PIAA meet, where he finished in the 200 semifinals heat (22.70). ... Parker was a District 3-AAA qualifier in the discus, taking 17th (122-3).

Season opener: Tuesday, at home vs. Shippensburg, 3:30.

Waynesboro Indians

Coach: Michael Garraway, third year.

Last season: 2-3 (2-3 Mid Penn Colonial).

Returning performers: Jason Montiel (sr., sprints), Ogo Akemelu (sr., hurdles, jumps), Bryce Stevenson (jr., throws), Austin Kassman (sr., throws), Levi Moats (jr., pole vault), Ian Skrovan (sr., mid-distance), Chris Maichle (jr., distance), Aiden Smith (sr., throws, sprints, jumps).

Other top performers: Marcus Cooley (fr., distance), Jerem Brown (fr., sprints).

Outlook: Garraway said, "We don't have any team goals, but the biggest thing we want to do is compete at a higher level than the last few years. We're trying to see if we can get a couple more wins and compete as a team team and support each other."

Notes: Montiel is coming back from a broken collarbone and hopes to be back in the lineup by the end of April ... Garraway is hoping that Akemelu, Skrovan and Kassman will be able to make a push for the postseason.

Next meet: Saturday, at Cumberland Valley for Bruce Dallas Invitational, 9.

McConnellsburg Spartans 

Coach: Josh Strait, 12th year, 118-60 (.663).

Last season: 8-4 (6-4 ICC, Inter-County Conference).

Returning performers: Chance Hawbaker (jr., sprints, jumps), Josh Booth (so., hurdles), Zac DeShong (jr., hurdles), Patrick Keefer (sr., mid-distance), Connor Johnson (sr., throws), Shawn Garlock (sr., mid-distance).

Other top performers: Jake Boehme (sr., distance), Ty Keller (jr., throws), Gage Henry (fr., mid-distance), Kyle McFadden (fr., mid-distance), Nehemiah Roming (fr., sprints), Alex Slates (sr., sprints), Austin Baker (so., sprints/throws), Nate Loreman (so., throws), D'monte Loreman (fr., sprints), Philip Strait (fr., jumps), Dalton Sheffield (fr., jumps), Ian DeShong (so., hurdles), Sean Smith (jr., hurdles), Holden Smith (fr., throws), Levi Mellott (so., throws), Matt Daniels (jr., throws), Chase Glee (so., throws, mid-distance), Chad Bunch (so., jumps), Damon Knepper (fr., jumps), Eli Lake (so., throws), Gage Mellott (jr., throws).

Outlook: Strait said, "We feel pretty good about what we're putting out on the track. We've got some numbers, now it's a matter of figuring out where they belong. Josh Booth is tremendously gifted and Chance Hawbaker has worked extremely hard. We always hope for a division title. It will be fun to see where we stack up in the league and conference this season."

Notes: Booth is coming off a freshman season which saw him win the District 5 title in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.62. He also placed third in the 110 hurdles (16.51) ... Hawbaker is a battle-tested sprinter who finished fourth at districts in the 100 (11.59) and fifth in the 200 (24.28) ... Johnson launched the shot put for a 43-6.5 to take fifth at districts ... Keep an eye on first-year track athlete Boehme, who was the P.O. Player of the Year in soccer and a First Teamer in basketball.

Next meet: Tuesday, at Northern Bedford with Conemaugh Twp., 4.

Southern Fulton Indians

Coach: Heather Gordon, 4th year.

Last season: 8-5, 7-3 ICC.

Returning performers: Chase Varner (jr., distance), Jonah Golden (sr., distance), Jacob Murray (jr., mid-distance), Benjy Voight (jr., mid-distance), Timmy Wright (jr., throws), Zach Sigel (jr., throws), Gavin Wills (jr., pole vault).

Outlook: Gordon said, "With the experience we have, we are looking to be very competitive and looking for that experience to pass down to the sophomores and freshmen. We want them to have fun and perform well and hopefully end the season strong. We're looking for Varner to be very competitive again and hopefully place very well in the district. Golden has been working very hard and I'd like to see big things out of him."

Notes: Varner will be seeking gold at the District 5 meet after placing second in the 1,600 (4:47.28) and third in the 800 (2:06.17) last spring ... Gordon said that Wright, who placed second at districts in the javelin (156-3), is pursuing Steven Myer's 2012 school record of 177-11 ... SF is hoping to repeat its district success in the relays, when the Indians placed second in the 4x800 (8:51.40) and fourth in the 4x400 (3:45.13).

Next meet: Friday, at home vs. Clear Spring, 4.

Fannett-Metal Tigers

Coach: Mathern Mellott

Returning performers: Steven Glodek (sr., distance), Hunter Angle (sr., sprints, mid-distance), Lucas Wingert (so., jumps, sprints), Craig Falcone (sr., throws, jumps), Layton Hoffman (sr., mid-distance), Colby Adams (so., throws, jumps), Tye Allen (so., sprints).

Other top performers: Eric Umbrell (jr., mid-distance), Rodney Fraker (jr., mid-distance); Lane Warden (jr., pole vault).

Outlook: Mellott said, "I think they're going to do well. I'm not going to say we'll win many meets, but we will do well in the events we are in. Glodek isn't going to be a pushover in any of his races and Angle won't be a pushover, either. We have our sights set on goals and pushing in that direction."

Notes: Glodek is the lone returning District 5 medalist for the Tigers. He took third in the 1,600 (4:49.71) and fifth in the 3,200 (10:51.87) ... Fannett-Metal, with a male enrollment of fewer than 100, has boasted two PIAA silver medalists over the past two seasons with Bryce Chilcote taking second in the high jump (6-6) in 2014 and Thomas Peppernick taking runner-up honors in the discus (167-10) in 2015.

Next meet: Tuesday, with Juniata Valley at Bellwood-Antis, 3:45.

Mercersburg Academy Blue Storm 

Coach: Nikki Walker, first year.

Returning performers: Jude Ikekhua (sr., sprints/jumps), Xavier Dreux (so., hurdles), Carlos Austin (jr., jumps), Mikale Williams (so., jumps), Gabriel Allgayer (sr., distance), Jan Smilek (sr., distance).

Other top performers: Folarin Adewunmi (jr., sprints, jumps), Gnim Bazim (jr., mid-distance), Mason Kholi (sr., sprints, throws), Jake Girard (sr., mid-distance), Andrew Zhugayevich (sr., mid-distance).

Outlook: Walker said, "I think the boys have a real possibility of making a mark. We have a really nice core of sprinters, distance and mid-distance kids who should do a very nice job. We have so many kids that are new, so you have no idea what they will do, but I think we will be able to throw some good relays together."

Notes: Frank Rutherford, who was Mercersburg's head boys coach for 17 years, has moved to assistant ... The Blue Storm returns a pair of PAISAA medalists in Austin and Williams ... Austin placed seventh with a leap of 5-10, while Williams took the same place in the triple jump with a mark of 40-4.25.

Next meet: Saturday, at Hill Relays, 1:30.

GIRLS

James Buchanan Rockets 

Coach: Jason Cotton, 5th season.

Last season: 1-3-1 overall, (1-3-1 MPC Colonial).

Returning performers: Hailey Alger (sr., sprints, pole vault), Leah Wingert (jr., hurdles, pole vault), Sydney Benedick (jr., mid-distance), Mickey Heinbaugh (so., jumps), Tristen Amsley (sr., sprints), Mackenzie  Shughart (so., distance), Logan Souder (sr., throws, jumps), Mackenzie Shenton (sr., throws).

Other top performers: Shayla Ramsey (so., hurdles), Emma Wise (so., sprints, jumps), Kaylee Kriner (sr., distance), Kaylie DePalo (so., throws, sprints).

Outlook: Cotton said, "This is a very young team, but they are competitors. Last year they were all freshman and hung with the best, so this year they are hungry. I told them when we started that the possibilities are endless for this team. We remind them it takes hard work and dedication every day to be great."

Notes: The Rockets don't return any district qualifiers, but have a promising group that includes Mid Penn meet entries Alger (100, pole vault), Wingert (300 hurdles, pole vault), Benedick (800) and Heinbaugh (long jump).

Season opener: Saturday, at Cumberland Valley for Bruce Dallas Invitational, 9.

Shippensburg Lady Hounds

Coach: Michael Sassin, 3rd year.

Last season: 3-3 (2-3 Mid Penn Colonial).

Returning performers: Sarah Strohm (jr., hurdles, jumps), Ava Franklin (jr., distance), Natalie Nye (sr., sprints, mid-distance, pole vault), Taylor Junkin (sr., throws), Shelby Rowles (sr., throws), Maddie Bender (so., sprints), Kate Kramer (so., throws), Eva Nye (jr., jumps), Leah Piper (sr., sprints), Lauren Taylor (so., distance).

Other top performers: MacKenzie Durf (sr., pole vault), Madeline Goodhart (sr., distance), Persia Higuchi (jr., distance), Ashley Rowles (so., distance), Madison Carr (fr., hurdles), Hannah Franklin (fr., sprints), Julia Nye (fr., sprints), Ally Ocker (so., throws), Eileen Pomeroy (fr., sprints), Teddi Powell (fr., distance). 

Outlook: Sassin said, "On the track we are probably as deep and as talented as we have been in the last five years. We want to be competitive with Boiling Springs and Greencastle and finish well above .500. We have not been at the top of the division since 2010. We will be very young this year, but we are definitely heading in the right direction of working our way back up to the top."

Notes: With 60 athletes, Shippensburg is deep, but with 20 of those athletes being freshmen, the Hounds are also young ... Sassin's girls will have a few gaps to fill with the losses of Leah Fleming and Marissa Musser. Fleming tied the school record in the 400, while Musser concluded her career as Ship's top all-time sprinter in the 100.

Next meet: Tuesday, at Greencastle, 3:30.

Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils

Coach: Devin McCauley, 11th year.

Last season: 4-1 (4-1 Mid Penn Colonial).

Returning performers: Cassidy Fritz (jr., hurdles), Jordan Pizzaro (sr., sprints), Lauren Hirneisen (jr., distance), Mallory Shepherd (so., hurdles), Madison Hurley (sr., distance), Laurel Merriman (jr., jumps), Keri Gearhart (so., throws), Jalene Hummer (so., jumps). 

Other top performers: Taylor McFetridge (fr., hurdles), Coramina Cogan (so., distance), Megan Swam (sr., sprints), Sydney Bowman (fr., sprints), Alivia Martin (so., throws), Kiera Perry (fr., throws).

Outlook: McCauley said, "Our numbers are down a bit from recent years but we still have capable athletes across the track and field. Pizzaro, Swam, and Hurley are quality senior leaders and have set the expectations for the team. The goal is to continue to build our depth to be competitive during the dual meet season while focusing on qualifying for the postseason. "

Notes: Greencastle returns two District 3-AAA qualifiers in Pizzaro and Hirneisen ... Pizzaro competed in the 200 (27.25) and 100 (13.10), taking 15th and 20th, respectively ... Hirneisen competed in the 1,600 at districts and placed 17th in 5:26.55.

Season opener: Tuesday, at home vs. Shippensburg, 3:30.

Waynesboro Maidens 

Coach: Michael Garraway, 3rd year.

Last season: 0-5 (0-5 MPC Colonial).

Returning performers: Ellyn Daniels (sr., hurdles), Chelsea Bricker (jr., distance), Ana Cuka (jr., jumps), Lindsey Henke (sr., jumps), Kristina Donato (so., jumps), Rachel Johnson (sr., pole vault).

Other top performers: Lindsey Bricker (jr., distance), Mikayla Bryan (fr., hurdles), Taliyah Capps (so., throws), Virginia Cooley (fr., distance), Haley Devers (fr., jumps, pole vault), Emily Henke (jr., throws, jumps), Michaela Shover (sr., sprints, jumps).

Outlook: Garraway said, "I think this team is more competitive than last year's team and we're hoping to come away with a few wins. I don't know if they'll be undefeated, but I think they will be better and more hardworking than last year. I'm excited to see where hard work can take them this season."

Notes: Donato, Waynesboro's lone returning District 3-AAA qualifier, has been medically inactive for the Maidens, but is expected to return to competition this weekend ... Donato qualified for districts as a freshman last spring and took 17th in the long jump with a mark of 14-4.75.

Season opener: Saturday, at Cumberland Valley for Bruce Dallas Invitational, 9.

McConnellsburg Spartans

Coach: Joni Dunkle, 8th year.

Last season: 11-2 (9-2 Inter-County Conference).

Returning performers: McKenzie Gelvin (jr., sprints, mid-distance), Kellyn Perry (so., sprints), Erica Carbaugh (sr., distance).

Outlook: Dunkle said, "We only have three seniors and one is a foreign exchange student. Everyone else is new, so we have a very young team. There's so many new people, I don't know what to expect, but they're working hard and putting in the time. We'll have to wait and see what happens when the season starts. I'm expecting Gelvin to be just as good, if not better this season."

Notes: Gelvin sports a unique blend of speed and endurance and gives McConnellsburg a much-needed shot of star power. As a sophomore last season, she mined District 5 gold in the 800 (2:24.41), while also claiming silver in the 100 (13.02) before competing in both events at states. She broke the school record in the 800 and will pursue a record in the 400 this year.

Next meet: Tuesday, with Conemaugh Twp. at Northern Bedford, 4.

Southern Fulton Indians

Coach: Heather Gordon, 4th year.

Last season: 5-8, 3-7 ICC.

Returning performers: Celina Merchant (sr., hurdles, jumps), Shaelyn Wawro (jr., hurdles), Emily Bradshaw (jr., distance), Sarah Wright (sr., throws), Linsey Pryor (sr., jumps, pole vault), Peyton Koons (sr., throws).

Other top performers: Drew Gordon (fr., mid-distance, jumps), Mary Dudich (so., sprints).

Outlook: Gordon said, "It's a small group, but I'm looking for them to be competitive, do well for themselves and do well for the team. They're a fun group that works hard and has a lot of experience. Hopefully the end result is what they want. We're hoping that Celina finishes out her senior year on top again."

Notes: Merchant will be pursuing her third consecutive District 5 long jump title. She won last year with a leap of 16-2.5 and also mined district gold in the 300 hurdles (49.11) in addition to placing fourth in the 100 hurdles (17.33) ... Pryor and Wright are SF's other returning district medalists. Pryor took sixth in the pole vault (8-0) while Wright was eighth in the javelin (94-4). 

Next meet: Friday, at home vs. Clear Spring, 4.

Fannett-Metal Tigers

Coach: Mathern Mellott

Returning performers: Elizabeth Peppernick (jr., throws), Janelle Becker (jr., jumps), Rebecca Runk (jr., throws), Allyson Hoffman (so., distance), Emily Ritchie (sr., distance), Jessice Shaffer (sr., discus), Cindy Stake (so., sprints). 

Other top performers: Star Glatz (fr., hurdles, sprints), Sharon Effland (fr., shot put), Haleigh Dunkle (fr., throws), Kiernan Doyle (fr.), Mikaila Neil (fr.).

Outlook: Mellott said, "Well, I'm expecting Liz to win districts and go to states and I'm expecting the same thing from Janelle. We're looking for those two to lead the girls."

Notes: Mellott said it is special to have Doyle be a part of his track program because he used to coach her grandfather in the 1970s at McConnellsburg ... He added that Effland has dreams of breaking the shot put record established by her sister, Ruth, a former District 5 champion. 

Next meet: Tuesday, with Juniata Valley at Bellwood-Antis, 3:45.

Mercersburg Academy Blue Storm

Coach: Nikki Walker, 7th year.

Returning performers: Finley Stewart (jr., sprints), Molly Taylor (sr., mid-distance),  Isiuwa Oghagbon (jr., throws), Veronika Suchankova (sr., throws).

Other top performers: Emma Hicks (fr., distance, hurdles), Sydney Hirokawa (sr., distance), Kelsey Shields (sr., distance), Tori Yoder (sr., sprints).

Outlook: Walker said, "Our team is so small, but we've got a lot of big hearts, girls who are willing to put themselves out there and do new things. They're a great group and are fun to coach and we're hoping for improvement throughout the season. I wish we could do more locally, but we're focused on our league and peaking for those races."

Notes: The Blue Storm return two PAISAA champions in Finley and Oghagbon. Finley won the 100 in 12.35 and took third in the 200 with a time of 25.82, while Oghagbon claimed gold in the shot put (38-6.25) and silvers in the discus (96-8) and javelin (90-11) ... Yoder, from Shalom Christian, has been pushing Finley at practice.

Next meet: Saturday, at Hill Relays, 1:30.

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