Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

CHS Girls Track looks to take next step

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By TR HARLAN

The Chesterton girls track team finished third in the Duneland Athletic Conference last season, but that’s not quite good enough for coach Steve Kearney.

“I think we should be first or second in the DAC, but I’m always optimistic,” Kearney said. “I think we can do it. We’ll have to work really hard and have some things fall into place. Why not us?”

The Trojans will feature an interesting mix of veterans and newcomers that should prove to give Chesterton a lot of depth.

“For dual meets you need depth to be successful,” Kearney said. “We’ve got a lot of events that we can score in and in big meets, I think we can score in a lot of places too.”

The Trojans should score some points in some places they haven’t in the past as well.

“I don’t remember the last time I said this, but our best event might be the hurdles,” Kearney said. “We’ve got a lot of returning talent and added a girl (Stephanie Fisher) who could be as good as anyone in the area. Predicting things can be scary sometimes, but I expect to score a lot of points there.”

Chesterton will also turn to senior Katie Behrendt for points. Behrendt will continue to run the 200, 400 and 4x400, while also adding the long jump to her event list.

“With Katie, we’ve added another event with the long jump,” Kearney said. “We always know what we are going to get with her. She’s very talented and works really hard.”

The sprints should also be a strength for the Trojans with the return of junior Anna Raffin, sophomore Ari Mahaffey and senior Catherine Pannekoek.

“Anna looks really good and Catherine is getting faster,” Kearney said. “The freshmen with Kristen (Mabry) and Jordyn (Kincy) will help. Claire Brady and Bridget Brendza will work their way in there too.”

In the distance group, sophomore Melanie Buckmaster, along with seniors Tori Schroeder and Kim St. Pierre return as does junior Linda Graff and sophomore Rosie Biehl. Freshmen Haley Cushway and Kristin Homme have also added to themselves to the group.

“I would say our distance crew is every bit as good as last year or better,” Kearney said. “Our top kid may not be quite as good, but top to bottom we are much deeper and faster. We you have more kids working, they push each other. We have some upperclassmen that are really working at it and now they have some younger kids pushing them.”

After a successful indoor season, Kearney can’t help but be encouraged by the team’s newcomers.

“We’re not surprised by them, just pleased,” Kearney said. “You hear about kids having skills, but that only gets you so far. You don’t hear about their work ethic growing up, but its really good. Their work ethic is even bigger than their skill level.”

In the field events, the Trojans return top thrower Carolyn Wheeler along with high jumper Elaina Gerlach.

 

 

Posted 4/7/2011

 

 

 

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