By DAVID GREEN
Morenci’s track numbers aren’t big by most school’s standards, but there have been thinner years.
The Bulldogs should have at least competitors in each event, coach Brad Brown said, for both the boys and girls squads.
He sees a good mix of skills among the girls crew and he thinks the boys should be fairly solid in most events other than the hurdles.
Coach Brown has seven freshmen and seven sophomores among the 21 members of the young girls team.
There are only two seniors, Tricia Black who returns to the high jump and sprint relays, and distance runner Leslie Montijo who missed last season.
The five juniors bring a variety of experience to the team. Whitney Allen returns to the shot put and sprints and Morgan McVay is back to compete in a variety of races up to 800 meters. Nichole Elarton, a state qualifier in the discus, is leading the team in both throwing events.
Kathleen Barron returns after missing last year due to an injury. She will start off running the 200-meter dash and sprint relays. Sprinter Jessica Baker is out for the first time.
Only two of the seven sophomores were on the team last season: state 300-hurdle qualifier Kate Gallup and hurdler Liz Gautz. The 300s were Gallup’s specialty last year, but Brown said her 100-meter race is also shaping up.
Other tenth graders include distance runners Chelsea Howard and Chelsey Sedlacek; middle distance runner Jessica Feltz, sprinter Chella Wilt and thrower Angela Parrill.
The freshmen offer a variety of skills. Phoenix Duncan will compete in the high jump and variety of running events. Hayli Cox and Tequoia Jarrell will run sprints and relays.
Candi Evers will run distances and Meribeth Keefer and Courtney Lockwood will compete in the throwing events.
Chelsea Tompkins is hoping to participate in both softball and track.
Four seniors bring good experience to the boys squad. Alex Burton is back for the high jump, hurdles and 1600-meter relay. Brandon Correa returns to the shot and sprint relays.
Matt McClain will give long jumping a try, along with distance running. Justin Swett will run sprints and relays.
The junior class brings the most to the team with nine members. Coach Brown wants to see Nate Grieder continue where he left off in the 400-meter run. Lucas Johnson is back for throwing events and he’s already exceeded his best from last year in the discus.
Sam Majchrowski and Tom McVay return to throwing events. Zach Phillips and Trey Tompkins are back for the distance events and the high jump.
Zach Piercy is back for sprints and relays and Jeff Nofziger returns after missing last season. He’ll compete in the 300-meter hurdles, sprints and maybe some longer races. Michael Perry will the middle distance events a try.
Sophomores Joe Blaker and Nick Erbskorn will compete in throwing events and the 400. Chas Fry and Reese Graham will run sprints and relays, and the versatile Dustin Roller will be available for a variety of events.
Only three freshmen are out this year, throwers Pete Bach and Garrett Mohr, along with distance runner Micah Gillen.
High school teacher Kim Mohr is serving as assistant coach and focussing on the large number of throwers.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to open the season Tuesday night at Pittsford. The Grass Lake Invitationals follow on Saturday.
The home meet scheduled Apr. 17 against Sand Creek will be moved to the Aggies’ track due to the poor condition of Morenci’s track.