Over the next month, the Adrian Athletic Department will highlight and celebrate each of the spring sports it offers. The information and player spotlights will be provided by the program’s head coach. Third installment is the boys and girls track program and Coach Tammy Francis
The Men’s and Women’s track teams were uniting this year and the coaching staff was very excited for the transition. This year the track and field program had 89 athletes on the roster. While striving to establish and maintain positive relationships with each and every athlete, the coaching staff had a solid plan on how to execute the transition as well as continue to maintain the integrity and competitiveness of each program.
The first week was hectic, as we had to balance our workouts with exams, fundraising, passing out uniforms and team pictures. I kept reassuring the athletes that the following week would be a “normal” week only to learn we would not have the opportunity at another week. The sport of Track and Field is unique as we are more than a team. We are a family. A very large family. Track & Field brings out the best in everyone including teammates, parents, community members as well as opponents. In 30 years, I have never heard hatred comments towards an athlete’s success rather I see and hear encouragement amongst everyone. The positivity and encouragement is contagious!
My heart goes out to the Seniors who will never have the opportunity to run their last race, throw their last throw, or jump that final jump. No words can bring them comfort or understanding. Some Seniors needed this season to show their marks to prospective colleges with the intention of competing at the next level. Unfortunately, they will not be given that chance to show what they can do. That being said, I also know each of the athletes who were cut short have the passion, will and determination to show their abilities and will continue to pursue their goals somehow, someway.
We start each season by setting goals as a team and also individually. For both Men’s and Women’s teams, the goal was to win Regionals. This would have been the first year in many that we would have been solid in every single event. I was especially excited to see the addition of numerous freshmen who would have undoubtedly raked in some points and made us proud.
This year’s captains are Gerald Mathis, Nathan Letson, Chris Riddick, Zach Cepida, Connor Wimmer, Maggie Raab, Day’Anna Marr and Ryleigh Parish.
Returning top Seniors were State meet qualifiers for the past 3 years; Gerald Mathis in the jumps and 400 , Maggie Raab in the 400, 800 and 4×200 relay and Megan Courington in the 100, 200 and 4x 200 relay. In addition other top seniors are; Nathan Letson and Casey James in distance, Chris Riddick, Kane Rada, Reshawn Carpenter and Alivia Gauna in throws and Zac Cepida in jumps and sprints. These seniors were dedicated to the Track and Field program and they will be greatly missed as they move onto the next chapter in their life.
Top returners for the team were two time state champion, DayAnna Marr (jumps and sprints), Maria Letson, Susan Tan, Gwendolyn Frolich, Aidan Bell, Adam Luck, Cameron Kendall, Riley Malarney, Ramiro Guerrero and Evan Johnson (middle distance/distance). Returning sprinters; Gabe Arriaga, Davon Edwards, Michael Flores, Keesean Rojo-Ross and Kayley Rada. Returning top throwers; Valencia Martinez, Lorena Gradeless, Ryleigh Parish, Connor Wimmer, Dontrey Lofton, Jake Johnson, Ashton Gottschalk, Elisha Page and Noah Gradeless.
Newcomers this season were Sage Doan, Joe Francis, and Akkaya Campbell (jumps). Crystal Coyne, Jake Eagling, Ben Schefka, Aiden Smith, Riley Letson, Caden Henline, Zane Watkins, Connor Barrus (distance). Morgin White, Anaya Arriaga, Shaelynn Putten, Taylor Woods, Charlie Doan and Dain Ely (throws). Jacelyn Banks, Quinn Hale, Gabby Morris, Layla Rembert, Jennavieve Russell, Kaitlyn Stoddard, Keana Shough, Holden Davies, Rey Gomez, Alan Gonzalez, Juan Hernandez, Blayd Keene, Jalen Nieto, Santiago Salas, Oscar Simon, Brandon Sparks, Isaiah Ware-Marshall, Robert Waters and Aidan Woodring (sprints)
As we stride forward, the track and field program will remain focused and we certainly look forward to getting back on the track and field when times are safe.