Girls team features lots of leadership
Head coach Chuck Groller enters his sixth season with the Northwestern girls track and field team.
Each year, the seasoned Tigers’ mentor has dealt with replacing graduates from the previous season.
Possibly the biggest hit the team took to graduation were three members of the state qualifying 3200-meter relay team in Maddie Consuelos, Sarah Supplee and Alyssa Zack. Only Allie Costa returns from that relay team.
“We did lose a lot of experience through those girls because they were together for four years and they were tight,” said Groller. “With all their workouts, and with all after school activities, they did those things all together.”
Last year’s 9-2 overall record is history now.
Things are at a bit of a standstill with the whole COVID-19 epidemic going on right now.
“Like all other area spring sports teams, we had only two weeks of practice before we had to shut down as a result of the mandatory school closures due to COVID-19,” Groller said. “This, obviously, makes it a little more difficult to assess things at this time.All our athletes were working hard during the short time we had with them, though.
“My assistants and I have communicated to all of our athletes to, most importantly, stay healthy and safe, keep working-out hard on their own, be ready to compete, and above all, especially for our senior athletes, stay positive. We WILL get through this.”
Returning this year are Kristen Brown (Sr., mid and long distance), Allison Costa (Sr., mid and long distance), Jillian Fink (Sr., sprints), Carly Fogal (Sr., sprints, long and triple jump), Alexandra Hallingstad (Sr., sprints), Allyson Myers (Sr., sprints), Sydney Sevrain (Sr., javelin), Kate Betz (Jr., sprints), Lauren Hinks (Jr., mid-distance), Caitlyn Miller (Jr., throws), Molly Boushell (So., hurdles), Jakayla Holmes (So., mid-distance), Kirsten Mauer (So., jumps) and Molly McGorry (So., distance).
“We have the senior leadership,” Groller said. “We also have a lot of juniors who can provide just as much leadership. We’re looking, and I’m looking, to get a lot out of these girls in the leadership part of things. And when I look at that, I’m looking at an Allie Costa. I’m looking at a Caitlin Miller, Carly Fogal, Sydney Sevrain, Kirsten Mauer to get us some points. And, that’s what we’re looking for.
“There’s many others that are returning that are capable to help us get some more points out of them. Then, we will be a well-balanced team.”
While there are plenty of returnees coming back this season, there are also plenty who the seasoned mentor can look to help out in the track or field events this season in that up-and-coming talent.
Those individuals included Ashley Haas (So., pole vault), Angelina Klein (Fr., distance), Emma Nelson (So, mid-distance and jumps), Lauren Shellhamer (Jr., sprints), Sarah Yeakel (So., jumps) and Faith Yost (Fr., hurdles and jumps).
If the season eventually gets going, Groller feels his Tigers will be on the prowl, and have what it takes to keep with the rest of the competition this season.
“Our girls should be competitive,” Groller said. “We have some returning athletes with experience, as well as some younger inexperienced athletes with athleticism. Our senior/junior leadership to those younger girls has been awesome.
“Time will tell how quickly the younger inexperienced athletes can build their confidence to face the challenges that lie ahead in meet competition.”