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Columbian Girls Track

March 28, 2014
The Advertiser-Tribune

Coach: Amy Cooper.

2013: 2nd in Northern?Ohio?League

Returning Letterwinners: Seniors Annie Demith (sprints); Marisa Stephens (hurdles). Juniors Tierra LeGrant (sprints); Sydney Schank (sprints/jumps); Michaela Sharlow (sprints); Erika Shultz (sprints/pv); Abrie Smith (distance). Sophomores Chelsea Depinet (throws); Alexis Desjardins (distance); Cassandra Gooding (distance); Briana Goodman (sprints/hurdles); Julia Hohman (sprints/pv); Erica Prenzlin (hurdles); Claudia Riedy (hurdles); Amanda Schwartz (mid-distance/jumps).

Others: Senior Taylor Gillig (throws). Juniors Chelsea Hutchins (sprints/lj); Valesha Province (sprints/mid-distance. Sophomores Alexxa Ingalls (hurdles/high jump); Taylor Reinbolt (sprints). Freshmen Derra Cheatham (distance); Sam Fry (hurdles/pv); Jada Reaves (throws); Madison Zimmerman (sprints).

Outlook: Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Even the dark and gloomy weather that has dominated the early portions of "spring" is likely to followed by some form of decent weather. Hopefully.

Columbian graduated key members of its regional qualifying 4x100 and 4x200 teams, and the 4x400 team which barely missed a trip to regionals. But Cooper feels the incoming group will turn out to be more that just adequate replacements.

"Our 4x1, 4x2 and 4x4s graduated a couple kids, but with a couple of the newcomers, they're quicker, I believe, than some of the girls we may have graduated," Cooper said. "We're hoping our relays should be pretty strong again this year."

Demith was a regional qualifier in the 400 and ran with Sharlow on the 4x400 and NOL champion 4x200 teams. Sharlow and Goodman ran at regionals on the 4x100.

Cooper said a number of her freshmen can step right in and contribute. Time won't be needed to be spent on learning the ropes. Cooper pointed to freshman Zimmerman and sophomore Reinbolt as new sprinters who can help solidify the relay teams as the program bumps up to Division I this year.

Sprints isn't the only area which freshmen will bolster the program. Fry comes in as the state junior high champion in the pole vault. Reaves went to junior high state in the shot and discus. Also, Cheatham enters already as a regional qualifier in cross country.

Cooper thinks the field events is an area her team can make up some ground on last year's NOL champion Bellevue.

"I think our field events are going to be stronger this year than we have been," Cooper said. "I know our pole vault has been strong. We're going to continue doing that. I think that our high jump and long jump, we're going to probably still be middle of the pack but we have some new girls who in the next year or two, I think can really turn it up. Throwers, we have some girls coming in that are strong, but we have to see what we can do.

"I think we're going to make up some of that ground. With our distance, we're definitely stronger there. I think we can make up some ground, but maybe not 50 points. I think we can be top three again. Since 2008 we've been top two (in the conference). I'd like to continue that. First would be good, though."



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