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2014 Downriver League girls' track preview PHOTOS

  • Breanna Luba was Anderson’s first ever female state track champion. Just a junior, she ran the fastest time in the state of Michigan for the crown in the 300 hurdles.
  • Sabrina Williams is back for her final outing as a Jaguar. The star distance runner has been a dominant force on track and cross country fields since her freshman season. She is signed to run with both cross country and track with Grand Valley State University next year.
  • Senior Nicole Ostrowitz is back for her final outing with the Roosevelt Bears and is expected to have another great season in the sprinting department.


Anderson



It was quite the year for the Titans last season.

In 2013, the Anderson girls broke records left and right and for the first time in school history finished the season as News-Herald Champs, Downriver League champs and with a female state champion.

The 109 points at the News-Herald Track and Field Championships was the first-ever Anderson team win in both boys’ and girls’ track.

Breanna Luba returns to the track for her final outing as a Titan, looking to defend her News-Herald, DRL and state championship title.

She qualified for the D1 state meet in four events last year and was crowned champion of the 300 hur-dles with a finish of 43.91, the fast-est time in the state of Michigan.

Coach Jennifer Balogh says the numbers are at a record high for her team this season and she is excited to see how the younger girls will per-form.

The new faces will be led by a core of veteran seniors that include; Shelby Bell, Emiesha Burrell, Alyssa Doute, Rebekah Kakos and Autumn Wilson, along with a solid group of returning juniors.

Burrell and Wilson are coming off a New-Herald championship in the 1,600 relay and Burrell and Kakos were part of the winning 800 M relay.

Burrell was also an individual champion in the 400.





Woodhaven



After a second-place finish at last year’s Downriver League meet, the Woodhaven girl’s track team is back at it and ready for another year.

In 2014, a large junior class will be stepping forward into leadership positions for Coach Becky Jackson.

Of that class, Kiah Childers will be leading a large group of freshmen throwers in field events.

Aly Trapp and Zakiya Robinson will be focused on mid distance, while Curtise Britt, RayVen Frank and Destiny Jones will be focused on sprints.

Tea Greca will be back at her spe-cialty of hurdles and jumps.

Seniors Adaysha Parker and Cassie Breen are back after missing last season and both are expected to make an impact.

Fellow seniors Maria Rosa Giammalva, Tianna Hooks, Stepha-nie Oddo and Anna White are also ready to play important leadership roles this year.

Overall, Jackson says her team will look to improve with each meet and has set a goal to have state qualifiers this spring.

“The Downriver League continues to get better and better every year, so these ladies know they have a pretty big challenge ahead of them,” she said.





Allen Park



There is quite a bit of talent coming back to the Jaguar track team in 2014 and Coach Paul Vockler expects it to be a productive season.

Senior star Sabrina Williams is back for her final outing with the Jags and will be leading a distance crew that includes seniors Emily Eccleton and Kaley Kauff, junior Olivia Keeley, sophomore Amber Castoreno and freshmen Britnee McDonald and Haley Powell.

Sophomore Erin Fish will be at the helm of a young crew of sprinters. She will be joined by juniors Emily Lovasz and Destiny McIntosh as well as freshmen Sydney Fults, Sarah Flores and Erin Burton.

Sophomore Aly Kubik will be back in her hurdling spot, looking to improve off of last year’s successes and will be joined by sophomore LeeAnn Shene and freshman Izzy Ciarrocchi.

In the field events, Katelyn Yaczik is back for her senior season and looks to defend her News-Herald and Downriver League titles in the high jump.

Senior Abby Dawson, juniors The-resa Duffy and Kristen Cavazos and sophomore Julie Liberty look to lead the largest contingent on the team in the throwing department.



Trenton



Coach Richard Lee expects a good mix of young and veteran to make for a fun year for the Trenton girls this year.

Lee returns all of his distance crew from 2013 and with the addition of some speedy freshmen sprinters, the team feels its shot at winning the Downriver League is good.

The Trojans will be led by three captains this season. Senior captain Morgan Labert will run the 800 M, 1,600 M and 4x800 and senior cap-tain Cat Miller will take care of things in the 400, 800 and 4x800.

Junior captain Gabrielle Maciag will be back at long jump, high jump, the 4x100 and the 4x200.

Junior Brooke Thanasiu will be running the 800, 1,600 and 4x800 while junior Alexis Kellogg will be throwing shot put and discus.

Sophomore Zoe VanAuken is back on the track in the 800, 1,600, 4x800 and pole vaulting and will be joined by fellow sophomores Noelle Elmore (400, 4x400), Peyton Szczechowski (400, 4x400) and Abbie Lefevre (100, 200, 4x100, 4x200).

Freshman Izzy Olds will make waves in the 100, 200, 400, 4x100 and 4x200 with classmate Nicole Lasich running the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200 and Morgan Girvan tak-ing care of things in the hurdling department.



Roosevelt



With the biggest track team in recent years, second-year Roosevelt girl’s track Coach George Purdu expects his team to cause some noise this season.

“Last year was my first year with the girls and it was the start of a rebuilding process,” he said. “We were a mid pack team in the league and definitely want to make more of an impact this spring.”

Nicole Ostrowitz is back for her senior season and Purdu expects her to have a great year in the sprints and be even more of a leader of the team.

Other sprinters looking to make an impact include sophomore Angela Solgot and a group of freshmen that are expected to fit right into the mix of the varsity level runners. The freshmen are Kyana Evans, Daisy Neff, Destinee Billinger, Julia Wil-liams and Arianna Lister.

The long spring group of sopho-mores Rebecca Schlimmer, Elizabeth Olson, Emily Ynclan, Brittany Gniewek and junior Regan Kusibab are also expected to turn some heads.

The hurdling responsibilities will be taken care of by Evans and sopho-more Alyssa Grefke.

After an extremely successful cross country season, freshman Maggie Pawelczyk and sophomore Alyssa Harlow will lead the distance pack. Freshmen Julie Kanack and Melanie Farley, as well as junior Brittany Cini and senior Amanda Peterson will contribute as well.

On the field side of things, freshman Joszana Hudson, sophomore Violet Smith and juniors Meraina Jackson and Karli Uhse are expected to add some points in the throwing de-partment.

Junior Rosalee Hackenburg will lead the high jump, Schlimmer, Ostrowitz and Kusibab will lead the long jump and sophomore Megan Corder will lead the pole vaulting.

“There’s a lot of talented young ladies showing everyday to work,” Purdu said. “We know that the league is tough with Southgate, Woodhaven and Trenton all return-ing some key athletes, but I think oru girls are ready to put themselves right there in the mix. It should be fun.”







Melvindale



The Lady Cardinals will be led by two returning state qualifiers this spring.

Juniors Alonna Haynes and Marissa Wolnowski are both back on the track after successful 2013 seasons.

Haynes is a key contributor for Coach Dave Valkevich in the high jump and long jump as well as springs. Wolnowski will continue to lead the pole vault team and will add discus to her resume this season.

Sophomores Jade Martinez and Brittany White will join junior Chelsie Thompson for a strong sprinting team and junior Tessa Thornton is expected to score regu-larly in the pole vault and 400 me-ters.

Ainsley Dickie, Taylor Martin and Kiara Singleton have impressed their coach in the early season throws and Sarah Priest will be competitive in distance events.



Carlson



The Carlson girls’ track team will be led by quite a few new faces this season.

Coach Matt Jablonski returned 15 veterans but has 40 new runners and throwers for 2014.

Standouts for 2014 include returning Downriver League champ and state qualifier, junior Jezri Rinehart in discus.

“She has been working hard in the offsesaon and looks to have an even stronger season than she did last year,” Jablonski said. “Aside from the disc, she should make a big im-pact in the shot as well this year.”

Rinehart will compete with sopho-more Samantha Scheffler for the top spot in shot put and Jablonski says throwing events will be a Marauder strength this season.

On the track, Carlson returns senior Morgan Greenslait to anchor the spring relays.



Kennedy



The Kennedy girls’ track team will have quite a few returning notable faces on the track this spring as well as some new runners.

Senior Jennifer Cloke is back for her second season with the Eagles and will be throwing both discus and shot put. She has performed nicely in practice so far and is expected to be competitive throughout the season.

Junior Debbie Hansen is back for her second season as well and has shown improvement in her 800 M and 1,600 M events.

Courtney Bonneau is a senior out for her first season of the sport and will be running in both the 800 and 1,600.

Freshman Jade Estell will make her track debut in both hurdling events and could also see some time in the 400M early in the season. Jada McKinney will be participating in two sprint events; the 100 M and 200 M.



Lincoln Park



The Lincoln Park girls’ track team will be led by two returning seniors this season.

Alyssa Grosman will be running distance events and Alexis Moore is now pole vaulting and high jumping along with running 4x400.

Wanda Horton is also returning and will run both hurdling events and 4x400 and sophomore Kayla Ed-wards is back to run the 200 M, 4x200 and long jump. The Garcia twins Viviana and Victoria will be throwing shot put and discus again as well as running.

Shannon Sparks and Brianna Gomez are two freshmen who show tremen-dous positivity to the team.

Also returning to the squad are Salena Gutirrez, Abigail Morel, Natalie Trevino, Ashley Pennington and Alana Chavis.

“This year is definitely going to be fun and exciting and I see a lot of girls working on their goals as indi-viduals and a team,” Coach Bethany Goodpaster said.











Last Updated: 4/7/2014 12:35:06 PM EST

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