STRATTANVILLE — Weather-permitting, the track and field season begins next Wednesday for the Clarion-Limestone High School squads when they travel to Karns City.

Here’s a closer look at both teams:

BOYS

The Lions enter the season with a new coach in Aaron Daugherty, but an experienced group with eight seniors and three juniors making up over half of their 20-man roster. Daugherty is hopeful that experience can translate into success this season.

“This is my first year as head track coach, although I was a volunteer assistant last year so I am familiar with most of the members on the team,” said Daugherty. “Our goals for this year are to have the kids learn the skills for each of their events develop an attitude of discipline and become consistent in their practice and work ethic, demonstrate good sportsmanship and have fun and do their best.”

With all eight seniors competing in various track events Daugherty feels that’s where Lions biggest strengths lie.

“We will be strongest on the track as we have several senior leaders returning to the team,” said Daugherty. “Aaron Knight and Curtis Reed will be strong in the sprints. Blaine Laird will lead our middle distance runners. We also have two senior hurdlers returning in Kysaac Smith and Devin Slaugenhaupt. We also have a group of underclassmen who should contribute to the scoring in Jack Brosius a junior and Nate Forrest another junior in the distance events. We also have Connor Keth a sophomore who will help in the jumps and sprints.”

“In the field events we should be led by Zephaniah Vickers and Jacob Powell,” continued Daugherty. “Both will compete in shot, discus, and javelin. We have several others whose potential is unknown because the season is young and so are they so we haven’t fully been able to see what they can do.

“We are looking forward to seeing how the team comes together and everyone challenges each other to do their best. This could be a very exciting year for us.”

GIRLS

With a pair of District qualifiers in Abby Steele and Josie Stitt returning, plus a somewhat larger roster than in the past, the Lady Lions are looking for bigger things this year.

The team also features a new coaching staff or at least some switching around in coaches as Jenn Coast moves from an assistant to the head coach and Dave Schirmer has stepped back into a volunteer assistant coach role. Nicole Selker is now the assistant coach while Jeff Steele and Tara Peterson are volunteer assistants.

“We’ve a change to the coaching staff although it isn’t entirely new,” said Coast. “I’ve been an assistant, so I’m familiar with the girls and Dave Schirmer who has been the head coach for a long time is still around the program as a volunteer assistant and he’s been a positive role model for the girls.”

The Lady Lions have 18 girls on their roster led by Steele and Stitt. Steele was eighth in the 3,200-meter run at districts while Stitt, as a freshman, was fifth in the 400 dash, seventh in the triple jump, ninth in the 200 dash and a district qualifier in the long jump.

Other returning letterwinners are senior Riley Shall, juniors Lexie Stormer and Madison Nugent, and sophomores Macrina Forrest, Stephanie Klawuhn and Baleigh Klepfer

“We have more girls out for the team this year than we did last year,” said Coast. “We hope that will make us more competitive as a team, but our focus is more on individual performances. We want the athletes to achieve their goals and get as many girls qualified for districts as possible. Despite the cold weather, these girls are all working very hard and they have great attitudes.

“We are very excited that we’ll be able to field a 3,200-meter Relay team for the first time in awhile this season,” added Coast.

“We are hoping to see points from Josie, Riley Abby and Emily Baker right out of the gate in our first meet,” said Coast.

BOYS

ROSTER

Seniors: Nick Geisel, Aaron Knight, Blaine Laird, Thomas Moore, Curtis Reed, Devin Slaugenhaupt, Kysaac Smith, Scott Swyers.

Juniors: Jack Brosius, Nate Forrest, Zephaniah Vickers.

Sophomores: David Frampton, Chuckie LeMelle, Jacob Powell, Hayden Snyder, Connor Keth.

Freshmen: Jacob Cathcart, Jacob Dougherty, Brandon Matthews, Jarrod Simpson.

SCHEDULE

March

26-at Karns City

April

9-Moniteau and A-C Valley, 4:15 p.m.; 16-Keystone; 23-at Clarion w/Redbank Valley

May

6-North Clarion and Union; 8-at Redbank Valley Invitational.

Dual meets begin at 4 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

GIRLS

ROSTER

Senior: Riley Shall.

Juniors: Hanna Beary, Fawn Dunkle, Shelby Ghezzi, Madison Nugent, Abby Steele, Alexis Welsh, Lexie Stormer.

Sophomores: Emily Baker, Macrina Forrest, Sarah Hubauer, Baleigh Klepfer, Megan Peterson, Josie Stitt, Rachel Thompson, Stephanie Klawuhn.

Freshmen: Kaleigh Kirby, Abby Musser, Grace Snyder, Kyli Winters.

SCHEDULE

March

26-at Karns City.

April

9-Moniteau and A-C Valley, 4:15 p.m.; 16-Keystone; 23-at Redbank Valley w/Clarion.

May

6-at Union w/North Clarion.

Dual meets begin at 4 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

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