The roller coaster spring weather in Northeast Ohio is a sign that it’s track season and time for Lake Catholic’s best athletes to compete. The 2017 campaign, which kicks off March 28th with a dual at Perry HS, shouldn’t disappoint as the boys and girls team are fielding competitive squads once again.
For the boys, several athletes are looking to improve upon their already successful indoor season. Sophomore Del’Mario Hairston finished 2nd in the state and 1st at nationals with a PR of 23’ 8” in the long jump. He was also the anchor for the 4x200 team that competed at indoor nationals. Senior Jacob Keating finished 5th in the state in the 1600m with his best time of 4:17 and also competed at nationals. He has hopes to knock his time down and return to the outdoor state meet for a 3rd consecutive year. Senior Connor Duricky has also been to states two straight years and is a favorite to return in 2017. He too competed at indoor state and nationals in the hurdles, is looking to improve upon his best times in the 110m and 300m hurdles and in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Senior relayers Mike Malchesky, Josh Lazanich, Dylan Hufgard and junior Kevin Conley also competed at indoor state and hope to make it to outdoor state.
On the girls’ side, senior Erin Ward is looking to improve upon her 2016 campaign in the middle distance races. She ran well in the 800m last year and in the offseason ran cross country to improve her endurance for this season. It will be fun to see her compete. Giving her some friendly competition will be junior Kennedy Newhart who wants to follow up her nice 2016 campaign with a good season. Senior Silvija Taraska looks to build upon her 2016 regional qualifying shotput season. Sophomore Chloe Keating is the sprinter to watch as she competes in the 100m, 200m and 400m as well as some relays. She was on the 4x100 relay team that made it to regionals and set a school record in 2016.
The goals for the team are to be undefeated in dual meets, compete well in the postseason and qualify as many individuals and relays in the state meet as possible. The boys are aiming to win the NCL crown for a fourth straight year as well. Through the tough competition and rigorous practices, the coaching staff also wants to build camaraderie and help the team grow closer. “As a sport with so many individual competitions, it can be tricky to develop team chemistry in track,” remarked head coach Erik Schroeder. “Thankfully, we have a great group of senior leaders who will ensure that we are overflowing in team spirit.”
If Mother Nature cooperates, the team has about 13 meets to get ready for the postseason which starts May 17th with Districts at Mayfield HS. The season includes 6 dual meets and 5 invitationals. The biggest meets on the regular calendar are the always competitive Hilltopper Invitational on April 8th at Chardon High School and the Trinity Invitational on April 21st at Bedford High School. The dual on April 11th at rival NDCL should be a good one, too! Other duals with NCL foes with Walsh Jesuit, Trinity and Padua should provide a preview for the conference meet. Hoban promises to have a solid team, and Beaumont is always a good competition for the girls.
If you’re interested in watching the team compete, please plan to join any of the meets listed on the schedule (link). We hope to see you there!