SCOUTING AREA BOYS TRACK TEAMS

Scouting local boys track teams

2013-03-29T18:00:00Z 2014-06-24T17:25:31Z Scouting local boys track teams nwitimes.com
March 29, 2013 6:00 pm

Duneland Athletic Conference

CHESTERTON

Athletes to watch: Joe Troop, Sr., sprints; Trever Walker, Sr., throws; Bill Biehl, So., middle distance; Jacob Andrews, Sr., hurdles; Kevin Kenney, Sr., distance.

Outlook: Sixth at state last year, the Trojans will continue to be a strong big-meet team and also have the depth to fare well in duals. Third last year, Troop is a state title contender in the 400 and will anchor a 1,600 relay that will vie for a medal.

CROWN POINT

Athletes to watch: Tom Cierniak, Sr., distance, relays; Wess Honaker, So., relays; Jordan Kelly, Sr., PV; Mitchell Kessler, So., SP; Zack Seamon, Jr., relays; Daniel Walters, Sr., relays; Travis Kucic, Sr., relays.

Outlook: Cierniak was 25th at state in the 3,200 (9 minutes, 35.83 seconds). Kelly was ninth in the pole vault (14 feet) and has 16-foot potential. Kessler has thrown 50-5 in the shot. Honaker returns from the 400 relay that placed ninth downstate (42.62), while Seamon, Walters, Kucic and Cierniak led the 3,200 relay to eighth place (7:53.31).

LAKE CENTRAL

Athletes to watch: Gelen Robinson, Jr., SP, discus; Dean Kokot, Sr., discus; Zack Bencur, Sr., 800; Kyle Crawford, Sr., HJ, LJ; Nick Newell, Sr., relays.

Outlook: Rudy Skorupa is in his 39th and final season as coach. Robinson was seventh at state in the shot (55-4) and third in the discus (181-0). Kokot qualified in the discus. Crawford's bests in the jumps are 6-2 and 21 feet.

LAPORTE

Athletes to watch: Nathan Gerick, Sr., distance; Anthony Didion, Jr., distance; Brandt Niles, Sr., throws; Scott Schreiber, Sr., LJ, sprints.

Outlook: Schreiber was a state qualifier in the 100 and long jump. Mitch Hubner, a 1,600 state medalist, is now at IUPUI, but the distances remain solid.

MERRILLVILLE

Athletes to watch: Dylon Collins, Sr., sprints; Austin Jamerson, Sr., HJ, LJ, hurdles; Josh Haynes, Sr., discus; Bruce Thomas, Sr., LJ; Don Taylor, Sr., sprints, relays, hurdles.

Outlook: Collins was state runnerup in the 100 (10.83), then tore his ACL in football and hasn't gotten a doctor's release; Jamerson was 16th in the high jump (6-4), 14th in the long jump (21-7 3/4) and 14th in the high hurdles (14.94); Haynes placed 22nd in the discus (135-11).

MICHIGAN CITY

Athletes to watch: Ryan Jones, Jr., sprints, LJ; James Washington, Sr., SP, sprints; Scott Paull, Jr., throws; Alejandro Miller, So., distance; Mike Smallwood, Jr., sprints, hurdles; ShanQuan Hemphill, Fr., jumps.

Outlook: Jones is state finals hopeful in the long jump. New coach Lucas Snyder and his staff are trying to fix the culture of the sport at M.C. He will consider it a successful season if they can instill a sense of accountability and motivation to improve in the offseason.

PORTAGE

Athletes to watch: Jeron Blake, Sr., Rashaan Coleman, Sr., LJ; Lorenzo Wells, Jr., hurdles, relays; David Clegg, Jr., HJ, relays; Dustin Balboa, So., distance; Alex Sanchez, Jr., sprints.

Outlook: John Kappes has possibly his youngest team in 21 years at Portage, but they will be deep and talented in the sprints, hurdles and relays. Blake won three medals at state (100, 200, 1,600 relay). Taylor Sebben and Dushaun Holmes have emerged as versatile performers.

VALPARAISO

Athletes to watch: Peyton Reed, Sr., distance; Andrew Kittridge, Sr., hurdles; Josh Marciniak, Sr., hurdles; Muyenda Burnett, Sr., PV; Pat Reilly, Sr., sprints.

Outlook: The Vikings feature plenty of quality senior talent. Their typically deep distance group is buoyed by the return of Ari Coulopoulos. A balanced lineup will again keep Valpo in the mix as a team in the DAC, sectional and regional.

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

CLARK

Athletes to watch: Ed Piaseczny, Sr., hurdles; Arnulfo Villar, Jr., distance, relays.

Outlook: Coach Rich Hrapcak's numbers are up, and so is his optimism.

GAVIT

Athletes to watch: Mike Pajdzik, Sr., SP, discus; Zach Schreiber, Jr., distance; Ramiro Cazares, Sr., mid-distance; Dontae Adams, So., sprints; Xavier Copeland, Sr., sprints.

Outlook: Pajdzik was a regional qualifier in the shot and Copeland in the 400.

HAMMOND

Athletes to watch: Jessie Woods-Curtis, Sr., LJ, sprints; Malik Myles, Jr., sprints, LJ; DeAnte McGill, Fr., distance; David Hardy, Fr., mid-distance; Edwardo Navarro, Sr., distance.

Outlook: Woods-Curtis is a 21-10 long jumper and regional qualifier. Myles has gone 20-8 and was a state qualifier in the 100.

MORTON

Athletes to watch: Dajon Wilson, Sr., sprints; Josh Bailey, sprints, LJ, relays; Carl Murry, sprints, HJ; Jalen Burnett, So., sprints; Miquel Flores, Jr., mid-distance, relays.

Outlook: New coach Joe Britt, a 1991 Calumet grad, has 35 kids out. Bailey is a regional qualifier in the 400. Murry has 6-4 potential in the high jump.

Greater South Shore Conference

BISHOP NOLL

Athletes to watch: Branden Banske, Sr., 400; Jacob Rehm, Sr., hurdles; Anthony Repay, Sr., hurdles; Will Kasprzycki, Sr., HJ, 400; Donavan Hayes, Sr., LJ, sprints; Sal Cordova, Jr., distance.

Outlook: The Warriors have a balanced 50-man roster. Kasprzycki is a 6-foot high jumper, Hayes a 20-foot long jumper.

CALUMET

Athletes to watch: Kevin Miller, Sr., distance, relays; Andrew Huff, Jr., distance, relays; Georgio Harrell, Jr., SP; Jarrett Fisher, Jr., hurdles; Tommy Cook, So., sprints, LJ.

Outlook: Miller barely missed qualifying for state in the 1,600 and could make the trip this year if he stays healthy.

LAKE STATION

Athletes to watch: Tony Tamras, Sr., sprints; Demetri Jorden, Sr., sprints; Keith Durbin, Jr., SP, discus; Brett Boby, Sr., distance; Marcus Williams, Sr., sprints.

Outlook: The numbers are up (30) for new coach Rich Lunsford, recently named the Eagles' football coach.

NORTH NEWTON

Athletes to watch: Vince Duminie, Sr., sprints, relays, LJ; Austin Olive, Sr., hurdles; Jake Koselke, Sr., distance; Schuyler Gargano, Jr., hurdles, PV; Leo Espino, So., mid-distance, relays.

Outlook: Duminie was a regional qualifier in the 100 and 200; Olive is defending conference champ and a regional qualifier in the 110 highs, and Espino a regional qualifier in the 800.

RIVER FOREST

Athletes to watch: Jon Flores, Sr., PV, hurdles; Tyler Bernard, Sr., SP, discus; Ryan Brown, Sr., sprints, relays; Ryan Verduzco, Jr., hurdles; Luis Cordaro, Fr., sprints, LJ.

Outlook: Flores shares the conference vault record at 12 feet; Bernard has improved by four feet in the shot, and Cordaro has jumped 18 feet as a ninth-grader.

WHEELER

Athletes to watch: Joel O'Shea, Fr., distance; Alex Nader, So., distance; Clay Turpin, Fr., sprints; James Mills, Jr., middle distance; Cody Thompson, Sr., hurdles; Jake Bertucci, Sr., throws.

Outlook: The Bearcats have nine freshmen, headed by cross country state qualifier O'Shea, who blend well with the veterans. Relays will be the their best asset. While the Bearcats will have to learn on the run, coach Louie Guillen likes the cohesiveness and expects to vie for the GSSC title.

Northwest Crossroads Conference

ANDREAN

Athletes to watch: Jordan Smith, Sr., sprints; Rich Thiel, Jr., sprints, hurdles; Trevor Berg, Jr., sprints; Adam Kopil, Jr., SP, discus; Owen Satoski, So., sprints.

Outlook: Junior Nick Janiga is the only returning member of the 3,200 relay that was 13th at state (7:58.67), but depth is good in the sprints.

GRIFFITH

Athletes to watch: Branden Dyer, Jr., LJ; Rodney Lewis, Jr., sprints; Justin Green, Jr., sprints; Seth Meece, Fr., mid-distance; Jason Howard, Sr., distance.

Outlook: New coach Brian Orkis will need patience with his young squad. Dyer is a good start as a 20-foot jumper.

HIGHLAND

Athletes to watch: Trevor O'Donnell, Sr., SP, discus; Ian Hardy, Jr., PV, SP, discus; Seth Hardy, Jr., HJ, sprints; Zack Glick, Sr., distance, relays; Matt Scardine, Sr., mid-distance.

Outlook: Anthony Belli, a 2002 Highland grad, is the new coach and will build around the Hardy twins. Ian was a regional qualifier in the vault (14 feet), Seth in the high jump (6-4).

HOBART

Athletes to watch: Matt Stewart, Sr., HJ; Jay Curtis, Sr., sprints; Nick Stack, Sr., PV; Gerald Valenzuela, Sr., SP, discus; Steve Viator, Sr., sprints; Alex Cordova, Sr., distance.

Outlook: Stewart finished 21st at state in the high jump (6-2) and joins regional qualifiers Curtis (100), Stack (PV, 15-6), Viator (400) and Cordova (3,200), the latter a two-time qualifier. Valenzuela's bests in the discus and shot are 151 and 50 feet, respectively.

KANKAKEE VALLEY

Athletes to watch: Travis Conley, Jr., distance; Derick Pesh, Jr., HJ, hurdles; Mark Lucakchak, Jr., sprints, LJ; Brandon VanSoest, Jr., SP, discus; Tyler Nichoff, Jr., SP, discus.

Outlook: Pesh was a regional qualifier in the hurdles and high jump, Lucakchak the long jump and Nichoff the discus.

LOWELL

Athletes to watch: Kyle Eller, Sr., distance; Josh Bustemante, Sr., discus; Brian Blaylock, Jr., distance, relays; Mitchell Leckrone, Sr., relays; Wesley Hardin, Sr., relays; Brandon Shanks, Sr., relays.

Outlook: Leckrone, Hardin and Shanks return from the 1,600 relay that was 19th (3:26.54) at state. Eller placed 11th in the 3,200 (9:14.55). Bustemante was a regional qualifier in the discus (150 feet).

MUNSTER

Athletes to watch: Tommy Bolanowski, Jr., distance; Miles Gunty, Sr., PV; Bryce Barnett, Sr., sprints, relays; Ernest Carter, Sr., sprints, relays; Steve Ozug, Jr., SP, discus; Saam Mojtahed, Jr., sprints, relays.

Outlook: Bolanowski was 24th at state in the 1,600 (4:27.33). Gunty is a 13-foot vaulter. Sprinter Mojtahed has PR'd in every indoor meet.

Northwestern Conference

LEW WALLACE

Athletes to watch: Demetrius Warmack, Jr., sprints, mid-distance; Darius Mahome, Jr., sprints, relays; Rashad Jackson, Jr., sprints, LJ; Alex Lee, Jr., hurdles, sprints; Carey Moore, Jr., SP, discus.

Outlook: Mahome was 18th at state in the 400 (50.48) and can run any race through the 800.

ROOSEVELT

Athletes to watch: Barrie Wesby, So., sprints, relays; Nigel Coles, Sr., sprints, relays; Henry Smith, Jr., sprints, relays; Jerry Ruiz, sprints, relays; Nico Coles, sprints, relays.

Outlook: Wesby was AAU national runner-up in the 100 (11.12) for ages 13-14. Ruiz was a regional qualifier in the 200. The new coach is Brandon Wesby, who was previously at Bowman Academy.

WEST SIDE

Athletes to watch: Lonnie Johnson, Jr., LJ; DiJon Smith, Sr., distance; Khalil Upshaw, Jr., HJ, hurdles; Carlton Sims, sprints, relays; Durante Buggs, So.,

Outlook: Johnson placed fifth at state in the long jump (22-3 1/4). Upshaw is a 6-foot high jumper.

Porter County Conference

BOONE GROVE

Athletes to watch: Alex Morgavan, So., distance; Kyle Feck, So., sprinter; Austin Aguilera, So., sprints; Tylor Rogers, Sr., hurdles.

Outlook: Most of the team returns for new coach Trish Kloth. On a roster of 15, the addition of Aguilera may offset the loss of Jon Hogg, who is focusing on baseball.

HANOVER CENTRAL

Athletes to watch: Matt Yzaquirre, Jr., sprints, relays; Alec Nirtaut, So., sprints, LJ; Mike York, So., mid-distance; Nick Zac, So., distance.

Outlook: Nirtaut is a 20-foot jumper for the Wildcats, who've won eight of the last nine PCC meet titles.

HEBRON

Athletes to watch: Brad Blank, HJ, 400; Blake Wallace, Jr., LJ, sprints; Gio Phan, Jr., distance; David Lucas, Sr., distance.

Outlook: The Hawks were senior-laden last season.

KOUTS

Athletes to watch: Austin McNeill, Sr., throws; Mike Ferrell, Jr., distance; Cody Nelson, Jr., hurdles, sprints; Nathan Ballesteros, So., sprints; Alex Sanders, So., middle distance; Evan Rogers, So., PV, sprints.

Outlook: McNeill was PCC discus champ. Kouts has 12 first-year athletes it's trying to fit into place. It is deep in multiple events and hopes to compete for PCC honors.

LACROSSE

Athletes to watch: Nate Rhodes, Jr., distance; Tyler Bailey, Sr., LJ, sprints; Michael Mathis, Sr., hurdles; Cody Mathis, Jr., distance; Travis Younggreen, Sr., sprints.

Outlook: Bailey and Rhodes were regional qualifiers. The Tigers number just 11, but new coach Brian McMahan is intrigued by the speed of newcomer Youngreen.

MORGAN TOWNSHIP

Athletes to watch: Alec Kostelnik, Sr., distance; Ben Savage, Fr., distance; Eric Barzycki, Sr., PV.

Outlook: Kostelnik (9th, 3,200) and Savage are as good a distance combo as any school not named Valpo can boast. Barzycki was a regional qualifier at Hebron. A larger roster includes a few more seniors and a dozen freshmen and sophomores who will impact the sprints.

SOUTH CENTRAL

Athletes to watch: Isaiah Thomas, Sr., LJ, sprints; Joel Poling, Sr., discus; Tyler Bluhm, So., SP; Carter Brown, So., hurdles; Bryan Flannery, Fr., distance; Blake Warner, Fr., HJ, PV.

Outlook: Field events will be a strength. Sidelined by injury last season, Thomas was a state qualifier in the long jump as a sophomore at Morgan and took third at the Hoosier State Relays. A roster of 32 features 19 newcomers, including exchange student Trong Do.

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP

Athletes to watch: Joe Nugent, Jr., sprints; Thamarr McGee, Sr., jumps.

Outlook: Nugent and McGee will score plenty for the Senators. McGee was a high jump state qualifier, while Nugent was PCC champ in the 100 and 200.

Others

BOWMAN ACADEMY

Athletes to watch: Marsillis Gibson, Sr., hurdles; Jalen Knight, Sr., sprints, relays; Xavier Walker, Fr., sprints; Charles Hurt, So., mid-distance, relays; Maurice Phillips, Sr., LJ, sprints.

Outlook: New coach Ron Swain has some firepower with Gibson, who placed 18th at state in the high hurdles (15.18) and 17th in the lows (40.11). Knight is a regional qualifier in the 400.

E.C. CENTRAL

Athletes to watch: Kenneth Lloyd, Sr., HJ; LaRunte Fairley, Sr., hurdles, relays; Martayveus Carter, Jr., sprints, relays; Patrick Shaw, Jr., sprints, relays; Jalen Alston, Sr., SP, discus.

Outlook: Lloyd finished in a five-way tie for sixth in the high jump (6-4) at state. His personal bests in the jumps are 6-10 and 22 feet.

RENSSELAER

Athletes to watch: Adam Black, Sr., hurdles, relays; Travis Flanigan, Sr., discus; Brooks Rodibaugh, Sr., PV; Ab Kiger, So., sprints, relays; Jace Horner, Jr., mid-distance, relays.

Outlook: Rodibaugh has cleared 12-6 in the vault. Flanigan is defending Hoosier Conference champ in the discus (142 feet) and a two-time regional qualifier.

WESTVILLE

Athletes to watch: Jake Lindy, So., distance; Dominic Riffett, Jr., throws; Aaron Hale, Jr., sprints; Devin Keeling, Fr., sprints.

Outlook: The Blackhawks' numbers (29) are up, thanks to an influx of solid freshmen. They'll be expected to contribute right away with the graduation of the team's top two scorers.

!~ Compiled by Times sports writers Al Hamnik and Jim Peters

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