After returning as a varsity sport for the first time since at least the early 1990s last winter, indoor track is a back at Cortland High, with a new coach in Maura Chapman.
The Purple Tiger boys’ and girls’ squads will get the season underway Saturday with the Jack Morse Kickoff Meet at Onondaga CC’s SRC Arena starting at 10 a.m.
Back to compete again this season are senior Owen Stehm (distance events), juniors Sam Forrester (hurdles, long and triple jumps), Dylan Rogers (distance), Andy Ryan (distance) and Alex Ryan (distance, not related to Andy) and sophomores Jacob Gilbert (distance) and Ethan Lyle (distance).
The newcomers are juniors Niko Ingle (sprints, throwing), Tyler Stevens (distance) and Michael Wherry (throwing, sprinting), freshman Brenden Stillman (sprints, pole vault) and Joe Cataldo (distance).
Lost to graduation were Mike and Nick Annecelle (twins), James Barbarito, Ruvim Kostiv, Paul Lyman, Ray Rogers and Noah Watkins.
The team’s returning members are seniors Julia Birdsall (distance) and Tori Schmidt-Bonacker (distance), juniors Meredith Brafman (hurdles, pole vault), Molly Jewett (sprints, pole vault), Isabella Mendez (jumps, sprinting), Larkin Schumacher (sprinting, jumps) and Ella Wilson (distance) and sophomore Kathryn Aumick (distance).
New to the squad this season are senior Brittney Stillman (sprints), juniors Nevaeh Amo (sprints) and Lillian Quick (distance, pole vault), sophomores Alex Garrow (sprints), Tyler Hampton-Forsyth (throws, sprints), Morgan Hefti (sprints, throws), Jackie Lyman (throws), Julia Spaziani (sprints) and Morgan Zimmer (throws) and eighth grader Kristen Rowland (distance).
Gone from last year’s team via graduation are Gabriella Bair, Marissa Dovi, Ashley Price and Ana Chavez Villalon.
“In order to be successful this season, the distance runners have been consistently doing speed, strength, and endurance workouts each week, and the sprinters and jumpers have included a lot of technique and strength training in their practices,” Chapman said. The jumpers, throwers, and vaulters are attending clinics Wednesday nights at Onondaga CC in order to get time to practice their craft despite the limited facilities available in the winter.
“We are competing in the Salt City Athletic Conference. We hope to make it as far as possible and reach our full potential both as a team and as individuals. I’m happy with the opportunity to take over the program, and I hope to help it grow in whatever ways I can.”
Chapman will be assisted with both teams by head girls’ outdoor track coach John Busch.
All multi-school meets on the schedule are at SRC Arena starting at 10 a.m. After Saturday’s opener there are regular-season events on Dec. 27, Jan. 6, 13 and 20 and the SCAC League Meet on Feb. 1.
The schedule, with all meets at Onondaga CC’s SRC Arena unless noted:
DEC. 16– Jack Morse Kickoff, 10 a.m.; 27– Oscar B. Jensen Holiday Relays, 10 a.m.
JAN. 6– George Constantino Memorial, 10 a.m.; 13– John Arcaro Memorial, 10 a.m.; 20– Fred Kirschenheiter Memorial, 10 a.m.
FEB. 1– SCAC Championships, 4:30 p.m.; 8– Section 3 Class B Championships, 4:30 p.m. 14– Section 3 State Qualifier (Utica College), 4:30 p.m.
MAR. 3-5– State Meet at Ocean Breeze (Staten Island), 9 a.m.