Girls track and field: Capsule previews

2014-04-01T21:00:00Z 2014-04-14T19:28:04Z Girls track and field: Capsule previews The Billings Gazette
April 01, 2014 9:00 pm

Senior Broncs

Coach: Jerry Weik, first season

Last year at state: AA champions (96½ points)

Returning state placers (4): Morgan Sulser, Sr., 100 hurdles-1st, 200-1st, 300 hurdles-2nd, 100-4th; Christina Aragon, So., 800-1st, 1,600-1st, 3,200-3rd; Taylor Mims, Jr., high jump-1st; Jace Henderson, Sr., discus-4th, shot put-4th.

Others to watch: Karina Bell, Sr., sprints; Jocelyn Elloriaga, Sr., 400, high jump; Cierra Powell, Sr., long jump; Maddie Cicierski, Jr., throws; Hannah Nessan, Jr., throws; Jess Raty, So., middle distance.

Season outlook: Led by their “Big 3” returning champions (Morgan Sulser, Christina Aragon, Taylor Mims) the Broncs seek their fifth consecutive state title. Sulser set the all-class state record in the 100-meter hurdles last year. Jerry Weik takes over as head coach for Dave Creger, but has been on the staff as an assistant for nine seasons.

Coach Weik says: “My big thing right now is to kind of stay out of the way. We have a lot of talented assistant coaches and a lot of really good girls back. I’ll just let them do their thing and hopefully we can win one more (title).”

Skyview Falcons

Coach: Larry Newell, 15th season

Last year at state: 6th place AA (38 points)

Returning state placers (4): Hailey Copinga, Jr., high jump-3rd, 300 hurdles-4th, long jump-5th; Haley Gellner, Sr., 200-3rd, 100-5th; Keegan Day, Jr., 800-5th, 1,600-6th; Aubree Mason, Sr., discus-6th.

Others to watch: Shea Wacaser, Sr., 400, javelin, pole vault; Amanda Nelson, Sr., distance, middle distance.

Season outlook: Coming off a sixth-place finish at state, expectations are higher for the Falcons. Skyview’s 1,600-meter relay team is the reigning state champion. Hailey Copinga, who scored 12 of the Falcons’ 38 points at state, may sit out as long as five weeks recovering from a back injury. Shea Wacaser has signed to throw the javelin at Weber State. Haley Gellner will run at Montana.

Coach Newell says: “We really feel like if we can stay healthy and put some things together that we can make a run at Senior High for that state title. I really do. Most of these girls have had the taste of placing at state.”

West Bears

Coach: Rob Stanton, 12th season

Last year at state: 3rd place AA (53 points)

Returning state placers (3): Taylor Grove, Jr., 3,200-2nd, 1,600-5th; Kennedy Smith, Sr., long jump-3rd; Mika Robinson, Sr., pole vault-4th.

Others to watch: Brittney Grove, Jr., distance; Brittany Marosok, So., hurdles; Brandi Risa, Sr., pole vault; Michaela Johnson, So., hurdles; Delilah Koch, So., high jump; Bree Latimore, Jr., sprints; Erin Schreibeis, Sr., throws; Hope Watts, Sr., jumps; Janae Bjorgum, sprints.

Season outlook: With 86 girls, West isn’t short on numbers. And with three returning state placers, including Taylor Grove, one of the top distance runners in Class AA, the Bears believe they’ll still be in the hunt at state -- at least in the top three. They’ll look to replace a few top athletes, including discus champion Samirah Dennis.

Coach Stanton says: “We have a little more depth than the boys do right now; it’s the first time we’ve had that in a while since I’ve been here. We did lose some pretty good kids but I think we have some quality kids coming back, and we’ll compete.”

Central Rams

Coach: Angela Hirt, 10th season

Last year at state: 6th place A (24½ points)

Returning state placers (1): Jade Smith, So., high jump-6th.

Others to watch: Mariah Wittman, So., sprints, jumps; Morgan McDonnell, Sr., distance; Alexa Horrell, Jr., distance; Olivia Hanser, Fr., sprints, jumps.

Season outlook: Coach Angela Hirt likes her array of distance runners, led by Morgan McDonnell and Alexa Horrell. Both finished in the top 10 at the state cross country meet in the fall. Mariah Wittman showed promise in the 100 and 200 meters as a freshman last year. Wittman’s sprint times should improve in her second varsity season.

Coach Hirt says: “We have a strong group of distance girls. Our cross country team placed third (in the fall) and most of those girls are out. They like to run and they like to compete, and they’re doing well.”

Laurel Locomotives

Coach: Lisa Condon, 14th season

Last year at state: 7th place A (19 points)

Returning state placers: None.

Others to watch: Abbie Lohof, So., jumps, throws; Dalayna Christenson, Sr., throws; Lexi Gradwohl, Jr., distance, pole vault; Courtney Hallock, So., distance; Madi Tucker, So., middle distance; Kyra Elmer, Jr., sprints; Jessica Elmer, Fr., sprints; Taylor Ludwig, Fr., sprints, jumps; Shae Wiggins, So., distance; Allie McGrath, Jr., jumps, throws; Demi Albrecht, Jr., sprints, jumps; McKenzie LaCasse, Jr., sprints, jumps; Kayla O’Toole, Jr., throws; Angie Berglee, Sr., throws; Rita Stevenson, Sr., sprints.

Season outlook: The Locomotives don’t have anyone returning who placed at state, but they have 45 girls out, the most under coach Lisa Condon. Kyra and Jessica Elmer are transfers from California and could provide a boost in the sprints. Abbie Lohof and Taylor Ludwig are talented underclassmen looking to make an impact.

Coach Condon says: “We have some experience but for the most part we’re rebuilding. I’m excited to have some girls who’ve had success in other sports. That excites me because they’re really athletic.”

-- Compiled by Greg Rachac, Gazette Staff

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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