Strong numbers, experience boost PHS track hopes

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


MARY ALBERT (middle), Plymouth junior, is the Panther girls track team’s top hurdler returning from last year. — Review file photo MARY ALBERT (middle), Plymouth junior, is the Panther girls track team’s top hurdler returning from last year. — Review file photo PLYMOUTH – Outstanding numbers and experience give the Plymouth Panthers high hopes for the boys and girls track season.

The boys squad, the three-time defending Eastern Wisconsin Conference champion, has 65 athletes, including 20 returning letter winners. The girls team is 70-strong, including 17 letter winners back from last year’s EWC runner-up.

BOYS PREVIEW

The top returnees for the Panthers include: Ben Albers (hurdles) Tom Jankowski (distance), Brady Ludvik (pole vault), Andrew Ziegler (pole vault), Westley Meinnert shot put and discus), Andrew Staehling (mid-distance), Dominick Bocchini (mid-distance), Evan Sebranek (sprints), Cade Strehlow (mid-distance), Samuel Staehling (sprints) and Jake Schneider (sprints).


TOM JANKOWSKI, senior, is a key returning distance runner for the Plymouth boys track team this season. — Review file photo TOM JANKOWSKI, senior, is a key returning distance runner for the Plymouth boys track team this season. — Review file photo Sebranek, Samuel Staehling and Schneider were members of the winning 400-meter relay in last year’s EWC championship meet. Bocchini and Andrew Staehling ran on the EWC-winning 1,600 relay. Jankowski was a member of the 3,200 relay which took first in Division 1 regional competition.

PHS head coach Jay Grosshuesch said the top prospects are senior Luke Hojnacki in the middistance races, senior sprinter Brad Trakel and freshman Jake Steinhardt in the sprints and jumps.

“Our large team of 65 athletes should help us find some quality runners and field event people. The boys team graduated several athletes that scored major points in our big meets last year, so we have some major holes to fill,” said Grosshuesch.

“Our athletes have been showing us some hard work early in the season, so we are hopeful we can mold together to make a quality team by May.

“We do have some strong leaders in our senior class which should help to bring our team along nicely.

“Like the girls team, our main goal is to have each boy work hard and improve as an individual. If that happens our team will get better and we will end the season satisfied with our results,” said Grosshuesch who’s in his 17th season as the head coach.

“I am not sure if we have one area of our team that is a lot stronger than another. We have decent depth in a lot of areas. The key for us will be to get our good athletes to become very good or great, so we can score some big points.”

Grosshuesch pointed out the main key for the team to have a successful season.

“We really have an unknown commodity when it comes to our second or third option in several events. Our team success will depend on how strong our No. 1 athlete in each event can be and then how well our second tier guys develop,” he said.

Grosshuesch hopes his team can contend for another EWC title. He expects Waupun, Kiel and Two Rivers to be strong in the league. Two Rivers placed second last year.

GIRLS PREVIEW

Sophomore Sophie Bolich leads a strong distance corps for the Panthers which will be counted on to contribute big points. Bolich was a state qualifier in the 3,200-meter run and a sectional champion that event last season.

The team’s other top returning athletes include: Julie Binder (mid-distance), Chloe Kastelic (sprints); Taylor Meyer (throws), Elizabeth Raeder (sprints); Nikki Reil (sprints, jumps); Mary Albert (hurdles) Brooke Koehn (distance), Abby Payne (distance), Julia Novotny (distance), Elizabeth Baus (sprints), Karly Knaus (distance), Morgan Lisowe (sprints) and Kyra Kronberg (throws).

Albert finished second in the 100 and 300 hurdles at the 2013 EWC Meet. Koehn, Bolich and Novotny were on the 3,200 relay which qualified for the sectional. Lisowe, Binder and Koehn ran on the sectional-qualifying 1,600 relay.

The top prospects, said Grosshuesch, include: Alyssa Uribe (sprints), Sophie Albert (middistance, jumps), Emma Grapentine (sprints, jumps), Abi Smrz (distance) and Margeaux Suttner (mid-distance).

“With this basis [strong numbers and the 17 letter winners], we hope to be able to put quality kids in every event, but we definitely have our work cut out for us if we are to continue to compete at a high level,” said Grosshuesch.

“It will be real important to our team's success to develop and get contributions from our younger athletes.

“Our goal as a team is to have each individual improve in her respective event, and if this happens, team successes will follow,” said the longtime coach.

“The hurdles is also an area where we have some good returning athletes. Mary Albert and Jonell Klopf are looking to build on their good seasons a year ago.”

“In the field events we have a couple of good athletes but we need to develop some depth to be more competitive.

“I expect Sheboygan Falls, Kiel and Two Rivers to be strong in the EWC. With some significant help from our young group, we may be able to get in their league,” Grosshuesch said.

Falls is the reigning EWC champion.

PLYMOUTH OUTDOOR
TRACK SCHEDULE
Boys and Girls
April 15 – EWC Quad., @ Kewaskum
April 22 – EWC Quadrangular, here
April 29 – EWC Quad., @ N. Holstein
May 2 – @ Neenah Invitational
May 6 – EWC Quadrangular, here
May 9 – Vanderpan Invite, @ S. Falls
May 13 – EWC Relays, @ Two Rivers
May 15 – JV Invitational, here
May 20 – EWC Meet, @ Two Rivers
May 22 – EWC Fr./Soph. Meet, here
May 27 – Regional, @ Beaver Dam
May 30 – Sectional, @ Oshkosh West
June 6 – State Meet, @ UW-La Crosse
June 7 – State Meet, @ UW-La Crosse

PLYMOUTH TRACK ROSTERS

Boys

Seniors – *Ben Albers, Chad Benti, *Chris Benti, Jacob Faust, *Chandler Haun, Cody Hoffmann, Luke Hojnacki, *Tom Jankowski, *Brady Ludvik, *Westley Meinnert, Ben Morris, Mark Novak, Andres Ovalla, Brody Reichardt, Peter Roth, *Andrew Staehling, Brad Trakel, Aaron Unger and *Andrew Ziegler.

Juniors – Brad Bermke, *Dominic Bochhini, *Brian Cecka, *Paul Francis, Keagan Gustin, Logan Rauch, *Evan Sebranek, Cade Strehlow, *Nick Stucke and *Brent Thiel.

Sophomores – *Zach Albers, Layton Albright, Kyle Birenbaum, Dan Christensen, Mitchell Eigenberger, Nick Freund, *Corby Gafner, JJ Haupt, Brett Hipple, Ryan Holec, Zach Jordan, Noah Joseph, Ethan Kaat, Evan Landry, Adam LaVine, *Jordan Marshall, David Mayer, Ian McConnaha, Gabe Meyer, Mitchell Meyer, Ryan Nygaard, Ben Pierce, Max Schermacher, Alex Schmidt, *Jake Schneider, *Samuel Staehling, Alex Teteak and Aiden Woida.

Freshmen – Jack Benedict, Cole Bogenschuetz, Joe Chandler, Gavin Falk, Marcelo Gamarra, Matt Klas, Cody Kuhn, Nichaols Pohl, Alan Schaefer, Jake Steinhardt and Zach Strehlow.

Girls

Seniors – Annie Aziz, *Julie Binder, Emily Brown, Cecilia Consalvo, *Chloe Kastelic, Zeliha Kilek, Ingvild, Konglevoll, Sara Martinez, *Taylor Meyer, Nadya Mukhaleva, *Elizabeth Raeder, *Nikki Reil, Mariana Reynoso and Alyssa Uribe.

Juniors – *Mary Albert, Shelia Anzures, Cara Bardon, Sierra Besler, Ericka Bohrmueller, Josie Gierach, *Jonell Klopf, *Brooke Koehn, *Julia Novotny, *Abby Payne, Kassi Stokdyk, Maddy Strutz, Isabella Theisenhuesen, Katie Trakel, *Ali Van Ells and *Claire Wichert.

Sophomores – Mary Addy, Nichole Bartzen, *Elizabeth Baus, *Sophie Bolich, Meredith Grimes, Ella Harpstead, Haley Hughes, Lindsey Karczewski, *Karly Knaus, *Kyra Kronberg, Kayla Lentz, *Morgan Lisowe, Cassie Moynihan, Hayley Mueller, Jenna Musiedlak, Abby Nicholson, Taylor Orleans, Kelly Pocian, Emily Schmitt, Erin VanElls and Miranda Walter.

Freshmen – Sophie Albert, Helen Baus, Megan Birenbaum, Cheyenne Boettcher, Nadine Dragan, Emma Grapentine, Katie Grim, Grace Huibregtse, Julia Marshall, Makayla Mendenhall, Gwen Nytes, Allison Pieper, Maria Ryan, Theresa Schramm, Jamie Schultz, Kayla Schwibinger, Delaney Scudella, Abi Smrz, Margeaux Suttner and Maddie Werner. * - Returning letter winner.


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